The Polperro Festival is thrilled to announce its annual music event held over nine days from June 17 to 25 is back again in 2023. 

Featuring live entertainment including local musical acts, comedy shows and competitions, the Polperro Music Festival is also proud to celebrate the centenary of the renowned Polperro Fishermen’s Choir who will be performing at this summer event.

 The free entry Polperro Music Festival has been enjoyed by local villagers and visitors from all over the world for more than 25 years with the aim to highlight this pretty fishing village, situated just outside Looe, as a lively holiday destination.

 This year’s free to enter festival also marks the 100th anniversary of the local Polperro Fishermen’s Choir which was formulated in the community in 1923. The choir’s founder was Mrs Eva Cloke, a local fisherman’s wife who realised the need to preserve Cornwall’s singing heritage. As well as founding the choir, Mrs Cloke also became the conductor, making the Polperro Fishermen’s Choir the first in Cornwall to have a female conductor.

 Today, the Polperro Fishermen’s Choir, along with its subsection, The Wreckers, are both a festival highlight and a great favourite among the locals and the many visitors who come to the village year round. The choir’s president is television broadcaster and journalist Richard Madeley who lives in nearby Talland.

 The Wreckers can be seen playing at different venues in the village during the summer.  David Lashbrooke of the choir said: “For the Polperro Music Festival, the choir is singing on the Big Green on Wednesday, June 21, at 7.30pm. After that, the choir will transform itself into the Polperro Wreckers and also sing on the Big Green.”

Doctor Pete Brewer, the choir’s longest-serving singer, who has been a member for more than 40 years comments, “Singing at the Polperro Festival is a highlight of our year. The choir loves singing in the village, where we have very deep roots. We still rehearse and perform in Polperro chapel where the choir was formed by the fishermen 100 years ago” he explained. 

 Complete with marquees for the musical acts as well as refreshment outlets, The Big Green is situated in the very heart of the village. As the venue for the Polperro Music Festival, the Big Green is easily accessed whether visitors are holidaying in the village or journeying for the day.

 The free entry music festival will feature nine days of musical shows from local singers, bands and acts presenting different genres from folk to rock as well as comedy slots, arts and crafts stalls, a Foodie Friday event held on the 23rd of June and many other activities including the annual appointing of the next year’s Lord Mayor of Polperro.

 Chairman Simon Hunt, a former festival Lord Mayor, commented: “The tradition of appointing the new mayor goes back several centuries to a feast time when a local drunk or ne’er do well was appointed Mayor in a Mock Mayor Making ceremony. The ancient tradition recorded in 19th century naturalist and village local Jonathan Couch’s History of Polperro book was revived when the modern-day Festival was launched in 1996.

 “After the first Lord Mayor, who arguably inspired the flamboyant costume, each has had a specially designed robe and a hat or headgear which have become more elaborate over the years. There is a chain of office that is handed over each year – a heavy chain with a brass anchor. They have to deliver a speech when they take over giving a declaration of what they will do for the village during their year in office, they are then transported around the village on a cart pushed by a team of ‘Merry Men’ to each of the pubs where they ‘test’ the ale for quality and deliver a certificate if it is found to be up to standard. Their first day in office then ends with the Lord Mayor ‘Meeting the Tide’ - getting a dunking in the harbour!

 “With this in mind the Festival committee aims to put on a family event each summer.  It is with special thanks that the committee and the volunteers make the event possible. Of course it would not happen without our amazing visitors and locals all supporting us to make the event fun for all.”

 Visitors to the festival can enjoy the facilities of a large car park situated in the village and a wide selection of local shops, inns and cafes. Polperro is also accessible via a bus route which operates a regular service to the village. Food and drink from local suppliers and enterprises can be purchased along with many gifts, souvenirs and festival merchandise.