Cornbury 2019: Festival Review

  • Cornbury
  • Cornbury

A very happy Cornbury-goer on her highlights

Great Tew Park estate in Oxfordshire hosted the Cornbury Music Festival recently and driving to the event each day through the glorious rolling Cotswold countryside immediately put us all in a good mood.

Each day as we walked down to the main stage an array of stalls provided plenty of opportunity to spend and the food stalls offered lots of choices with gluten-free and vegan options (but the halloumi chips were definitely a firm favourite). The sun was kind and two out of three days not a wellington or brolly was required. How different we might have felt if mud and not the beating hot sun had been the order of the day…

Food and shopping aside, music was of course the reason why thousands had descended on Cornbury and with three stages many people claimed their spot with picnic blankets and fold away chairs. The Specials headlined on Friday and the music took me right back to the 1980s. They teased the audience by leaving their firm favourite the recession themed Ghost Town to the last and the crowd sang along with great enthusiasm. Keane burst onto the stage on Saturday night with a spectacular string of hits. Lead singer Tom Chaplin thanked his mum for his support after a testing few years, leaving few eyes dry down in the crowd.

At those times when we did tear ourselves away the blankets in search of cider and other refreshments the fairground rides and a range of other activities for children really made this festival a family occasion.

One fab band we escaped to see was Hot House Flowers, appearing on the Songbird stage. Lead singer Liam Ó Maonlaí commented on how beautiful it was to look out onto trees and countryside. They definitely deserved a slot on the main stage with such musical passion so I am hoping they’ll be back another year. The Beach Boys headlined the final night and had everyone up and dancing with blow up surfboards and Hawaiian shirts.

As we drove away from our last day at Cornbury, I tried try to think of three words that summed up how I felt but all I could think of was happy, happy, happy, because it really was a glorious weekend. It was a feast for the senses: the smell of blossom from the trees, music, fairground lights…

I will be back next year. Whether I’m brave enough to camp, we will have to see!