West of England Bandsmen's Festival


Bugle Football Field, Molinnis Road, Bugle, Saint Austell, Cornwall, PL26 8QS

Tel: 01752 843919

West of England Bandsmen's Festival


This major musical festival was established in 1912 when the gramophone was in its infancy and the wireless had not been invented. Back then, live performances were the only opportunity of enjoying music and it was against this backdrop that the idea of a band contest was greeted with such enthusiasm. Now this annual event attracts over 20 bands from all over Cornwall and beyond.

What happens?

For one day, silver bands, brass bands and youth bands descend on the aptly named village of Bugle right in the middle of Cornwall’s clay mining area to compete for the festival’s prestigious awards. Bands are not only judged on their test pieces but also on their standard of marching and overall appearance and bearing.

How can you take part?

The morning of the contest day you can watch the march to the contest ground, initially introduced at the inaugural Festival in 1912 and retained as a popular feature ever since. Throughout the day the open air festival rings out to the stirring sounds of marches, hymns and overtures making it a perfect day out for music lovers. Take a picnic and enjoy the unique atmosphere of one of the most famous brass band contests in the world.

Did you know?

The Royal Trophy, which is awarded to the Championship Section winners, was presented to the Festival in 1913, by the late Duke of Windsor, then Prince of Wales and Duke of Cornwall, and to this day is the only trophy with a royal connection in the brass band world.


Map & Directions

Opening Times

Bandsmen's Festival (20 June 2020)