Boardmasters Fistral Beach hums in a sporting atmosphere

Boardmasters 2013 review

published: Thu 15th Aug 2013

around the festival site (BMX)

Wednesday 7th to Sunday 11th August 2013
Watergate Bay, Newquay, Cornwall, TR8 4AN, England MAP
£109 with camping, day tickets £39
daily capacity: 12500
last updated: Tue 30th Jul 2013

Now in its 30th year Boardmasters is billed as the ultimate summer festival. Did it meet this bold claim? 

It encompasses sport, including surfing, bmx’ing and skateboarding, running competitions throughout the duration of the festival, alongside music, boasting 5 stages across the site along with a VIP stage/area and its own pub, well sort of, ‘The Keg and Pasty’ with a stage in there too. 

We made the 270 mile journey to my brothers in Looe on Thursday evening, straight after work which was joyful, NOT. The main attraction of this festival for us was that it combined both sport and music and we wanted to see whether it worked or not. 

Before we took in the music on Saturday and Sunday (see other review) we decided that we could do only the sport side or the music side on each day as Fistral Beach (Where all the sports action was) and Watergate Bay (Music Side) were on totally different sites and the car parking pass we were given was at Watergate Bay. 

Thursday we headed to Fistral Beach to see if we could sample the sports atmosphere, we had our 12 year old Nephew in tow as he’s sports mad.   The weather turned out to be scorching all day which was pure bliss. The site is quite small to be honest, much smaller than I’d have imagined, there was an area for the BMXers and skateboarders, three or four ramps all amalgamated in to one, a surfing machine, which was pretty cool, loads of shops with all the necessary sunglasses, merchandise and surfing regalia, there was even a platform that you could throw yourself off on to the biggest air filled whoopee cushion (same as stunt men use when jumping from height). 

We eventually got to the site at 1pm, it took us two hours to finally find a parking space (£7.80 for the day) which was a short walk to the beach. It was heaving with people, and our Nephew was in awe. We got there when all the riders were practicing on their BMXs for a few heats later in the day. Tricks galore, there was only a safety net between us and the riders, I just prayed one of the bikes didn’t come flying towards us. 

My Nephew, my partner, and I all got our cameras out in the hope of getting a few decent shots of some of the aerial stunts, shame we couldn’t have had a photo pass to enable us access indie the ramps, now that would have been something. We made do and stood right next to the netting, Our Nephew could’ve stood there all day, he loved it.

After, what felt like an eternity, we decided to move on and have a walk about to explore the stalls and to see what else was about. 

We went to look at the surf machine, which was pretty cool, saw some amazing tricks, after a bit of retail therapy our Nephew noticed that there was a signing with some of the O’Neil surfers. So, I had to tag along as he was embarrassed to go on his own, after 40 mins we finally got to the front of the queue, he was stoked they actually spoke to him and signed a massive poster for him, which is now on his bedroom door. 

The beach seemed like a massive walk, especially with three rucksacks and numerous bags to catch a glimpse of the surfers so we opted to go look at the skateboarders. We joined the big crowd and after a while we managed to get a prime position at the front of the crowd, it was worth all the manoeuvring about to get to the front.

Again it was practice, again we got our cameras out, we looked like the paparazzi. It was thoroughly enjoyable.

We left the site in the early evening and ventured back to Looe with one happy Nephew.

Although our Nephew was happy and would’ve stood there for the whole duration of the festival, we thought the site was a tad small and there needed to be a tad more to do. We looked forward to the next couple of days where we would be making sure the music would take centre stage.


review by: Michelle Owen-Williams

photos by: Michelle and Trish Owen-Williams

Wednesday 7th to Sunday 11th August 2013
Watergate Bay, Newquay, Cornwall, TR8 4AN, England MAP
£109 with camping, day tickets £39
daily capacity: 12500
last updated: Tue 30th Jul 2013


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