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AAA Music | 1 July 2022

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Introducing: The Cornbury Festival

| On 26, Jun 2010

The Cornbury Festival is one-of-a-kind: an eclectic and eccentric musical carnival – a dynamic summer festival disguised as a country fayre – a lovingly crafted, top notch, very English open air party, tailor-made for the whole family.

Like the best of England, Cornbury is eccentric, charming and irresistible – a homespun melting pot where music-lovers share pies and a glass of champagne with superstars, toffs, rockers, crooners, Morris dancers, farmers, urbanites, fashionistas, gourmet chefs and the little old ladies who make exceptional cakes.

In short, The Cornbury Festival represents classic summer entertainment for a friendly crowd from all walks of life. A country fair with a rock ‘n’ roll twist; a farmers’ market with a dancefloor; a magical local carnival with a classic contemporary soundtrack.

Cornbury Park is located on the edge of the Wychwood forest and was first mentioned in the Doomsday Book.The forest has been the site of festivals for centuries which drew crowds of 50,000 during their heyday in the mid-19th century.

Starting as a traditional fayre in 1796, the original festival became so successful (if somewhat riotous), that by 1830 it was so over subscribed that it had to be suspended. From 1845 to its final year in 1856 the festival attracted huge crowds and it was this popularity that finally caused its demise, although a local report in Jackson’s Oxford Journal (Sept 1856) states ‘The fair was attended by an immense number of people, and we are glad to hear that no accident occurred to mar the happiness of the day.The fair offered unprecedented inducements but not a single case of delinquency has been officially reported.’

The acts confirmed include David Gray, Squeeze, Noisettes, Buddy Guy, Jackson Browne, The Feeling, Newton Faulkner, Reef, The Blockheads, Imelda May, Candi Staton, Dr John, Seth Lakeman, The New Forbidden, Staxs featuring Kiki Dee and Louise Marshall, Dhol Foundation, Kathryn Tickell, Fisherman’s Friend, and The Raghu Dixit Project.

In addition to the music, the festival offers a variety of attractions including a fairground, many morris dance pageants, children’s theatre workshops, theatre workshops, arts and crafts, speciality shops, novelty acts and upmarket catering offering everything from champagne and cappuccinos to real ale.