A SURF and music festival in Cornwall has shared details of its licensing application which has now been submitted to Cornwall Council.

If granted, the new licence will allow the Boardmasters Festival to increase capacity from next summer, which it says, in turn, will increase its economic impact on Cornwall by creating more jobs and opportunities for more direct contracts for businesses in the area.

Boardmasters organisers say they saw greater demand than ever before in 2023. Headliners Lorde, Liam Gallagher and Florence + The Machine were among the hundreds of artists who took to the stage, with 2024’s line-up to be announced soon.

At present, Boardmasters is a 53,000-capacity festival, including 3,000 on-site staff. 

It is proposed that the capacity will increase to 58,000 in 2024, a number that covers both attendees and working staff, followed by another increase to 65,000 in 2025.

At Fistral Beach, where the Boardmasters OPEN surf competition takes place, capacity will remain at 22,000.

Andrew Topham, Boardmasters Festival founder said: “We have exciting and ambitious plans for Boardmasters and under the proposal, we would be able to take the festival to the next level. That means even bigger artists from all over the world, even more content for our attendees to enjoy, greater economic impact locally, more jobs as we increase staffing numbers and much more.

"Operationally, it would allow us to further elevate festival facilities, create more space, and enable us to continue to invest in our industry leading safeguarding work. Boardmasters is proud to be a part of Cornwall, generating millions each year for the County, as well as fundraising efforts through the Boardmasters Foundation which contributes to local charities and organisations.

"We look forward to the consideration of all of the relevant parties and thank residents whose feedback we value greatly. As always, we will continue our work to produce a world-class festival in Cornwall.”

Boardmasters has taken proactive measures in the application process in full consultation with the safety advisory group, which has been underway since September 2022. Local residents and businesses were invited to meet with festival organisers earlier this year, with feedback taken and questions answered during a two-day drop in session, as part of a thorough public consultation process.

Since then, the team says it has taken all feedback, learnings and successes to create a proposal for submission to Cornwall Council.

Cllr Louis Gardner, Cabinet Member and Portfolio Holder for the Economy and Cornwall Councillor Newquay Central & Pentire said: "Boardmasters injects a significant economic boost into Newquay, attracting thousands of visitors who spend on accommodation, dining and in local businesses.

"This influx helps to support and sustain the local economy, providing opportunities and fostering growth. Furthermore, the festival’s unique fusion of music and surfing showcases Newquay as a vibrant and diverse destination.

"This exposure helps promote the town as more than just a traditional seaside resort, enticing a broader range of visitors and in turn, investors. Boardmasters also contributes to the community by giving back, through The Boardmasters Foundation, through initiatives and support, enhancing the town’s social fabric.

"Its eco-conscious efforts align with Cornwall’s commitment to sustainability, reflecting positively on the town’s environmental awareness. In essence, Boardmasters Festival brings economic benefits, cultural diversity and an increased sense of social responsibility to Newquay, making it a significant asset to the town’s development and national reputation.”

Olly Monk, Councillor for Newquay Trenance said: “Vision Nine, the organisers of Boardmasters have always prioritised producing the best possible festival. The growth plans are exciting, particularly in our hard current economic climate, when the creation of additional jobs, larger contracts for Cornish business and more tourism to fuel our economy are hugely important for Newquay and Cornwall.

"We look forward to working with Vision Nine on the plans. The Boardmasters festival is the highlight for our youth in Cornwall and its viable future is of the utmost importance for the whole of Cornwall.”

Drew Creek, Deputy Mayor of Newquay and Green Party Councillor for Newquay Central & Pentire said, “Boardmasters is such a huge jewel in the crown of Newquay in the summertime, we are so privileged to be able to access worldwide artists such as Florence + The Machine, Kings of Leon and George Ezra to name a few, as well as the world's highest ranked surfers at the competition on Fistral Beach.

"Whilst we know it causes locals some limited disturbance it brings in £40 million to the wider economy of Cornwall and supports Newquay businesses each and every year. The Boardmasters Foundation does lots for the community in Newquay including the upcoming extension to the skatepark, donating to all local schools and supporting local community groups.

"I look forward to working closely with the team to ensure we make this the greatest and most sustainable festival in the UK.”

Mark Warren, Newquay Business Improvement District (BID) Manager, said: “Boardmasters is a mammoth annual gift to Newquay.  A significant number of local businesses experience their most busy and profitable week of the year during the festival.

"This year, as a BID we were delighted to be working collaboratively with Boardmasters to drive additional awareness, footfall and sales to a number of our businesses via the Boardmasters app.  We were also providing advice to all our businesses about how they could optimise the opportunities with Boardmasters festivalgoers.

"Given this mutually beneficial relationship, if and when challenges occurred during the week, we were able to immediately connect directly with the organisers and collectively and proactively provide swift, on-the-ground solutions.

"Going forward, we’re creating even more opportunities to allow Newquay businesses and organisations to benefit. We wholeheartedly support the Boardmasters’ application for a careful, and sustainable growth plan, with increased attendees and staff numbers, and are delighted to continually provide a two-way consultation between the event and our brilliant Newquay BID businesses.”