If you're into great music, keeping fit and looking after the environment you'll have a great time at the Gold Coast Oceanfest which takes place at Croyde on North Devon's Gold Coast. It is held over the midsummer weekend every June and lasts from Friday to Sunday night.
Started in 1999, and reputedly “grown organically with great care ever since”, this vibrant Surf and Music Festival includes an eclectic mix of music for all tastes. The Gold Coast Oceanfest aims to stimulate freedom without daily restraints and it seems to be a runaway success without being totally out of control.
Those wanting to experience some good times while enjoying the fresh sea air that North Devon continually delivers, will definitely want to be part of this happening event.
Kick off with sports events at the Gold Coast Oceanfest
Gold Coast Oceanfest combines a number of great events over the weekend. There's the crowning of the Oceanfest King and Queen of the beach for a start. Beach volleyball lovers will be itching to take part in the largest open beach volleyball event in the UK which is one of dozens of sporting activities that make up the festival.
Other competitive sports that are the very backbone of Oceanfest include skateboarding, beach soccer, handball, ultimate Frisbee, surf lifesaving, paddleboarding, Ironman and Diamond Lady events. There's a testing trial of endurance to watch with the Beach Aquathon, and for youngsters there's the Nipper Challenge.
With discounted family tickets and events for all ages, it remains a very family-friendly event. Even if you don't intend to take part, there are some excellent demos of skateboarding and lifesaving skills and there's always a team or individual to cheer on in their particular sporting event.
Of course, surfing is a big part of the weekend as Croyde is known for its rolling Atlantic breakers. The gorgeous sandy beach, dunes and cliff top coastal path offer the chance for some great R&R. Local surfers will already know that the rides are generally short, but there is a point break off Down End. There is also a reef break at Baggy Point which is best for surfing at high tide. However, the slope of the beach does create rip currents at either end of the beach so care should be taken.
Music lineup at Gold Coast Oceanfest
The music is just as exciting as the sports with some great names attending each of the three days. On Friday, Natty brings reggae to the stage with songs from his new album. He is followed by Mason Jennings all the way from Minnesota, Luke Sital-Singh and rock group Willie and the Bandits.
Saturday's entertainment includes offerings from Nina Nesbitt, Hudson Taylor, Clean Bandit with their #1 single “Rather Be”, Pete Murray, Sam Fender and others. Hang around for Sunday to hear Robin Auld, Winter Mountain, Saunton Road and Katy Thorn.
Getting to Croyde's Oceanfest
Getting to Croyde by public transport is fairly easy. The nearest railway station is at Barnstaple, about 10 miles from Croyde. From Barnstaple there is a frequent bus service to Croyde, especially during Oceanfest. If you are driving to Croyde, take the M5 to Tiverton then the A361 to Barnstaple and Croyde.
With over 20 live acts and beach/watersports galore, tickets to Gold Coast Oceanfest sell out fast so you need to get organised and prepurchase your tickets online. Ticket purchases allow visitors unlimited access to all events over the three days, so they offer great value for money for a fun-tastic midsummer solstice weekend on the beach in North Devon.
Have you attended the summer solstice Gold Coast Oceanfest in a previous year? We'd love to hear what you enjoyed most about this action-packed event on Croyde beach.