Cornbury: the resurrection


Last year’s Cornbury Festival was ‘The Fabulous Finale’ and supposedly the last. It had been making a loss over the previous few years but there were so many messages of support and demands that it continued that the decision was made to hold it again this year. As Glastonbury is having a fallow year in 2018 we decided to go with a couple of friends. We were at the gate before it opened so got a good camping pitch not too far from the car park. The tents were soon up and after a meal, we set off to explore. The Campfire Sessions on Thursday evening allows six bands to compete for a place on one of the main stages next year. We watched the last two (this is Pacific).

Some of the stewards had interesting head-gear.

We also watched a great sunset and listened to the music coming from the Ceilidh Liberation Front. They are from London and I am not sure how Celtic they actually are, but many people enjoyed their attempts to get everyone in a dark, crowded tent, dancing. On Friday the Riverside Stage had 15 talented newcomers from Richer Unsigned, a non-profit organisation founded in 2014 by Julian Richer from Richer Sounds. There were a few problems with the amps and one performer was told not to touch the mike or they would be electrocuted. The MC introduced Little Triggers, a band from Liverpool saying that as they had all been drinking beer and were wearing black trousers, they had to be a rock band.

After Tamar and The Two Tone all Skas, it was time to eat and return to the main stage in the evening for Stereo MCs and UB40.


On Saturday we started at the Riverside Stage and treated ourselves to some Nyetimber English Sparkling wine on the top floor of a converted bus after Pixie Lott.

We had a good view of the main stage where Amy Macdonald was performing and also the back of the Hairy Bikers first restaurant where they were leaving food out for staff meals.


The festival attendees are 99% white and fairly middle class. There is a good selection of activities for children and quieter camping areas so many families do attend. The performers are more diverse.
Balloons started to drift across the sky from a balloon meet somewhere nearby.

We enjoyed Mavis Staples at the Songbird Stage

and returned to the main stage for Alanis Morrisette.

Sunday’s music began with the Mighty John Street Ska Orchestra and we divided up to see Catherine McGrath, a UK country music singer or Mari Wilson and the New Wilsations.

In the afternoon we had to take the tents down and get the car packed ready to depart that evening as our friends had to be back at work on Monday. We had never seen Deacon Blue live before.

Ricky Ross, one of the vocalists noted that Donald Trump was visiting Scotland on the day they were performing in England. He said that Trump was not visiting anyone (he refused to meet First Minister Nicola Sturgeon) but went just to play golf. Ricky told Trump to ‘Fuck off’. Before their final song (Destiny), Ricky told us that the band were meeting former First Lady Michelle Obama next week and he dedicated the song to her and her husband. We enjoyed Caro Emerald before driving home as the sun was going down.

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