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Festivals and events in Newquay 2024

Alternating between laidback and buzzing, Newquay is a vibrant seaside town to explore, with nine sandy beaches, stunning walks, and bustling streets lined with interesting shops and excellent foodie spots.

Huge stages and crowds on the cliffs in Newquay for Boardmasters

And for the cherry on top, when there’s a festival or event in full swing, you’re guaranteed an unforgettable atmosphere and foot-stomping good time wherever you wander. 

Here’s a list of our favourite festivals and events in Newquay for 2024 for you to add to your calendar, from nationally acclaimed music festivals to quirky local events with tonnes of heart.

Run To The Sun

A yellow and grey VW car on the cliffs at Newquay for Run to the Sun

Best for: Petrolheads

St Mawgan
24th – 27th May

A must for vintage car lovers and petrolheads, this three-day festival is held in honour of the iconic Volkswagen and custom-made cars and is one of the largest in Europe. After an incredible turnout last year after a 10-year break, it’s back again at St Mawgan, a stone’s throw from Newquay. VWs descend on the town in droves, with thousands meeting along the way to arrive together – the line of cars in procession can reach over 5 miles! 

Hundreds of cars are on display over the Bank Holiday weekend, with their proud owners happy to chat to you as you wander past. The first festival was held back in 1987 from a love of custom cars, and while cars are definitely at the heart of this event, there’s other entertainment on offer too, such as live bands, DJs, and a comedy club - not to mention a mouth-watering selection of food traders to keep you well and truly refuelled.

Cornwall Street Food Festival

A bird's eye view of the Street Food Festival on the cliffs above Newquay

Best for: Unforgettable food

Barrowfields Cliffs
24th – 27th May

A fabulous four-day food fest that’s chock with tasty street food from across the globe, as well as live entertainment and refreshing local drinks. Situated on Barrowfields Cliffs, you’ll find Indian to Mexican to European cuisine and everything in between. Top sellers from last year included Got Crabs (famed for their Seafood Sarnies), newbies Pasta al Sugo from Cardiff, and locals Crepe Cornwall – with 2024 set to have even more stallholders gathering at the cliff-top venue. 

Tickets can be booked in advance, with all tickets coming with a reusable cup to help cut down on single-use plastics. This year, there will be even more entertainment to enjoy, from live music throughout the day to something special in the evenings. Plus a whole host of market stalls so you can do a spot of shopping while choosing which food stall to visit next. From the epic waterside location to the ever-growing list of excellent traders, this festival is definitely one for the foodies! 

Rattler Fest

Someone bouncing on a space hopper at Rattler Fest festival near Newquay

Best for: Adult-only festivities

Healeys Cyder Farm
19th - 20th April

If you’re a fan of a cool and crisp pint of Rattler then you’ll love Rattler Fest, an adult-only festival that celebrates everything from Cornish cyder to country-wide music. An epic lineup of musicians - including Scouting for Girls and The Zutons as headliners - promises a whopping soundtrack to the weekend, while a mixture of activities provide endless entertainment; think fairground rides, apple bobbing, and party games!

Alongside the top-notch music and always-entertaining Rattler Olympics, a host of food stalls make their home at the festival, filling the air with tempting smells and ensuring every corner is filled while you enjoy the humdrum of the festivities. And, of course, the weekend wouldn’t be complete without a sample or two of Healeys’ famous cider and gins, which come in a bounty of flavours for every occasion.

Rock Up and Sea

Looking out from the cliffs at Lusty Glaze Beach

Best for: Beachside entertainment

Lusty Glaze Beach
TBC (June)

Joining the Newquay festival scene in 2023, this seaside extravaganza brings tunes, food, and good vibes to the beautiful sands of Lusty Glaze. Run by FatFace, the family-friendly festival puts on a full day of epic entertainment, including inspiring guest speakers, fun-filled activities, and incredible art installations, all with the unbeatable backdrop of one of Newquay’s top beaches. To keep you fuelled all festival long, a selection of street food vendors fills the air with tempting smells, while Lusty Glaze’s very own café and restaurant provides its usual mouth-watering fare.

Newquay Lifeboat Day

The pretty Newquay Harbour where Newquay Lifeboat Day takes place every year

Best for: Local cheer

Newquay Harbour
TBC (Usually around the end of July)

Based in Newquay Harbour, this popular event makes for a great day out and is a worthy cause to get behind, too. Raising money in aid of the incredibly important RNLI and its volunteers, who do so much to save lives at sea, the day’s events include dramatic rescue demonstrations in the bay, interaction with the crew, and lots of live music! This fun and informative festival is complete with stalls and refreshments catering for a variety of tastes and all within Newquay’s fascinating historic setting.


A massive crowd around the main stage at Boardmasters in Newquay

Best for: Surf and songs

Fistral Beach
7th – 11th August

Newquay’s biggest and most celebrated festival, Boardmasters is about as Cornish as it gets with a cool mix of live music, surfing, and epic entertainment galore. First started in 1981, it’s set amongst the sandy dunes of Fistral Beach and overlooks Watergate Bay. This firm favourite has a fantastic lineup of performers for 2024 such as Chase & Status, Sam Fender, and Stormzy, plus hundreds of other acts performing over 11 stages. 

Surfing fiends will love the Boardmasters OPEN, where the best UK surfers battle it out in the country’s biggest surf competition. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can give it a try yourself with teachers on hand for lessons at Cornwall’s top surf spot. The Surf Village is worth a wander too, not just for food and drink but a host of surfing goodies, stalls, and a beach bar with incredible sea views.

Crantock Bale Push

The hay bale mascot for the Crantock Bale Push

Best for: Community spirit

TBC (September)

Set just across the River Gannel in the heart of Crantock, this oh-so-Cornish event, whose slogan is ‘You don’t have to be mad to take part. But it helps’, is buckets of fun. Groups of four push a full-size bale of straw, weighing about 420 lbs, up and down the hills and through the streets between the village and two pubs on a course that’s about a quarter of a mile long. 

In its 23rd year, the event has raised tonnes of money for Cornish charities (over £100,000 since 2000), with a Junior and Ladies event taking place before the adult men’s race and concluding with the famous ‘open’. Starting at around 5pm, there’s plenty of other entertainment around the village, with live music later on in the evening in and around the pubs. A perfect Cornish evening of crazy entertainment!

Little Orchard Cider & Music Festival

People dressed up as grannies taking on an obstacle course during the Rattler Olympics at the Little Orchard Cider & Music Festival

Best for: Family fun

Healeys Cyder Farm
13th - 15th September

While Rattlerfest caters to the grown ups, Little Orchard is a wholesome festival that welcomes partiers of all ages. Boasting another toe-tapping lineup, including the likes of the Levellers and The Wurzels, music is the beating heart of the festival, with lots of great acts taking to the stage. We particularly love the Little Orchard Barn Dance for a hopping good time!

The Zen Den promises peaceful moments, the Mount Hawke Skate Ramp calls to those who wish to test or improve their skating skills, and the Little Orchard Outdoor Adventure Club is there to teach the little ones about the outdoors, from bushcraft to obstacle courses. As always, a delicious roundup of foodie stalls offer a range of wholesome dishes to ensure you are well-fuelled for the festival, while a small market of local makers offers the perfect opportunity to pick up some lovely Cornish takehomes.

Crantock Music Festival

The white-washed and thatched exterior of the Old Albion Inn

Best for: Good ol’ fashioned tunes

Old Albion Inn
20th – 22nd September

Entering its seventh year, this chilled-out fest showcases great Cornish singers and songwriters with a weekend of live music set in the 400-year-old, thatched Old Albion Inn. Pop over the River Gannel from Newquay any time over the weekend to sample the inn’s excellent selection of Cornish real ales, while being serenaded by a mixture of country blues, folk, ska and Americana all under the late summer sunshine.

Newquay Beer Festival

Lots of people sitting outside and enjoying the sun at the Newquay Beer Festival

Best for: Craft ales

Hendra Holiday Park
20th – 22nd September

This fantastic annual event has raised over £80,000 since it started in 2003, supporting Cornwall Hospice Care, Cornwall Wildlife Trust, Shelter Cornwall and many other charities. Offering a fabulous array of beers, real ales and ciders (over 100 to be exact!), as well as a gin bar, prepare to have your whistle well and truly wetted. 

There’s all-day entertainment provided by musicians who’ve donated their time for free, creating a wonderful atmosphere as you sample your way through the festival. Please note, this is a pre-booked event, so make sure to buy your tickets well in advance, and while families are welcome, some parts of the site are only open to over 18s.

St Mawgan Steam and Vintage Rally

A group of tractors in a field performing organised routines at the St Mawgan Steam and Vintage Rally near Newquay

Best for: Vintage fun

St Mawgan Rally Field
21st - 22nd September

Whether you dig diggers, get puppy-eyed over a dog show, or you’re a tractor fan (sorry, we don’t have time for the full dad joke), this three-day event has something for everyone. Gather around the main arena to catch an impressive display of digger dancing or formation tractor driving, or walk around the impressive collection of steam engines, classic cars, and beautiful vintage bikes for a chance to get up close to some incredible highlights from the past.

Fairground rides promise fun and games for the little ones, while the car boot offers endless opportunities to pick up some nicknacks. Food and drink stalls ensure hungry tums are filled with local goodies and the bar keeps the drinks flowing all weekend. Loaded with community spirit and things to see and do for all ages, this is a firm favourite in Newquay’s calendar.

Christmas Lights Switch On

Fireworks over Newquay Harbour during the Christmas Lights Switch On

Best for: A countdown to Christmas

All over the town
29th November

Nothing sets the Christmas mood than watching a festive light switch on, and Newquay certainly doesn’t disappoint. Starting with a magical lantern parade that winds its way through the streets, people gather in happy crowds for the traditional light switch on before heading down to Killacourt to watch the sparkling firework display over Towan Beach and the Atlantic sea beyond – just magical! Wrap up warm, grab a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie, and start the Christmas celebrations in true Cornish style.

Newquay Beach Clean

The reaching golden sands of Fistral beach in Newquay

Best for: Helping the environment

Variety of beaches
Monthly, dates and times on website

A fantastic community affair, people gather at a predetermined beach where all equipment is provided before scouring the sand and shoreline for rubbish. A great dog-friendly event, this is a lovely one for all the family, and while it may not be a traditional event or festival, it's equally important and a good way for little ones to learn about the environment. Check out Newquay Beach Care’s social media for location, dates, and times.

Looking forward to exploring this fun-filled stretch of North Cornwall? Book your holiday cottage in Newquay and start planning your 2024 stay.

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