The Rock Oyster Festival – the most eccentric little festival around
The Rock Oyster Festival is the greatest most authentic little festival you’ve never been to, featuring the best bands you’ve never heard of. It’s the festival where for two glorious days and nights each summer, you can be part of the bohemian party scene of North Cornwall.
Set in beautiful rural Cornwall on the banks of the River Camel it’s actually not that close to the village of Rock (from which it takes it’s name) and though there are some oysters available to eat somewhere on the 20 acre site, they are by no means the focus of this get together… it’s this resolute eccentricity and commitment to the original idea of what festivals should be: apart from the everyday, a place to party safely with your friends and family, a place where the unexpected does happen – that makes ROF one of the great experiences of the Cornish Summer.
It’s the party that three thousand in the know locals and increasing numbers of discerning families and travelling revellers have been heading to for the last nine years.
It’s the brainchild of the irrepressible organiser Charlie Anderson: “the idea is that ROF is a great party, a proper underground festival, a safe place to bring your kids or your mother and definitely not a rip off”.
And it certainly is good value with tickets starting at £22 for adults and under 12s going free. Camping is on site with quiet areas for families and decent security. Beer is cheaper then your local pub and better – it all comes from the Padstow Brewery, rowed up the river on the tide for the most eco friendly no road mile delivery of ale in the country.
The food is varied, local fare from seafood to wood fired pizza to Argentinian barbeque and crumpet. Padstow Brewing ales and cider bar, Mission wines, Igloo cocktails and Voltans Gin Emporium are convivial highlights as are the renowned Porthilly oysters of course, grown just two hundred yards down the river.
It doesn’t set out to be, but this is a festival whose green credentials are forged from just being a well planned local event. Access to the site can be made from the world famous Camel Trail. Most people travel from Wadebridge – a two mile walk or bike ride on the trail or park with easy access at the site itself. There’s even secure bike parking for serious cyclists who want to arrive by peddle power alone
And then there’s the entertainment – there’s no big names here but you will rock to headliners Caravana Sun and Dr Meaker, you will dance the night away in the Igloo bar and your kids will be entertained by various bearded woodland educators, circus types or just by running around free on the enclosed site.
There is a moment that everyone who comes to Rock Oyster Festival relates to – it’s the moment you realise you’re having fun and you really have managed to duck out of real life for a weekend… and if you come to the best little festival you’ve never heard of and you have that moment of pure enjoyment, that creeping realisation that festivals are actually still a place for inclusivity, idealism and love – then at that moment you become part of the North Cornwall scene – Come to Rock Oyster Festival and be a local.
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