Set in the rolling countryside of Oxfordshire near to the Cotswolds, with a premise of ‘good things come in little packages’ would Cornbury live up to expectations?
Upon arrival, the first impression was very ‘Latitude-esque’, with a lake and a relaxed, friendly atmosphere.
After a very energetic lengthy walk to the arena through trees accompanied by the inviting sound of music, a look at the 1st day line up on the main and second stage saw the timings offset helpfully so that punters could easily make the short walk across the site and see all acts. In addition the riverside (3rd) stage had haphazard seating of straw bales, adding to the laid back feel.
This was definitely a family festival with bubbles from one of the stalls constantly streaming over the site keeping the kids entertained, together with a fairy stall selling wings and elves ears and a cow from the Muller Stand dancing around with no shame!
Magic Numbers set the scene with the crowd singing along to established favourite happy feel tunes. The weather then started to deteriorate, bringing out a sea of umbrellas and bright yellow plastic waterproof ponchos declaring ‘Another lovely summer’ on the back!
Teddy Thompson on the 2nd stage with a folksy feel was well received, despite advising the crowd he “doesn’t write happy songs”!
Sharleen Spiteri was the next act on the main stage, the heavens having opened at this point. However, the brass tones gave a warmth to the set and several of the old hits pleased the crowd, including Black Eyed Boy.
The Damned on the 2nd stage caused a stir of excitement in both the crowd and photo pit, with one photographer turning to the crowd and mouthing “wicked”.
The final act of the day was Scouting For Girls. Teenage girls lined the front of the barrier, letting out screams, singing all the words, and clapping when told.
The spotlights picked out the torrential rain, with Roy Stride declaring “The more it rains, the better the festival” and this received enthusiastic applause in response.
The second day saw the sun making a comeback.
Imelda May was announced as a Cornbury favourite who rocked out the audience last year. Imelda asked the crowd “Would you like some rockabilly?” which was met with a loud cheer, and she continued with a big smile throughout which cheered the audience. With the sun now shining, umbrellas were being used as parasols and there was a real summer feel to the festival.
Eddi Reader on the 2nd stage played to a relaxed and mixed age audience, with some of the crowd lying down on the grass.
The Lightning Seeds were next on the main stage playing all the old favourites and were so enthusiastically received even played an encore – an acoustic version of Three Lions.
The Pretenders got the crowd even more revved up, who were then followed by the headlining act, Sugababes.
As you would expect, their performance was very polished and faultless, with all their hits following one after another!
A fitting end to the festival.
In summary, a rather classy but understated festival, attracting famous and royal visitors in the shape of Jeremy Clarkson and Lord Linley plus family. A definite ‘must go next year’
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