Reviewed: The Masked Ball
The Masked Ball is a fantastic boutique festival. It takes places just outside the absolutely stunning Cornish fishing village of Porthleven across the start of May over the Bank Holiday. We set off for our long 7-hour journey from Milton Keynes to Cornwall, with excitement in our bellies.
The line-up bolstered an array of electronic talent from Drum & Bass legend Roni Size to the always impressive Optimo, Kiwi, Psychemagik, Felix Dickinson, Pete Herbert and Austin Ato, to name but just a few.
Masked Ball is set just a few minutes from the main fishing village on the edge of a cliff face. When you arrive, you are basked with stunning views and radiant sunset, which is divine. The event is split across Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Saturday is the main event, the Grand Ballroom stage opens at Saturday at 8pm and doesn’t close till Sunday lunchtime, their 24-hour license allowing lengthier partying.
The first thing you notice when you arrive on site is the campsite is right in the middle of the festival, you get that old skool feel – you rock up, pitch a tent and the festival is just there. No off-site camping, extra gates to go thru, trudging 3 miles back to your tent – need a break, you are there. We LOVED this!
Friday night was a limited affair, people setting up tents/arriving and generally getting to the event. Four of the stages open including the Hot Tub Disco, the larger open faced tent (everything to party whilst seeing the sunset), The Deck, a stage called The Gramophone – yep it was shaped like a gramophone and very clever, and the Lazer Shack – this was more the bassier end of the festival.
The main house music party seemed to be down at the Gramophone and as we arrived Bonny James was playing back to back with Tippo, these guys had it rolling, great track selection and they had the small crowd bouncing, they were followed by the equally competent Barrington. Sunset and nightfall had descended and Sara Fry took over – she took things much tougher and the crowd loved this and so did we! The crowd amassed for her set and by the time she’d finished, the party was at the Gramophone for sure!
After spending a fabulous day in beautiful Cornwall (yep, you can leave the site if you wish) we headed back to the site at 7pm. The first noticeable different, almost 3 times as many tents and people. As we arrived, Psychemagik was playing a secret set in the Disco Hot Tubs, slower and groovy and utterly delightful to enjoy whilst the sun was in its descendants.
Saturday night at the Deck was a Futureboogie takeover. Futureboogie is a label we’ve been big fans of for a long time. Their line-up included the excellent Kiwi, Felix Dickinson, label head honcho Dave Harvey and that’s where our evening started and eventually ended.
After enjoying some great electronic music at the deck. We head to the lazer shack for a heads down rave-up to Roni Size, the vibe down there was incredible and it was great mixes of ages enjoying his set, which was lovely to see.
Due to scheduling clashes, we missed the mighty Optimo in The Grand Ballroom. We did head to the showpiece stage of the whole event after Roni Size. The Grand Ballroom was the biggest tent – which had removable sides – so you can take in the view, whilst you dance was pumping by the time we arrived. This to our delight was a full fancy dress affair with attires ranging from evening suits (ball dancing style) to the more wacky and wonderful.
The final day arrived and a delightful trip out to Lands End in the day. We headed back to the site. After loads a little stroll around the site, we noticed loads of the tents had gone. We had fully enjoyed Masked Ball and recommend it to everyone!
We thought they had too many music stages. A few less would have been still as good and would have compacted people in others making them busy.
We concluded our Cornwall adventure sat with a mass of people, chilling, chatting, listening to stunning music from Mongolian Disco Show. We are outside the deck – whilst watching a glorious final sunset.
Our Cornish weekend was capped off with a beautiful moment with two lovely people getting engaged in front of the sunset – shouts and love to them.
Photos by: @emrometcalfephoto / www.emrometcalfephoto.com