Hidden in the trees lies one of the UK’s most intriguing festivals: The Great Estate, packed with sun-soaked silliness and incredible music.

Nestled in the heart of Cornwall, The Great Estate Festival returned for 2024 with promises of an unforgettable blend of music, arts, and culture. This eclectic event, held at the picturesque Scorrier House, has become a staple of the UK’s small festival scene. Known for its quirky charm and diverse line-up, The Great Estate has fast become one of Cornwall’s Summer highlights.

For the third year, we at RouteNote got to experience the magic first hand to bring you an account of what this secluded wonderland holds in wait for music lovers, thrill seekers, and sun chasers. So whether you’re looking for reasons to come next year or you attended and are already missing The Great Estate, join us for a wrap up of one the UK’s most magical festivals.

Here’s why The Great Estate Festival is a must-attend.

A Feast for Music Lovers

The sun came out just in time for The Great Estate, illuminating the acts of the main stage and emboldening a beautiful sense of summer escapism. As you enter the festival, your trail takes you through a shroud of trees and leads towards the light where the woods suddenly open up to the wonders of the festival opening before you.

Fairground rides, colourful tents, and head-turning activities greet you in the festival area, encapsulated by beautiful woodland. Head through the bubble of thriving goings-on to find the main stage, framed by the natural beauty of an expansive copse.

The Great Estate 2024 main stage
The main stage: Home to the weekend’s biggest acts

The main arena played host to numerous fantastic acts across the weekend, headlined each night with a new standout performance. Friday night we saw the timeless classics of The Stranglers; there’s something poetic about watching Golden Brown as the sun slowly sets. The Saturday night was stamped with the indelible power of The Darkness, blasting guitar riffs and falsetto tones that you can’t help but smile at. Then the soulful fun of Soul II Soul led the weekend out with style on the Sunday evening.

Numerous local acts helped to populate the smaller stages with a non-stop medley of fantastic music. A little walk into the Cornish Orchards Fruit Cider Forest reveals a gorgeous area for up-and-coming acts, drifting their sounds between the tree trunks.

The Great Estate 2024 BBC Music Introducing stage
The BBC Music Introducing stage brings fresh acts to light

As the sun sets, the main stage gives way to the festival’s famous silent disco. This year, the silent disco emerges from the woods to take centre stage in the main arena, offering a bigger, badder, better late-night party with the space to lose yourself in throwing your wildest shapes.

Whether you’re standing in awe at the main stage or exploring the hidden corners of The Great Estate, you’re sure to have your ears tickled by something unique and always enjoyable. But there’s something for all the senses at The Great Estate Festival and there’s still much more to see.

Arts and Culture Galore

The Great Estate Festival is a celebration of art and culture, and that goes beyond the incredible music on display. Scorrier House, with its lush gardens and historic charm, serves as the perfect backdrop for a variety of artistic installations and performances. From contemporary sculptures to interactive art exhibits, the festival encourages creativity and participation.

Past the grandeur of Scorrier’s estate house, refined class gives way to bohemian intrigue. Your eyes are drawn to a huge circus tent, promising something a little different. This is Madame Wong’s House of Wrong but let us clarify that if this is wrong, we don’t want to be right!

The Great Estate 2024 Madame Wong
Discover the weird, wacky, and wonderful in Madame Wong’s House of Wrong

Here you have the more bizarre of the weekend’s acts including mesmerising cabaret, raucous comedy, and musical acts a little out of the norm, including: Mik Artistik’s Ego Trip‘s weirdo musical poetry and The Beatle’s Dub Club‘s collection of Beatles songs like you’ve not heard them before. Take time out to watch an exclusive drag race and rediscover childhood wonder with circus tricks.

Beyond Madame Wong’s wonderland, there is so much more to discover. A compact, tented market offers vintage clothing, boutique fineries, and antique intrigue; Fantastic food stalls fill the air with enticing scents, giving rise to the age old question of: “What should we eat?”; And if you’re feeling a little sore from the night before (or simply riding a peaceful high), The Zen Den and Wellness Workshop Tent offer some meditative respite.

Stop for a little taste of Summer at the Pimm’s bus

The Great Estate is a wholesomely family-friendly festival by day, offering activities for all ages to enjoy. Fairground rides provide a thrill, whilst a Victorian Sports day offers the competitive festival-goers an old-school challenge. Axe-throwing and blacksmithing provide a taste of rugged, simple pleasures. Everywhere you look, there is something joyous to get involved in.

Amongst the sounds of delight at the core of the festival is a skating ramp, awash with learners and experts alike displaying their skills and having fun. If I were in the mood to crash and smack my face, I’d be right there with them! As it stands, simply watching the festivities surrounding you, washed in bounding rays of sun, provides a thrill all of its own.

The Great Estate 2024 skate ramp
Heaven is a halfpipe

It is enlivening to see young ones having a gleeful time alongside young adults. All the way up through the generations, The Great Estate brings a smile to the faces of attendees. It’s the perfect place for parents to let loose with the security of a good time for all, whilst still catering to singles and couples of all ages looking for fun.

A Cornish Wonderland for All To Discover

Stepping through the forest, brushing past flying books and magical mirrors, you truly feel like Alice entering another world. The Great Estate has defined its aesthetic and it achieves it with such a roaring success that you become fully sucked in from the moment you enter through the main gates.

Cornwall in itself is special: The remote corner of the UK surrounded with beaches of tropical beauty and awash with greenery. It’s a place that Justin and Dan Hawkins, the musical brothers of The Darkness, have fond childhood memories of. During their set, singer/guitarist Justin recounts the nostalgic breeze of Cornish holidays – and the less romantically stamped memory of his parents conceiving his guitarist brother on holiday in Cornwall.

The Great Estate takes the magical feeling of losing yourself in nature and offers it alongside an intoxicating combination of vintage class and the free-spirited avant-garde to create what manifests as a unique, sprawling garden party. The weird and the wonderful combine at Scorrier House for a weekend escape that feels beyond time and place. It is fitting that a family-friendly festival is capable of making you feel like a child again with its mesmerising surroundings.

Mesmerising scenes lie waiting in the trees – Image credit: The Great Estate 2024, Matthew Hawkey

It has been thrilling for us at RouteNote to watch the festival progress from its very first year to the mature, self-assured event it is today. With each year, The Great Estate comes into its own a little more – but it has always known what it is:

A bright display of the more extraordinary side of our culture, a celebration of joy in pure fun and wacky entertainment, and the eternal marvel of getting lost in the woods and discovering the extraordinary on the other side of the rabbit hole.

You can view all of our videos from The Great Estate Festival on the RouteNote Sessions YouTube channel. See what we thought of the festival’s previous iterations in our articles below.

Head here to find The Great Estate’s official website and keep your eyes peeled for next year’s tickets to ensure you don’t miss out on what is sure to be another enchanting and irresistible event.