‘I don’t regret it at all’: We spoke to students who caught Covid after going to Boardmasters

One student said if they knew they were going to catch Covid, then they probably wouldn’t have gone

Cornwall Council have announced over 4,700 coronavirus cases may be linked to Boardmasters festival which took place earlier this month.

Around 50,000 people attended the festival in Newquay which now has the three neighbourhoods with the highest infection rates in England.

The Tab spoke to some of young people who attended the four day festival and went on to test positive. We asked them the question everyone wants to know: “was it worth it?” Here’s what they had to say about catching Covid after Boardmasters:

‘I don’t regret it at all, I knew I was likely to get Covid there’

Oxford Brooke’s student Abby Shaw told The Tab she knew she was bound to catch Covid whilst at Boardmasters but doesn’t regret going because she waited for ages to be able to go to the festival. She says: “I didn’t go out much at all before I went to Boardmasters because if I caught Covid before then I wouldn’t have been able to go and would’ve lost out on money.”

Abby and her friends at the silent disco

She told The Tab she’s caught Covid at the best possible time, Abby said: “Isolating at the moment is the best possible time for me because I don’t have any plans right now and my 21st birthday is in a few weeks so it means I can celebrate fully without worrying that I’ll catch Covid.”

‘I regret being naive and thinking the Covid protocols would be effective’

Bethan, who was working at Boardmasters, told The Tab those managing the festival were rigorous with testing amongst paid staff. She says: “You could only get on site with a test and re-test wristbands that you needed to show a negative test for.” But apparently this wasn’t the same for those festival ticket holders, she continued: “I naively assumed the same was the case for the general festival goers but clearly not as Covid spread like wildfire.”

She told The Tab: “I definitely don’t regret going as I had a great time. But I do regret being naive and thinking the Covid protocols would be effective.”

‘If we knew we were going to catch Covid, we wouldn’t have gone’

Leeds student Evie told The Tab her and her mates don’t regret going to the festival but if they were aware they’d catch Covid there, then they probably wouldn’t have gone. She says: “We had an amazing time when we were there. Only two of us who hadn’t had our second jab so we got Covid but the others who had both vaccines got off scott free.”

Ruth Goldstein, deputy director of Public Health for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, said: “At the moment, there are currently about 4,700 [Covid cases] which could be linked to Boardmasters. These are people who have noted when they have had a PCR test, they have been associated to Boardmasters. We don’t know whether they have been camping, or to events on the beach, or to parties in the town put on by Boardmasters. Of those people, three-quarters of them are aged between 16 and 21, which is exactly the profile of the people who we know to attend the festival.”

The festival organisers said they went above and beyond what was asked of them. A spokesperson for Boardmasters said: “We look forward to sharing out experience of running the festival in current circumstances with other large events so we can all continue to provide much needed economic benefit to our wider communities and entertainment to our loyal audience.”

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