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Boardmasters brings consent education to schools

Boardmasters brings consent education to schools

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Today, Boardmasters Festival announces its latest initiative to provide education and insight to young people and parents before attending their first music festival. In a festival-industry-first, Boardmasters has teamed up with The Schools Consent Project and It Happens Education. They will provide a series of workshops and webinars to tackle tricky topics such as consent to equip young people with the information they need before arriving on site.

Boardmasters, the surf and music festival in Cornwall, attracts 50,000 attendees each year. It is now taking a significant stride forward in the industry, leading the path for more uplifting discussions. The festival’s objective is to address social issues at their core, aiming to reshape behavioral patterns. Boardmasters is also a proud participant in the AIF’s Safer Spaces charter, joining forces with over 60 UK festivals to combat sexual harassment, advocate for ‘zero tolerance,’ and educate festivalgoers.

“Andrew Topham, CEO and Founder of Boardmasters Festival, expressed his delight in partnering with The Schools Consent Project and It Happens Education. These organizations are recognized for their valuable efforts in providing information and facilitating important discussions with young people and parents, addressing both festival-related and everyday topics. Bringing these initiatives to Cornwall and directly engaging with students and parents is a source of pride for us. Ensuring the safety and well-being of our attendees is our top priority as a festival. In addition to implementing various measures, protocols, expert teams, and third-party providers on-site, we have taken an extra proactive step this year by extending support to schools and parents.”

The Schools Content Project

The Boardmasters Foundation has contributed funds to The Schools Consent Project this year. These funds will support volunteer-led workshops in Cornwall and the South West region, aimed at educating secondary school students about consent. The initial workshops will be conducted at Truro High School and Treviglas Academy next month. Led by legally trained volunteers, these workshops provide essential education on consent, equipping young people with the necessary knowledge and understanding of consent according to the law before they encounter real-life situations.

Lawyer-led workshops are being introduced to Cornwall to promote open discussions about consent. These workshops will cover various aspects such as the legal definition of consent, recognizing and obtaining consent, understanding the age of consent, bystander intervention, seeking help, and more. The aim is to provide young people with valuable tools to comprehend these intricate subjects, not just at festivals but also in everyday life.

“The Schools Consent Project, led by Monica Bhogal, expresses gratitude for the support received from Boardmasters. This partnership enables us to expand our reach and offer consent workshops in schools across Cornwall and the Southwest. Our organization firmly believes that education is a key preventive measure. By teaching students about sexual consent laws and equipping them with accurate and comprehensive knowledge of their rights and responsibilities, we empower the next generation to make safe, respectful choices regarding sexual consent and cultivate fulfilling relationships. We strive to change the narrative by normalizing consent, respect, communication, and meaningful conversations. Our core belief is that education provides the most effective means to challenge harmful attitudes towards sex within society. Early and ongoing conversations play a vital role, and by providing young people with a solid framework, we empower them to maintain safety while fostering healthy intimate relationships that foster personal growth.”

It Happens Education

Recognising that there are plenty of parents out there with natural concerns as their young people head to music festivals for the very first time, Boardmasters has teamed up with education consultant Zoe Shuttleworth (BA, ILM, NVQ, Director) from It Happens Education. Zoe will host parent webinars, discussing the realities of festival life and delving into the conversations parents could be having with their children before they head to site. As well as exploring the adolescent brain, alcohol, consent and sexual activity, there will also be discussions around Boardmasters-specific topics including safety on the beach and coast. It Happens Education is a team of safeguarding-trained RSHE specialists with extensive experience working with students, parents and teachers in schools. They are qualified teachers, doctors, nurses, authors, inspectors and subject specialists who focus on research, the evidence base and reducing harm in the lives of young people.

The webinars are scheduled on July 10 and 13 through Zoom. They are open to parents and guardians of young attendees at this year’s Boardmasters event. Online booking will be available soon, and participants will be requested to submit questions in advance for customized sessions focused on their specific inquiries.

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According to Zoe Shuttleworth, Director of It Happens Education, “We are excited to collaborate with Boardmasters in addressing the specific concerns and queries of parents, carers, and guardians leading up to the event. While there is ample information and support available to ensure the safety of young people at the festival, it’s important that they feel comfortable seeking assistance. It’s commendable that Boardmasters is involving and empowering parents to determine the topics and conversations they want to have with the young individuals in their lives. Being prepared and well-informed is crucial for assessing risks, considering consequences, making wise choices, seeking help, and enjoying a fantastic time at Boardmasters.”

Boardmasters 2023

It’s less than 50 days to go until Boardmasters 2023 and the countdown is officially on! This year is set to be the biggest and best Boardmasters yet, with massive headliners: Lorde, Liam Gallagher (UK Festival Exclusive) and Florence + The Machine. Plus, over 200 more world-class acts and so much more including new festival stages, areas to explore, after-parties, wellness and the best in international surfing. Boardmasters is Cornwall’s own surf and music festival, taking place from 9 – 13 August across two stunning sites in Newquay, Cornwall. Final day tickets are on sale now here.  

The Boardmasters Foundation

The Boardmasters Foundation was founded in 2017 with the aim of giving back and supporting the festival’s culture and local communities. It seeks to expand upon the festival’s yearly fundraising efforts and charitable contributions. Every year, Boardmasters raises funds for the foundation and carefully selects projects and charities to support through one-time donations, while maintaining partnerships with long-term collaborators.

The Boardmasters Foundation raises funds annually at the Boardmasters festival. Interested groups and organizations can apply to The Boardmasters Foundation by visiting, where the 2023 application process will open soon. Applications are evaluated based on the Foundation’s key pillars of focus: Community, Force for Good, and Culture.

Boardmasters stage sea beach aerial credit Sophie Boardmasters
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