Reviews: 2016 and 2015
The Cornbury Festival is a musical carnival made for the whole family. It’s a music festival but it is disguised as a country fayre. It attracts a more ‘civilised’ crowd and is fairly genteel in comparison to a lot of other music festivals. Cornbury is a perfect introductory festival for those unsure about roughing it at a festival for the first time! Pimm’s and picnic blankets or comfy camping chairs are definitely more the order of the day here, rather than heaving mosh pits…
The Cornbury Music Festival is one-of-a-kind: a lovingly crafted, top notch, very English open air party, tailor-made for the whole family.
Like the best of England, The Cornbury Music Festival is civilised, 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 little old ladies who make exceptional cakes.
In short, The Cornbury Music 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 local carnival with a classic contemporary soundtrack.
This year marks the 14th and final Cornbury. We have been promised it will end on a high and with the odd sparkler.
What’s happening in 2017?
The number one draw this year is undoubtedly Canadian superstar Bryan Adams, who is sure to get the crowd going. But a plethora of other big name acts are also booked in alongside him for the festival’s farewell weekend. Big band supremo and national treasure Jools Holland, Chrissie Hynde’s perennial Pretenders, and a host of Cornbury favourites including Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Jack Savoretti and Scouting For Girls will all be in attendance. Yorkshire rockers Kaiser Chiefs make their Cornbury debut headlining Friday night. Recent No.1 country sisters Ward Thomas also make a welcome return, along with Keane frontman Tom Chaplin, festival darling Imelda May, and last year’s crowd pleasers, Australian troubadours The Pierce Brothers.
Heading up the newcomers, and boasting an awesome live reputation, US soulsters St Paul & The Broken Bones will join Paul Weller protégés, Stone Foundation, Mark Ronson-collaborator and indie darling Rose Elinor Dougall, and Danish new-disco superstars Black Dylan. Also joining the bill are Festival promoter Hugh Phillimore’s favourite 90’s popstars Right Said Fred and the man who created Band Aid, Midge Ure.
Phillimore said, ‘When you’re having a farewell party you want to be surrounded by people you really love, so we’ve invited artists we’ve known and enjoyed watching over the years and luckily they’ve all been keen to join us for our Fabulous Finale’.
The festival site at Great Tew has four camping areas: General Camping – This is the main campsite that the majority of Cornbury Festival goers choose to camp in – a tented campsite set it stunning surroundings with showers, toilets, catering and nightly entertainment. Quieter Camping – This is if you prefer not to be disturbed by the campsite entertainment, or if you have young children. Live-In Vehicles – If you would like to bring a live-in vehicle you will need to purchase a ‘Campervan Permit’. Glamping – The ‘Glamping’ area at Cornbury is becoming more popular as the festival grows. Nestled amongst the trees on manicured lawns, there is plenty of accommodation to choose from in the form of ready erected tents, Yurts, Tipis, and Gypsy Caravans, etc.
How to get there: Shuttle bus services from nearby Banbury and Charlbury stations.
For more information and to book tickets go to:
All of our writers are festival veterans with more festivals under their belts than they can count! So which festivals are they excited about this year?
Cornbury Festival has had a successful 13 year run. It has provided a lovely, rather posh family-friendly event that has converted even the most festival-shy.
However, this year, after much deliberation, the 14th Cornbury Festival will be the last. The good folk at Cornbury are looking forward to going out with a bang.
They’ve promised us they are pulling out ALL the stops for The Fabulous Finale. There will be all the usual great stuff, an array of top talent, friends old and new. There may even be a few sparklers at the end.
Dancing, relaxing, playing, laughing, feasting…
These are the first five words that spring to mind when I think back on our four days at Cornbury. I think it’s testament to a really great festival, especially where children are involved, when you can come back feeling relaxed and switched off. We were lucky to have exactly that experience.
I didn’t really know what to expect from Cornbury 2015 – having read words like ‘genteel’ and ‘civilised’ thrown at it, and being well aware of its location near Chipping Norton in Oxfordshire, home of the ‘Chipping Norton set’ I feared we commoners may be a little out of place.
Here are our top picks for 2015!
Whether a festival is good for you depends on what music you’re into and what other things you like doing at festivals, as well as the age of your kids. If you are new to festivals with kids, you may want to read our guide to Choosing the right Family-Friendly Festival.
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Announcing the 2nd annual Festival Kidz Awards!
2014 was a fantastic year for family friendly festivals – we reviewed more than ever before and visited so many that it made judging the awards extremely difficult. If your favourite festival is missing from this list, please feel free to comment below!
Review by Ellie Allen and family
“Are we nearly there yet?”
My husband and I, along with our two boys (ages seven and eight) have been looking forward to this festival for weeks! Finally the day arrived and after a busy day at work and school, we were on our way.
We’d been watching the weather forecast all week and for once it was right. Read more…
Here are our top picks for 2014!
Now is a great time to start thinking about buying your festival tickets – most of the festivals offer ‘early bird’ prices, which means they are reduced if you book them early.
Whether a festival is good for you depends on what music you’re into and what other things you like doing at festivals, as well as the age of your kids. If you are new to festivals with kids, you may want to read our guide to Choosing the right Family-Friendly Festival. Read more…
Cornbury Festival 2012
by Karon and her 2 boys, aged 5 and 10
Friday – Day One
Our much anticipated fun weekend at the fabulous Cornbury Festival began on Friday afternoon as we headed towards the beautiful countryside of Great Tew, Oxfordshire. The sky was full of grey rain clouds but our mood was light as our destination was reached without any traffic problems at all, parking was well organised and lucky us, the sun broke through as we excitedly took the short haul from car to box office to collect our media passes and camping tickets courtesy of Festival Kidz!!