Boardmasters Adds Oceana as Official Environmental Department

Pic: James North for Boardmasters

Today, Boardmasters festival announces that it has forged a new partnership with leading ocean conservation organisation, Oceana. From 2024 and beyond, Oceana is now the official environmental partner of Boardmasters, Cornwall’s own surf and music festival which, since its inception, has proudly called the Cornish coast home. The partnership will see the two organisations join forces to raise awareness and take action with a collective goal of protecting the ocean and coastlines.

What’s more, to celebrate the partnership, Boardmasters and Oceana will be teaming up to host a special event at this year’s festival. It is announced today that the event at Fistral Beach Bar will feature an appearance from big wave surfing legends Greg Long and Laura Crane, for an exclusive Q&A. More details are set to be revealed soon!

Sustainability and environmental awareness has been a part of Boardmasters’ ethos since the beginning. Over the years, Boardmasters has taken industry-leading steps to reduce its impact on the local environment, working with leading consultants and innovative organisations,  as well as introducing tangible initiatives to drive real results, including the festival’s Green Pledge and #LeaveOnlyFootprints campaign. Each year, Boardmasters conducts an impact report to monitor, learn and improve. In 2023 alone, Boardmasters’ beach cleans covered 550 miles of Cornish coastline through 24 beach cleans, and a team of 164 volunteers gathered 92 bags of litter! That same year, festival goers embraced the single-use plastic ban. The festival and its partner Big Green Coach transported over 4,000 festival goers to the site via coach, saving a huge 1,891,693 miles.

Now, through collaboration with organisations like Oceana, continuing this work to make Boardmasters one of the most environmentally conscious and low-impact festivals out there.

Andrew Topham, CEO and Founder of Boardmasters said, “Boardmasters is proudly a festival which places great value on sustainability. Each year, we strive to become better and do more to preserve and protect our beautiful location and surrounding areas, reducing our environmental impact along the way. We have a long-standing relationship with Hugo Tagholm, so it’s a real pleasure to be able to announce this new and exciting partnership with Oceana which I hope will serve the oceans and the beautiful Cornish coast through positive action and awareness.”

Hugo Tagholm, Executive Director of Oceana in the UK said, “We’re delighted that Oceana has been selected as the official environmental partner for Boardmasters festival. I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to platform Oceana’s industry-leading campaigns to protect and restore Planet Ocean at this crucial time for our seas. We all depend on a healthy ocean, whether we live in city centres or on the stunning Cornish coastline. The festival fuses art, music, ocean culture, elite surfing, and now global ocean conservation. I’m stoked to see the Boardmasters longstanding commitment to our seas evolve to include Oceana. Thank you.”

Greg Long, Environmental Activist and Californian Big Wave Surfer said, “I’m stoked to be joining Oceana at Boardmasters festival to talk about big wave surfing, environmental activism, and the urgent need to protect and restore our global ocean at pace. Surfing has helped expose me to the issues and challenges our seas face, from plastic pollution to oil pollution, from climate change to industrial fishing. The time has come to safeguard our waves, ocean, and beaches, for all life on our beautiful planet. We can all play an important role in this mission. I’m looking forward to sharing more about my journey as an ocean activist, and supporting Oceana’s campaigns, and being part of the festival on the wild and beautiful Cornish coastline.”

Laura Crane, Environmental Activist and British Big Wave Surfer, said: “The Boardmasters festival is a brilliant opportunity to celebrate our ocean and take action to protect it.  Being a surfer, the ocean is my safe haven, so the idea that oil, plastic, or sewage pollution make it unsafe – for people and wildlife – is heartbreaking. But I am hopeful that we can turn that around, and great organisations like Oceana are helping to make that happen. I’m looking forward to discussing how we can all make a difference and protect this extraordinary world that is Planet Ocean.”

With more than 300 victories to stop overfishing, habitat destruction, oil and plastic pollution, and more, Oceana’s work is delivering results around the world. Based out of Cornwall and London, Oceana UK’s campaigns to safeguard UK seas are backed by the latest science, razor-sharp advocacy, and creative storytelling. They focus on ending new licences for oil and gas, ending overfishing, and banning destructive bottom-trawl fishing in marine protected areas. This month, Oceana is preparing to take the government to court over the severe threat to marine life caused by the latest licences for oil and gas exploration in UK waters.