Boardmasters 2018 saw another stellar line-up of world-class musicians take to the 12 stages at Watergate Bay. The epic weekend of unmissable performances in unparalleled surroundings continues to delight the 50,000 festival goers at Cornwall’s very own surf and music festival despite the rain on Saturday night, there was plenty to keep everyone entertained from the tents to the main stage. Here’s a run down of an awesome weekend.
Friday kicked off with Main Stage headliners Catfish and the Bottlemen electrified the crowd with a set packed with anthems from their instantly anthemic albums ‘The Balcony’ and ‘The Ride’. In a UK festival exclusive, the Godfather of Grime, Kano, also delivered an unforgettable set. British pop sensation RAYE hyped the crowd with an animated set featuring recent radio staples ‘Decline’, ‘Friends’ and ‘You Don’t Know Me’.
On Saturday Grammy Award-winning electronic music duo The Chemical Brothers brought their dazzling hit-filled headline set to the Main Stage and proved exactly why they’re the original superstar DJs. Hot on the heels of their latest album ‘Palo Santo’, Years & Years delivered a vibrant and uplifting set filled with hits such as ‘Shine’, ‘Desire’ and ‘If You’re Over Me’.
Boardmasters came to an epic close on Sunday following an unforgettable five days on the Cornish coast with George Ezra delivered his hotly anticipated Main Stage headline slot filled with summer playlist staples including ‘Shotgun’, ‘Budapest’ and ‘Paradise’ as night fell across Watergate Bay and ended the night with an impressive blast of fireworks.
The Unleashed stage, where club-land & major arena acts meet for the biggest indoor rave in the South West, played host to the revered DJ and ‘17’ hitmaker MK, as well as megastar UK rapper Stefflon Don who treated fans with smashes including ‘Hurtin’ Me’ and ‘Ding a Ling’. Will Clarke, Fred V & Grafix, Audio Bullys and Light Layers also thrilled the dance crowds.
Saturday night saw Watergate Bay’s very own clubland, found BBC Radio 1’s Annie Mac spinning the best new dance music on Saturday night. Dance fans were equally as hyped for sets from innovator Shy FX who presented Cult:ure, ‘Rinse & Repeat’ chart toppers Riton & Kah-Lo, Brighton’s finest Kideko, the voice behind ‘More Than Friends’ Kelli-Leigh, as well as Monki, Shapes and Cakeboy.
Multi-platinum selling legend Craig David presented TS5 on Sunday. ‘How Deep Is Your Love?’ duo Disciples, Croydon MC Nadia Rose, bass music heavyweight Holy Goof, rising R&B crooner Bobii Lewis, DJ Proof and Danny Howard kept the party going until the early hours.
Friday saw sets from an eclectic mix of bands including indie rockers Everything Everything, alt-rockers Ash and 2017 British breakthrough band The Amazons. The Land of Saints stage drew a huge crowd as very special guest Lily Allen took to the stage on Saturday night. The controversial pop songstress recently returned to the scene after a 4 year hiatus with critically acclaimed album ‘No Shame’ and performed an unmissable set filled with classics ‘LDN’, ‘Smile’ and ‘Not Fair’. Founding father of hip-hop Grandmaster Flash had a similar turn out as fans flocked to see the iconic DJ Quick Mix in real life. Legendary rockers Feeder, mesmerising singer-songwriter Nadine Shah, up-and-coming guitar band Gengahr, scratchy funk band Flyte, Boca 45, Balcony and The Pearl Hearts also exhilarated crowds throughout the day.
On Sunday The Land of Saints welcomed ‘Jump In The Pool’ indie-rockers Friendly Fires and The Horrors. Confidence Man, Yonaka, Mildred Maude, Vinyl Staircase and Songhoy Blues also took to the stage which was closed with an epic DJ set from Boca 45.
Heart and soul of Boardmasters, The View, presented sea view sessions with The Beautiful Girls, Aldo Vanucci, Reach Up, Mr Doris & Wes Foster, Gentleman’s Dub Club, Joseph J Jones, Elisa & Srigala, Holiday Oscar, Low Island, Alex Lleo and Sam Sweeney. Indie-folk band Sons of the East also came all the way from the Northern Beaches of Sydney to mix their soulful acoustic vocals with electro beats at the Keg & Pasty stage.
The Point presented by Relentless kept the party going until the early hours with electro genre-defying DJ Steve Lawler and dubstep pioneer Skream. A man whose talents know no bounds, Idris Elba also took to The Point spinning some of the biggest dance anthems. Berlin-based duo Booka Shade hit the stage with their world renowned electro sound following enormous sets from Butch, Shadow Child, Two Tribes and Soulshape.
The Corona Sunsets stage which has to be one of the most stunning locations for a club setting, saw live DJ sets from George Fitzgerald, Romare and Mr. M, Nightmares on Wax, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, Mr. M, Nabihah Iqbal, Benin City, Andrew Ashong, Alex Conrad, Ollie Straton, Dat Brass and Easylife Sound Association providing the perfect backdrop for a Watergate Bay sunset.
Festival goers were also treated to Zennor Haven, the wellbeing area providing all things holistic, healing and wholesome including yoga, outdoor adventure, workshops and much more, enabling them to stay refreshed and energised throughout the weekend. An incredible 400 women headed to Watergate Bay on Friday and Sunday mornings to take part in a yoga session hosted by Roxy as part of their Make Waves, Move Mountains tour. With Roxy ambassadors Monyca Eleogram and Bruna Schmidt taking part in the event and a free Roxy towel and cap for everyone participationng the girls left with smiles on their faces.
The World Surf League surf competitions at Fistral Beach, the home of British surfing, wrapped up with France’s Edouard Delpero beating Great Britain’s Ben Skinner to win the UGG Men’s Longboard Pro final and European Men’s Longboard title, whilst the Philippine’s Aping Agudo claimed victory in the UGG Women’s Longboard Pro. Spain’s Andy Crier won the Quiksilver Open, the second in his young career, whilst France’s Juliette Lancome won the Roxy Open, her first ever win, not a bad start for the 15 year old surfer. For the full report go here.
Final Surf Results:
Quiksilver Open: 1 Andy Criere (SPN), 2 Daiki Tanaka (JPN)
Roxy Open: 1 Juliette Lacome (FRA), 2 Yolander Hopkins (POR)
UGG Men’s Longboard Pro: 1 Edouard Delpero (FRA), 2 Ben Skinner (GBR)
UGG Women’s Longboard Pro: 1 Aping Agudo (PHL), 2 Francesca Rubegni (ITA)
Photos courtesy Boardmasters.