Organisers of Cornwall's biggest music festival hope to expand the main festival arena and create a path for festivalgoers to walk into town.

The Vision 9 entertainment group has applied for the annual use of land for the Boardmasters festival at Watergate Bay, which this year includes plans to extend the main festival arena and create a footpath to the neighbouring village of Porth and on to Newquay.

The plans include the construction of two additional pedestrian routes, together with works to widen three existing access ways.

If approved the site would increase to 229.2 hectares from the current 184.5 hectares. A planning statement says the proposed increase in size of the event is designed to improve visitor experience, address habitat mitigation and to allow for managed future growth in line with what may be permitted under the licensing regime.

A licensing meeting will decide this week if capacity can increase from the 53,000 last year to 58,000 in 2024, 65,000 in 2025 and 66,000 in 2026.

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The proposals include an extension to the main festival arena area to the south west of the site to “enhance customer experience and provide opportunities for more intimate areas due to the layout of the additional area (i.e. a smaller field rather than a large open space) which is becoming a feature of many competitor events”.

There is scope for additional parking areas to the north, east and south which organisers say will support reduced traffic congestion around Porth as vehicles will spend less time queuing to enter the site.


An early afternoon performance at Boardmasters (Pic: Lee Trewhela / LDRS)

An early afternoon performance at Boardmasters (Pic: Lee Trewhela / LDRS)


A planned new footpath would lead from the festival site to Porth as there is currently no foot-way connecting the site with Newquay and this new route would provide a safe route for pedestrians. An additional area to the south would offer “biodiversity net gain” and would not be used for festival operations.

Additional and improved crossing points across the B3276 between the main arena and the camping areas would aid audience members entering and leaving the site. A new crossing point is proposed between Gates A and B. Gates C, E and F are existing field gate access points which will be widened, while Gate D will also be created via the removal of a short section of hedge to provide a link to Gate C.

There is no new permanent infrastructure proposed as part of the application. The changes to the overall site boundaries are modest, say the applicants.

For more details on the application visit the planning portal on Cornwal Council's website, reference PA24/00493.