Kite festival to launch at Kirtlington Park, Oxfordshire this summer

A NEW festival is launching in Oxfordshire this summer – and it promises to be a cut above the competition. Kite festival is described as a festival of ideas and music “for curious, inquisitive and cultural minds”. It is being staged at Kirtlington Park, near Bicester from June 12-14.

The park is best known for its polo club, with tournaments being played throughout the summer. Speaker and artists line-ups have not been revealed, but local householders wary of legions of rockers or ravers descending on the manicured north Oxfordshire countryside can rest assured the event will be far from the usual music festival. It will be a joint venture between Neapolitan Music – the founders of Love Supreme Jazz Festival and Nocturne Live at Blenheim Palace – alongside U-Live and Tortoise Media which is the brainchild of ex-BBC News Director James Harding and Katie Vanneck-Smith ex-President of The Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones.

Read more: Cornbury Festival announces first headliners for summer 2020 A statement from organisers says: “Kite is for curious, inquisitive and cultural minds. In an era where access to news and information is at everyone’s fingertips, debate and discussion are daily occurrences and people are increasingly aware of the world around them.

Read more: Fairport Convention’s Cropredy Festival reveals FULL 2020 line-up “Kite festival will champion this thirst for a greater understanding of the zeitgeist. Kite will curate a festival programme that places equal weight on music, ideas, discussion and debate and will play host to a diverse range of musicians, artists, public figures, cultural icons and thought leaders, in a programme which is accessible for all ages.”

Festival plans will be launched today with a kickstarter fundraising appeal which organisers hope will create a community of “festival founders” to help shape and develop the programme. A main stage will host headline artists while a second stage will showcase vital new voices and experimental outlooks.

A Big Top tent will host talks and comedy while an area to be called The Bookshop will host surprise signings and pop-up performances. Emerging artists will perform on The Bandstand and an area called ThinkIn Village will provide a space for audiences to “put their feet up, engage, converse, learn, discover and celebrate ideas”. Festival Director Ciro Romano, who is also the director of Nocturne Live at Blenheim Palace, said: “We are very excited to develop a new festival that puts equal emphasis on both music and ideas.

“Alongside our ‘festival founders’ and with a great team, we can deliver a festival that is perfect for the new decade. Across the board we see festivals dedicated to literature, politics and science but we couldn’t see anywhere that was programming music and debate on an equal footing. “We will deliver a pioneering line-up with legendary and contemporary artists alongside world class public figures, thinkers and cultural icons.”

James Harding, co-founder of the Tortoise current affairs site, said: “All the team at Tortoise are thrilled to be part of creating Kite. Building on everything we’ve learned during Tortoise’s first year, the ThinkIn Village at Kite will bring together global politicians, comedians, business leaders, authors and others who are interested in how we understand our world – and do something about it.” Oxfordshire is already home to many established music festivals, including Wilderness festival at Cornbury Park; Cornbury Festival in Great Tew; Riverside Festival at Charlbury; The Big Feastival in Kingham; Truck Festival in Steventon; Fairport’s Cropredy Convention near Banbury; Towersey Festival near Thame; BunkFest in Wallingford; and Henley and Rewind festivals in Henley.

* Kite festival runs from June 12-14 at Kirtlington Park.


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