Boardmasters cancellation a 'bitter blow' for Newquay businesses

People at Newquay train station
Image caption People were queuing at Newquay railway station after Boardmasters was cancelled

The last-minute cancellation of Boardmasters festival amid storm warnings is set to hit Newquay businesses hard.

The annual event makes the second week of August the busiest of the year for the town's traders, bringing in tens of thousands of visitors and an estimated £45m.

Kim Conchie from Cornwall's Chamber of Commerce said it was "a bitter blow".

One business said an order of "several thousand" pasties had been cancelled.

Fiona Rick, from Cornish Premier Pasties, said a customer had been planning to pick up a large batch of the snacks on each of the festival's five days.

Cornwall councillor Oliver Monk said Boardmasters was "like Christmas" for the area.

"It's three days of maximum trade and cancelling it has a massive, massive knock on effect for all the businesses in town," he said.

Image copyright Lee Kirby
Image caption The music festival at Watergate Bay attracts world class acts and thousands of fans

Tim Rowe - Rip Curl

Image caption Tim Rowe said they had lost out on "T-shirts and hats" trade

He said customers from the festival "tend to come in and buy caps and T-shirts".

"I put on extra staff because so many people come in the shop," the shop manager added.

"My biggest problem is that families are put off coming this week because of Boardmasters.

"So not only have we lost the T-shirts and hats trade from the festival goers, we won't get the families buying wetsuits and surfboards either."

Damian Rowe - Newquay Camping and Leisure

Image caption Damian Rowe had ordered 500 ponchos

He said the cancellation could cost the shop up to about £6,000.

We sell more wellies this week than the rest of year put together so have a couple of hundred pairs," he said.

"Last year we didn't have enough ponchos so I ordered 500 of them.

He said he also stocked up on cheap tents but said they would "last till next year and maybe some proper campers will now come into town because the festival isn't on".

Nick Coates - Bro Clothing

Image caption Nick Coates has had a pitch at Fistral beach for the last six years of Boardmasters

He said organisers "made the call for the right reasons, for public safety".

Mr Coates added: "I saw it in 2014 when the weather got really bad and they wanted to avoid that. It can be very dangerous at Watergate where it is exposed with lots of heavy equipment around.

"It's not good for the traders. Last year was amazing so I have travelled from Germany to be here.

"There won't be so many people down here but we should still get some good traffic for the surfing so it's not a complete loss, but it won't be as good as it could be.

"We don't pay small amounts for the pitches so we are hoping we may get some money back, or perhaps have it free next year."

Chris Rome and Aaron Richmond - 24 Hour Club

Image caption Chris Rome and Aaron Richmond are from Peterborough

Mr Richmond said the cancellation would have an impact.

"People from the festival often come down here during the day so we won't see so many people. We found out last night and it's a big disappointment," he said.

"The atmosphere has completely dried up here - it's all anyone is talking about and it's not a nice topic.

"For trade this is not good news. Last year the pitch opposite made £3,000 to £4,000 a day. I didn't make that much, but still did well."

Mr Rome added: "Hopefully the big surf will bring people down to Fistral but we are a bit concerned about numbers. We want to have a good time but we are here to make money."

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Media captionSome festival-goers vowed to have a good time despite travelling for twelve hours

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