Yeyy! It's Mazey! Your essential guide to Golowan 2017 – a huge celebration of midsummer

Penzance's Golowan Festival


Yeyy! It’s Mazey Day!

Forget Glastonbury, the biggest party of the weekend is right here in Cornwall! The streets of Penzance will once again be filled with music and dance from tonight til Sunday as on of the the biggest parties in Cornwall gets underway… brings you the essential guide!

But first, a Breaking News Update: Nigel & Tim Save the Day!

After a last minute ‘misunderstanding’ between several pubs that have outdoor music areas, the Police and various council Licensing Departments it looked like the dispute was going to spoil the party (it was to either ban the stages or force them inside).

The authorities said the venues needed to have their own TEN (Temporary Event Notice) application – the pubs said they were sure they were covered under the Golwan Festival TEN.

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PZ Deputy Mayor, DJ, snappy dresser and general local ledge Nigel Pengelly, with the help of Cornwall Labour Leader Cllr Tim Dwelly spent the morning sorting it all out.

It had been ‘like untangling balls wool’ said the Deputy Mayor, Cllr Pengelly.

But the Party is ON!

So PZ, you owe Nige and Tim a drink!

You can spend the afternoon suggesting appropriate titles of songs to the DJ Nigel Pengelly to spin over the weekend…


Stay safe and Enjoy!


Nige on his 40th Birthday
tim dwelly
Tim Dwelly

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CornishStuff brings you the essential guide to wasson : 

Golowan festival’s Mazey Day, launched each year by the Mayor of Penzance and the Mock Mayor of the Quay, is the centrepiece of the festival, in which artists, schools and other community groups fill the streets with music and giant sculptures in a series of parades. Tens of thousands of people line the main street of Penzance, Market Jew Street, which becomes a huge market place for the day, with traders selling all manner of goods as well as food from all around the world to delight the taste buds.

First up, Tonight (Friday)


7 pm onwards – The Marquee, St Antony’s car park – Pondlife 

It’s back!  By public demand and with massive thanks to Big Tow Productions, Golowan sees the return of the much-loved marquee!  What’s more, legendary local band Pondlife make a very special appearance for Golowan, supported by a guest DJ.

£7.50 in advance from The Crown, Fishboy PZ, Hairforce 1 and, £10 on the door

7 pm –  Silver Ghost band in Concert – Redwing Gallery

Redwing, Wood Street, 36A Market Jew Street, TR18 2HT –Tickets: £5, book in advance at Redwing or phone 01736 448402

A concert of waltz, tango, folk, jazz, Celtic and world music with lovely original songs

7.30pm – Penlee Park Open Air Theatre – Cornish Question Time –

Tickets £5 CRBO 01726 879500

Join BBC Radio Cornwall’s Laurence Reed in the Chair for Cornish Question Time with panellists to include Andrew George, Susan Stuart, John Harvey, Bert Biscoe and Paula Martin.  Questions may be posed with ticket purchase and we’re looking forward to a lively evening of debate!

Mazey Eve each year (from 10.45pm Friday night) after a spectacular fireworks display, the appearance of Penglaz, Penzance’s ‘Obby ‘Oss, accompanied by the Golowan Band.


MAZEY DAY   (Saturday 24th June)

Parades, street entertainment, music and bands, markets, all the fun of the fun fair, children’s activities and delicious food to savour, excitement at the Wherrytown Skate Park and family fun in Morrab Gardens…so much to see and do!  And don’t forget to pick up a Golowan souvenir at the Golowan Pop up shop.

Car parking is available at St Clare (the former Cornwall Council site) and at Penwith College (from 8am-9pm) as well as all other town car parks with the exception of Greenmarket and St Anthony’s.  St Clare and Penwith College car parking is free. But if you can, use public transport.

Mazey Day Parades – each one is different! 


10.00 am   Civic  Procession
From St. John’s Hall, down Market Jew Street to Market House where the Mayor and Mock Mayor address the crowds

11.00 am    Crowst Parade
From St. John’s Hall, down Market Jew Street & back.

Photo John Stedman

1.00 pm    Dinner Parade
From St. John’s Hall, down Market Jew Street & back.

3.00 pm      Crib Parade
From St. John’s Hall, down Market Jew Street & back.

Photo John Stedman

4.45 pm      Men and Maids
Dance the Serpent Dance through the streets of Penzance with the Golowan Band.





Golowan is introducing a Disabled Viewing area for the parades and this will be on Market Jew Street near the entrance to Wharfside Shopping Centre.

serpent dance
Serpent Dance



Greenmarket Car Park is transormed into Festival Square for the day and as usual will host the ever popular folk stage.  The square will also be a place to relax and enjoy a meal from one of the catering stalls

10 am – 4 pm – Festival Square Folk Stage featuring:

Raffidy Dumitz band followed by 10 am Pensans Morris, 10.30 John Warburton, 11.00 Kemysk, 11.40 Wayfarers, 12.20 pm Henavek, 1 pm Whippletree Ceilidh Band, 1.50 Baldrick’s Plan, 2.30 Tros an Treys, 3.10 Caracana, 3.50 Red Rivers and 4.30 Salt and Sky.

Chapel Street Methodist Church

The Chapel Street Methodist Church (opposite the Turks Head public house) has organised a programme of events in the church forecourt for Mazey Day.

Order of events
11.15 am to 12 noon Celtic Fiddlers
12.15 pm to 12.45 pm The Big Dance Company
1.00 pm to 1.45 pm Broken Down Band
2.15 pm to 3.00 pm Trelawney Singers
3.00 pm to 3.45 pm Chapel Street Methodist Church Worship Band
4.00 pm to 4.45 pm One Heart


In addition to the performers appearing on the Folk Stages in Festival Square on Mazey Day and on the South Quay on Quay Fair Day and the bands in the Mazey Day parades, Penzance’s streets will resonate to the sounds of roaming minstrels throughout Mazey weekend and at fixed points throughout the town the colourful Golowan gazebos will host a variety of local musicians of all ages including:

Mr Moon & the Beautiful Dream, Planet Claire, The Zipps, Lovin’ Machine, The Brytevibes, Du Glas, The Beauty of Diagrams, The Tribunes, Song Seeds for Sky, Tycklemore  Goats, Kevin Lambert, Whyte Rabbit, The Tramones, Danny Diamond, Crunchy Frog, Martin & Sophie Sadler, Blue Elvan, Seef Saffah, the St Erth Concert Band, Kate Plumtree and a young people’s stage hosted by Baz and Vikki St Leger. Whilst in the Wharfside Shopping Centre you can enjoy being entertained by Crunchy Frog, Foxes Fair, Raikes, Melange Tous and Hannah Johnson!

Their is also a very lively stage at The Dock Inn.

However The Lugger Inn (on the Prom) continues with its very popular outside stage with a big programme of music and DJs.

11.00 am – 4.00 pm – Morrab Gardens – Children’s activities, entertainment and refreshments
Generously sponsored by Penzance Chamber of Commerce 

Come and visit the gardens where young children can take part in activities with the Travellerspace, PlayBus and Swamp Circus.
Sit on the grass and have a cup of tea and a piece of cake whilst being entertained from the bandstand.
Final details of performers are to be confirmed but will include the following:

12.40 Renee and the Silver Ghost Band, 1.20 Kelsey Michael and Friends, 2.00 Barbed Choir and 3.20 Land and Sea Singers.

(Note – this is NOT a ‘creche’!! Children under 16 to be accompanied by an adult)

 The Farmers Arms Stage,  top of Causewayhead

From 12.30 pm to 6pm you can enjoy:

12.30 pm – Invincible Pigs – hi energy folk
1.35 pm – The Siobhan Parr Trio
2.45 pm – Nightmotor – industrial electro punk
3.50 pm – Hanterhir – Cornish psyche rock
5 pm – Bastard – punk

In the evening from 8 – 11 pm the entertainment continues with Kari Meldrum at 8 pm and a finale from the Walker Brothers at 9.30 pm.

Other highlights of the programme include:

2 pm – Chapel Street, Penzance – Cape Cornwall Singers

3 pm – 7 pm – Skate Jam – The Skate Park, Wherrytown

Event for young people with activities including DJ-ing, skating competitions and barbecue.

7.30 pm – Penlee Park Open Air Theatre – The Changing Room & The Oggymen (£12)

Very fine Cornish folk. Definitely NOT shanty.

8 pm – ’til late – Mazey in the Marquee, St Anthony’s car park 

Enjoy a fabulous Mazey Day Soiree with superstar D J Jeremy Healy, Ry Spencely, Lee Williams and Ashley Thomas

– Tickets: £12.50 in advance from The Crown, Fishboy PZ, Hairforce 1 and £15 on the door

8 pm – Acorn, Penzance – Northern Soul Night Spectacular – A Fundraiser for the Acorn – Tickets: £10/£8 

A whole evening of Northern Soul Classics presented by The Atlantic Soul Collective.

9.30 pm – Studio Bar, Bread Street, Penzance

The Siobhan Parr Trio

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QUAY FAIR DAY  – Sunday 25th June 

Markets, entertainment, music, children’s activities, food and fun – on the harbourside, Jubilee Pool, the Prom and Penlee Park.

‘Golowan’ is from the Cornish ‘Goel Jowan’,  – the Feast of St. John.

The celebration was widespread in Cornwall until the late 19th century. It was traditionally celebrated as a fire festival with bonfires, flaming tar barrels and burning torches. Penzance was one of the last towns to lose this tradition in the
1890s, as the perceived fire risk had made insurance premiums too expensive.

‘Mazey’ comes from an old Cornish dialect slang word to mean to be a bit potty, and /or er, a bit squiffy – to be in muddled state possibly due to having a drink or two! As in “Look at ee, him mazed” !! Not to be confused with being Piskie-led.



Golowan Festival Website

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