With its haut-boho vibe, the Port Eliot Festival in Cornwall has become one of Britain’s most colourful artistic gatherings. Run by the Earl and Countess of St Germans, with a medieval priory and a Humphrey Repton park as its backdrop, it finds room for wild swimming, cookery demos, a fashion zone and a flower show alongside cultish bands such as British Sea Power.
New this year is an outdoor cinema with Martin Scorsese choosing a double bill each night at dusk, plus a Poetry Takeaway offering “free, made-to-order” poems. The authors appearing include Edmund de Waal, A.C. Grayling, Gillian Slovo and the writers of “Peep Show”, while Martin Parr holds an instant photography exhibition. “We wanted to create a place where anything goes,” says Catherine St Germans, once a columnist on this magazine. “We can’t offer artists a lot of money, but we can offer carte blanche—which is a rare thing in this day and age. We were told that to succeed a festival must be either literary or musical, but that’s proved to be wrong.”
Port Eliot Festival July 21st to 24th