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Port Eliot Festival opens its gates for the final time

This year's festival is expected to be the last 'for the foreseeable future'. Credit: ITV News West Country

The Port Eliot Festival has opened its gates to visitors for the final time.

Organisers announced earlier this month that 2019 will be the last time the Cornish festival is held for the foreseeable future.

Thousands are expected to attend the four day festival in the village of St Germans.

Prior to Port Eliot Festival and the Lit Fest, the estate grounds were home to Elephant Fayre.

Over the July festival weekend, the 6000 acre estate of Port Eliot transforms into a "magic garden".

The celebration of literature, music, food and art attracts big names like Russel Brand, Lilly Allen and Aldous Harding.

The festival is set to sizzle in Thursday's heatwave. Credit: ITV News West Country

But it's not about the big names, in fact, it's more known for its immersive and interactive nature.

This year you can expect:

  • Aerial Yoga
  • Wild Swimming
  • Model-making WITH Aardman
  • Pottery workshop
  • Life drawing classes
  • Treasure hunts
The Port Eliot estate transforms as the festival gets underway. Credit: ITV News West Country

Last month organisers announced that 2019 would be the final Port Eliot festival. A statement on the festival website said the event was no longer "financially viable".

While we may return one day, we would like to take this opportunity to express our overwhelming gratitude and love to everybody – our audience, the unrivalled Festival team, our longstanding Festival partners, EVERYBODY – that has made the Festival an internationally-recognised event.

Port Eliot Festival is unique, it is genuinely independent. Unfortunately, in recent years, it has become increasingly challenging to present a truly inspirational programme while remaining financially viable.

– Port Eliot Festival Organisers

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Prior to Port Eliot Festival and the Lit Fest, the estate grounds were home to Elephant Fayre.

After starting out in 1981, by the end of the six years, 30,000 guests attended the festival.

Archive aerial shots of Elephant Fayre

The festival then returned, rechristened as Lit Fest, in 2003.

Six years later it was rebranded to Port Eliot festival.

Prior to Port Eliot Festival, it was known at Lit Fest.

The festival runs until Sunday 28 July, with temperatures expected to reach low-mid twenties everyday.