Bodmin riding FESTIVAL
The 2019 festival was the 'Revival year' after a year's hiatus. There was a brand new committee at the helm, and the festival was a great success.
The planning for 2020's event has begun already. To find out what's in the pipeline watch this space for details or join our mailing list at the bottom of this page.
FRIDAY 5th JULY
Feast of bodmin
WITH LIVE MUSIC FROM KESCANA & DANIEL WOODFIELD
Friday 5th July | 6pm-9pm | St Petroc's Church | FREE
FREE | ALL WELCOME
On the Friday night, we brought the townsfolk together in anticipation of the Riding & Heritage celebrations across the weekend with a shared feast, live music, a cash bar and plenty of free food to share.
Ahead of the shared Feast, St Petroc’s Church held a short service to mark the beginning of the Riding Weekend, including snippets of historical facts and dramatised stories, which everyone was welcome to attend.
The event was followed by live music from Black Eyed Nancy at Bodmin Folk Club at The Old Library.
SATURDAY 6th JULY
Bodmin's favourite day of the year, for a town wide celebration of Bodmin's past, present and future. We enjoyed a day of live music and entertainment to celebrate Bodmin's history, it's community and our rebellious spirit!
shop, eat, drink...
Around the town, throughout the day
In addition to the town’s shops being open for business as usual, we helped promote their many special offers for the Festival weekend, along with having stalls throughout the town which included local artists, makers and businesses along with local community groups and charities.
We were delighted that TeX - Textiles with a Difference and Cultivate Cornwall hosted their Eco-Market in Market House Arcade, bringing the best eco-traders from across Cornwall to Bodmin.
Supported by Bodmin Lions and Bodmin Rugby Club, we also ran a Riding Festival Pop Up Pub in Shire House Suite.
vintage bus tour
Around the town | Throughout the day | FREE
We were delighted to welcome back the free Bodmin Vintage Bus Tour, so festival-goers could take a tour of the town or use it get around between the various events, venues and attractions. The Festival Bus was once again sponsored by Bodmin Jail, Cornwall’s Regimental Museum and Bodmin & Wenford Railway.
Narisa Lawn | 11am & 2:30pm plus look out for walkabout performers around the town | FREE
Created and run by a talented group of young circus performers based in Cornwall, Vagabond Circus creatively combine theatre, dance and contemporary circus across a range of disciplines. Their Riding Festival debut came after performances at the Eden project, a whole host of other Cornish festivals, and across many other UK festivals and events. Embodying the spirit of playful mischief and rebellion, they took inspiration from our theme for their two shows on Narisa Lawn and for their walkabout throughout the town.
RIDING FESTIVAL HISTORY TRAIL
Around the town | Throughout the weekend | FREE
Supported by our own fundraising and a FEAST grant, we enabled five local artists and makers to work alongside groups of Bodmin children and young people. Together they created displays depicting some of our historic Festival themes. You’ll find these hosted in business windows across the town.
MUSIC, DANCE AND ENTERTAINMENT
Around the town | Throughout the weekend | FREE
FUTURE YOUTH DANCE
RENAISSANCE HISTORICAL DANCE SOCIETY
TAN HA DOWR
WADEBRIDGE STREET BAND
THE TINTAGEL STORYTELLER
CORNISH WRESTLING TOURNAMENT
FESTIVAL FAMILY AREA
...& MUCH MORE!
Flowers & Bones design for Bodmin Riding by Dan Oliver, 2019
The Children's Dance
12:45 for 1pm start | The Old Library to Narissa Hall Lawn
The traditional Children’s Dance led by Justine and Carmen with two exceptional Bodmin dance groups, Kick Back Street Kids (KBSK) and Future Youth Dance. They’ll gather at The Old Library at 12:45 for a 1pm start and will dance their way through the main street, into Priory Park and ending on Narissa Lawn.
Everyone is welcome to join in behind the procession to dance with the children, whether you know the steps or not - lets all join in and make the Children's Dance the biggest and best yet!
Find out more about the Children’s Dance & the Bodmin Riding Tune, or visit the Children's Dance's Facebook page.
to honour the oldest tradition of the festival - the collection of flowers by the townspeople of bodmin - festival goers came along in their finest floral attire...
We saw floral shirts, flower crowns, horses wearing floral garlands, even daisy beards!
flowers & bones procession
Starts 2pm at The Old Library, ends St Petroc's Church approx. 2:15pm
To mark one of the oldest surviving parts of the festival, we were joined by horses from Bodmin-based Hugs Foundation, children carrying the banners representing our town’s historic guilds, and the Barrel Bearer, a new honorary role, as we process to St Petroc’s Church with our floral tributes and the casket for St Petroc’s bones.
We processed from The Old Library, through the town to at St Petrocs Church where we raised a glass of Riding Ale to mark the occasion – generously donated by St Austell Brewery.
FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE FLOWERS & BONES TRADITIONS
The Trial of The Beast
Bodmin Riding Day | Saturday 6th | From 10am throughout the town, plus An Gwary Bosvenna (The Bodmin Play) at 15:49 on Mount Folly Square
Have you seen a big, hairy Beast prowling the streets? You best call the Helliers!
Each Riding Day, Justice Jan Tregeagle of the Ragadaziow sends out the Helliers to hunt down the monstrous Beast of Bodmin. He threatens to disrupt the historic procession of St. Petroc’s bones and his uncivilised appearance is spoiling the town’s celebrations. His pointy ears, pointy teeth and pointy tail have scared the townsfolk; they worry he’ll eat the children or, worse yet, scare the horses! After an exhausting six-hour chase over Halgavor Moor, the Helliers finally catch the Beast and return him to Bodmin to face justice.
Rebel Voices: THE BODMIN SHOUT
with Lowender Peran
Riding Day: Saturday 6th July | 12:30pm | The Mason's Arms | Free
We joined the Ragadaziow and raised our rebel voices in song! Following our Rebel Voices singing workshop with Lowender Peran, we proudly sang the traditional songs of the Bodmin Riding Festival in Cornish.
the legend of jan tregeagle
Cornwall's Regimental Museum | 10am-4pm
We we’re delighted to welcome Odd Planet Studios to then Festival with a fascinating display of set and puppets from their stop motion animation, The Legend of Jan Tregeagle. The first in a series of Cornish legends retold in stop motion by Odd Planet Studios, there are several recognisable Bodmin and Cornwall landmarks meticulously reproduced in miniature. The announcement of the preview will hopefully coincide with Riding Festival 2020!
The Beastly Ball
Bodmin Jail | Saturday 6th | 7:30pm - 1am
Tickets: £10 in advance, £15 on the door
The Hús Project and The Helliers celebrated all things about Bodmin Riding Festival with a curious night of live music, hearty singing and original dance moves in the Governor's Hall at the infamous Bodmin Jail.
Sun & Moon theatre present:
a midsummer night's dream
Cardinham Woods | Saturday 6th | 7:30pm - 10pm
intoBodmin kindly programmed Sun & Moon Theatre's magical production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night's Dream, as part of their Shaken Shakespeare season and picking up on our Riding Festival theme of mischief and rebellion!
SUNDAY 7th JULY
Exploring & Activities
Locals and visitors alike enjoyed free fun and games as they explored our special town, got hands on, tried something new, and discovered one of the many groups and activities to join.
The Sunday events were inspired by the Bodmin Riding celebrations of the 18th century which focused on sporting events and competitions. Activities included:
Bodmin Junior Parkrun
Sustrans & Explore by Bike Riding Festival Fun
Bike Skills Area
Explore by Bike Quiz Trail
BODMIN RIDING SERVICE
St Petroc's Church | 10am
The Church held its Riding Day service and extended a warm welcome to everyone to attend.
BODMIN WELLS WALK
WITH ALEX LANGSTONE
Meet at Priory Car Park, then around the town | 12pm-2pm | FREE
Folklorist and author Alex Langstone gave a guided walk to visit the holy wells of Bodmin town., where we discovered the folklore that has become associated with them and how each of the sacred springs fits into the rich history, tradition and culture of Bodmin.