I went to RattlerFest and it was the perfect start to festival season

The silent disco in the woods
The silent disco in the woods -Credit:CornwallLive

One of the best things about summer is the number of festivals. Over summer, Cornwall has some incredible events, from festivals attracting thousands like Boardmasters to The Great Estate, the Eden Sessions and Tunes in the Dunes, there are plenty of events to pick from.

No matter if you want family-friendly fun to adult-only weekends, there are endless events for everyone this summer. With a number of festivals planned for this summer, RattlerFest 2024 was my first one of the season. And what a way it was to start.

Being born and bred Cornish, Rattler is anything but new to me. So when Rattler-maker Healey's Cyder farm announced it was hosting a two-day festival to celebrate its delicious and punchy drinks, I was desperate to go. Their first festival kicked off in 2021 and thankfully it has returned since, making this year the fourth annual event, and I'm hooked.

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For anyone who hasn’t had a pint of Rattler, go and find a local pub with it on draught. It’s easily one of the best pints to drink in the sun, and trust me, it’s even better in a field, surrounded by friends and live music.

My friends and I arrived and were directed through the Rattler site with ease from the friendly wardens, armed with their own Rattler drinks of course. Getting our wristbands was easy enough. Maybe because we didn’t arrive on the first day like everyone else, but it was the easiest ticket collection I’ve ever had. With our bright green wristbands secured, we were away.

After setting up our tent, which let me tell you, was the source of our problems, we were ready for a day of it. Walking into the site we were greeted by stalls of vendors, the main stage and fairground rides. Immediately, there were crowds of people, some in fancy dress, a few bright red from sunburn, most dripping in Rattler swag, but all having a great time.

The main area at RattlerFest
The main site at RattlerFest 2024 -Credit:CornwallLive

As far as festivals go, it is on the smaller side, proved almost instantly as I bumped into people I knew before we had even reached the queue for the bar. But what they lack in space they make up for by packing so much into the site.

As responsible adults, we decided that we should eat something before we got too merry on the Rattler. There were plenty of choices of vendors, from Thai food to fried chicken and fish and chips, there really were so many options, we weren’t sure where to go.

Eventually we settled on loaded fries, it seemed like the best option for us to eat quickly. There was hardly a wait, we spent more time deciding what we wanted than anything else, and they definitely delivered. With meat, veggie and vegan options, we ate our feast in the sunshine, and even met a group of girls who were happy to chat away to us while we did.

The main stage
The main stage -Credit:CornwallLive

As far as stages go, there were a few to choose between. The Apres Ski tent had a DJ playing what can only be described as mum pop. No complaints, who doesn’t love singing along to Elton John and The Weather Girls with strangers? The main stage was constantly packed so we loitered in the sun outside of the crowd, enjoying what we could. I did also really love the big yellow bus stage, which seemed to just have performers standing on the roof singing down to the crowds below.

Over the weekend there were performances from Scouting for Girls, The Zutons, East 17, Dick and Dom and so many more. Honestly for a smaller two day festival the line-up was very impressive, there was never a dull moment where we were looking for something to do. We didn't get to watch all the performers that we wanted to, as usually happens, but it didn't put a dampener on the weekend at all. I never felt like I missed out on something or sacrificed going someone because it was all incredibly fun.

Although we didn’t go on any of the fairground rides - it seemed like a recipe for disaster - we did stop at the shootout stand. It’s pretty self explanatory, but you go in, have a shot of tequila topped with worm, and you’re then handed a loaded paintball gun and let loose to shoot your mates. After a few pints in the sun, what is there to hate about that.

The silent disco in the woods was one of the coolest experiences of the whole festival. Who doesn’t love a silent disco anyway? But to be in the middle of the woods with techno style lights bouncing off the trees was just great. But be warned, if you’re ever drunk in the woods at a silent disco, the ground is uneven and you’ll likely fall and hurt yourself. I have the bruises and bramble scratches to prove it.

Dick and Dom DJ set in the main stage
Dick and Dom DJ set in the main stage -Credit:CornwallLive

The one thing that sadly put a damper on the weekend was mine and my friends' lack of preparation. We enjoyed every minute of the festival, but as it is only April, it got pretty cold when the sun went down, which meant we had a restless night.

Our tent was easy to assemble, but it did not provide us much (anything) in the way of warmth or insulation. Even with me and my friends gravitating towards each other for some sense of heat, we were unfortunately left having a sleepless night, shivering.

Were we severely optimistic about the night time temperature? Yes. Were we embarrassingly underprepared to camp? Also yes. If you’re going with more than an afternoon to plan and pack, you’ll be fine camping. Shout out to my mate who doesn’t drink hot drinks but went out and picked up coffees for the group in the morning. Chloe, you are the best ever, and next time I promise I won’t make you sleep on the floor.

Packing up was easy enough because as I said, we were not prepared so had next to nothing to carry back to the car. With our pop up tent squeezed back into the bag, we chucked everything back in the car and set off home. If you're looking for a suitable tent for festivals this summer, I would recommend you look at one like the Geediar Automatic Pop Up Tent which is not only easy to assemble, but also sleeps up to four people. It's currently on sale on Amazon for £54.99.

Overall, it was an amazing experience. The organisers did an incredible job to make such a seamless experience for everyone. All the staff were friendly and helpful, there was a great selection of stalls and vendors and the music and drinks were flowing constantly.

Super Early Bird tickets have gone on sale for RattlerFest 2025. They went on general sale on Monday (April 22) so if you’re keen to secure them for next year, buy those here. Don’t worry if you miss the Early Bird ticket sale, you’ll have a chance to get tickets later. You can get tickets for next year's festival, or book a tour of the Cyder Farm at Healeys Cornish Cyder Farm, TR4 9LW.