Last year I was lucky enough to attend the Cornbury Festival but it was a bittersweet experience. Sweet because it really was a highlight of the summer last year; Cornbury prides itself on being family friendly, a huge summer party with great music thrown in, and it really was.
I took my whole family comprising my wife and 3 sons ranging from 8 to 22 and they all loved it for completely different reasons. The 8 year old, and the 19 year old for that matter, spent many fun hours learning circus skills. The two oldest loved the diversity of the music ranging from the very fresh stars of the future like Kings Parade and Pete Gardiner all the way to bona fide legends like Bryan Adams. My wife loved the music and revelled in all the other fun things which are going on around you.
So why bitter? Because having come to the Cornbury family late (and it really does feel like a huge extended, diverse family) we knew that this would be the last one. 2017 was the big finale, the last hurrah; organiser Hugh Phillimore was hanging up his hat and taking a well earned rest from the stresses of organising something of this excellence. Despite the protestations, thanks and reverence of every performer, Hugh was bringing the curtain down.
Or so we thought…Hugh has since said,
“I’m still in shock from the massive outpouring of love and support for Cornbury.”
The best news of the year is that this July, at Great Tew Park in Oxfordshire, Cornbury is back. Hugh couldn’t ignore the strength of feeling that the show must go on:
“We’re back thanks to the incredible loyalty of our fans.”
And what a show he has put on to celebrate year 15!
Always able to achieve great headline acts, this year really will not disappoint. Early news is that Canadian superstar Alanis Morissette will be heading a line up of so much girl power on the Saturday that tickets are a must. The Queen of Alt Rock is not a name much connected to the festival circuit but she will join the legendary Mavis Staples and Scottish rocker Amy MacDonald on stage on Saturday 14th July. Personally I can’t wait to see the incredibly talented Nina Nesbitt after watching a mesmeric performance from her at last year’s Barn on The Farm festival. Also gracing the stage will be singer and actress Pixie Lott and sixties soul star PP Arnold.
Megan McKenna will be bringing her Country Music to the party and proving there is so much more to her than reality TV and will be joined by breaking blues guitarist Grainne Duffy, US soulsters Southern Avenue, sonic thrill duo Kolars and the harmonics of trio The Adelaides.
The rest of the Cornbury line up will be announced on March 1st but already there is almost certainly something for everyone ! After last year I can honestly tell you that it’s impossible not to be seduced by the beautiful countryside, the perfect light handed organisation and the general feel good atmosphere of not only the festival but the whole campsite.
Jack Savoretti, who performed last year, was so taken with it after his first performance years before that he bought a house in walking distance of the festival. I bet he will be looking forward to seeing this wonderful party throw its doors open again and I hope to see lots of smiling happy music fans of all ages in July.