Promoter Vision Nine has submitted a licensing application to Cornwall Council to increase the capacity of surf and music festival Boardmasters to 58,000 for next year and 65,000 by 2025.
Vision Nine said it has taken “proactive measures” in the application process in full consultation with the safety advisory group, which has been underway since September 2022.
Boardmasters is currently a 53,000-capacity event (including on-site 3,000 staff). This year it hosted headliners Lorde, Liam Gallagher and Florence + The Machine. At Fistral Beach, where the Boardmasters open surf competition takes place, capacity will remain at 22,000.
Vision Nine said 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 public consultation process. The application is set to be submitted on the back of the promoter working with consultants covering the likes of crowd management and traffic management – including Spalding Associates, Avalon Planning, SLR Consulting, Vectos and Joynes Nash Acoustic Consultants.
Each year, Boardmasters commissions an independent report on the impact of the festival both economically and environmentally. The festival spends £2.1m with local suppliers to stage the event, equating to approximately 321 jobs being supported in Cornwall by this investment. Boardmasters brought £40m into the local economy in 2022 alone.
The Boardmasters Foundation has so far donated more than £436,000 to organisations, schools, charities and businesses in the region.
Vision Nine CEO Andrew Topham said the proposal would allow the promoter to take Boardmasters 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.”