The 2016 Porthleven Food Festival tops 30,000 visitors!

A view of the festival

Yet again, the Porthleven Food Festival was a huge success. This festival now in its eight year has become one of the major festivals in Cornwall. This year saw the event being held over two full days. And boy it was busy. Initial estimates on the number of people attending this year’s festival is looking at 30,000 plus. An amazing number of people for a relatively new festival in Cornwall.

This festival is made possible by the dedication of the band of volunteers who are part of the festival committee. On top of those hard-working committee members who start to be involved with the planning starting at least eight-months before the event itself; an equally important group is the  band of volunteers who help out on the days. This festival is a truly community led festival. Well done to all who make this happen.

This years festival kicked off on Friday night with the newly created Golden Oyster Awards. The Golden Oyster Awards’ were formed to celebrate and recognise the wealth of all things food that Cornwall has to offer. I had the privilege to welcome Daphne Skinnard from BBC Radio Cornwall and Malcolm Bell from Visit Cornwall to present the awards. The Ship Inn and Kota were two of the award winners which are based in Porthleven.

Though-out the weekend there was so much fantastic food on offer to sample and to buy. Also in the Shipyard Marquee, you had two days of talented chefs from Cornwall showcasing their culinary skills to large audiences. And then in both evenings, you could be entertained with music from a wide variety of musical tastes.

This year also saw the return of  the food festivals floating mascot.

Like previous year’s this festival was not just about food and music. The Moors field hosted the first Porthleven Literary Festival, as well as the young persons area which was hosted by Swamp Circus.

On Saturday evening, the festival goers were treated to a fantastic firework display that seemed to go on for ages.

Finally on Sunday saw the eagerly awaited Porthleven Food Festival Auction. This years auction had 46 lots, which had been kindly donated by businesses and individuals. The auction raised a massive £3,800 which will be shared between the festival itself and the Porthleven Lights Committee. Huge thanks have to go to my fellow auctioneer, Tom William and the glamorous ladies Suzie Williams and Ness Wellz!


Ness, Tom, me and Suzie, the auction team!

A great festival organised by great people. Thank you and well done.


  • John

    While you’re busy playing mr popular and cuddling up to women, what do we council tax payers in Porthleven actually get out of the food festival except crowds, road closures and noise. No doubt you won’t publish my comment.

  • Andrew Wallis

    Actually, as a rate payer you paid 2p per household from the donation of £500 Porthleven TC made.

    The rest of the money comes from fundraising, selling pitches to the stall holders and other donations etc. Takes about £50k to put on this festival and this money is raised by the hardworking committee.

    I think that’s pretty good value. There were also no road closures, but road restrictions to make it safe for those who attended. Vehicles could pass. There were no noise complaints lodged either.

  • Gilly Zella Martin

    Porthleven gets an enormous amount out of the food and music festival, it gains trade for local businesses which in itself helps the local economy. It raises money for different causes, this year the lights committee, which benefits Porthleven. It not only provides a source of entertainment but also is educative for some. Porthleven can be proud to host the festival, well done to all those that make it happen.

    Oh, and Andrew does not have to “play Mr Popular” because he is genuinely popular.

  • John

    And of course you asked us residents if we wanted the town council to pay towards it and if we wanted the noise and disruption every year. £500 here and £500 there from the town council all mounts up, unbelievable attitude towards the council tax payer.

  • John

    How about £500 here and £500 there to of kept the clock tower in maintenance all these years. No wonder the town council don’t deserve to use it.

  • Andrew Wallis

    Well, in the last 9 years, the town council has spent 36k on maintaining the institute.

  • Andrew Wallis

    You could have attended the town council meeting and lodged your objections. It was advertised on the agenda

  • Lesley Connochie

    I think the food festival is a great idea. However my concern is the amount of cars parked in and around our road and surrounding roads caused a real issue. Also the amount of litter. For instance the bin opposite the Blue was still overflowing yesterday. People wanting to do the right thing and deposit their litter/dog waste were unable to do so and that was 2 full days after the festival finished. There was also lots of waste along Methleigh Bottoms some of which was glass causing a hazard to dog walkers. So a lack of bins in the outlying areas really makes the place look shabby. Is this something that could be looked at for next year please?

  • Andrew Wallis

    I will feed it back to the organisers.

  • Moray Bowater

    I hear it was a great festival and I’m sorry I missed it. Well done to all those involved in making it happen and thank you for all your hard work.

  • John

    Perhaps you should feed back to the organisers that Anthony Worral Thompson would be better replaced with someone who doesn’t use the f word several times when there are youngsters there. I would of thought you being a children’s worker should take action on this.

  • Andrew Wallis

    It has been fed back to the committee.

  • Isabell Austin

    The food festival was, indeed, a great success once again and the army of volunteers superb. My one big disappointment was the music during the day. Like many other “locals”, we went down specially to hear the fabulous town band which, in previous years, has opened proceedings and put everyone in a good mood. It is such a shame that the organisers did not see fit to provide an adequate space for the band to play in. The band was treated abominably. One of the organisers suggested that ” perhaps a few of the band could stand and play for five to ten minutes “. What an insult and a dreadful manner in which to treat people who give freely of their time and skill (attained through many hours of practice). This band has achieved so much and is a great asset to Porthleven. In previous years we had a decent sized stage where a variety of excellent bands entertained during the day. This year, nothing except some solo buskers who could hardly be heard and were given little support or credence. I AM old but not against progress. However, I can assure you that I am not alone in hoping that next year the music will assume more importance – not less – and we can look forward to being entertained by some of the excellent local bands/groups we have in this area.

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