Look forward to Oxfordshire's summer of music festivals

THE steady stream of cancellations as a result of the coronavirus outbreak continues to wreak havoc on Oxfordshire’s cultural life – with live music being the biggest loser so far. But while mass events are being called off now, the organisers of the county’s big music events are confidently expecting to go ahead as planned this summer. And with some huge stars, hometown shows by local heroes, and even a new event to look forward to, it looks like being an amazing season of live music.

Cornbury Festival may have lost its ‘Poshstock’ crown to even more rarefied events, like Wilderness and the Big Feastival, but it continues to attract the big guns. Headliners for this year’s gathering at Great Tew are Ronan Keating, Jack Savoretti, Van Morrison and Dido. Other acts playing the event, from July 10-12, include 70s soft-rockers America, The Waterboys, Kid Creole & the Coconuts, Brand New Heavies, ska act The Dualers and country-pop band The Magic Numbers.

Truck Festival, at Steventon, keeps things rockier with a blistering line-up of new music aimed at a younger crowd. It stars Bombay Bicycle Club, Catfish and the Bottlemen and The Kooks. Joining them at Hill Farm, from July 30 to August 2, will be Oxford’s Rhys Lewis, Grammy winner and synth-pop star La Roux, The Big Moon, Blossoms, Sundara Karma, DMA’S, Pale Waves, Easy Life, The Pigeon Detectives, The Hives, Lauran Hibberd and Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs.

The same weekend, Wilderness Festival offers its best-ever line-up with two of the biggest Oxfordshire bands of all time: Foals and Supergrass. Also playing the beautiful site at Cornbury Park, are Kidlington reggae legend David Rodigan & The Outlook Orchestra, Loyle Carner and Kelis. Food is always a big part of the festival and this year will feature feasts prepared by chefs Richard Corrigan, Skye Gyngell, Fergus Henderson and Trevor Gulliver.

There will be more feasting at The Big Feastival, which takes place on Blur star Alex James’s farm in Kingham, with Marco-Pierre White and Mark Hix among those cooking up treats. They will be accompanied by Nile Rodgers and Chic, singer Rag’n’Bone man and DJ and pop producer Sigala. The stars take top billing at the food and music festival.

Other artists booked to play from August 28-30, are Reef, Zara Larsson, Tom Walker, Maisie Peters, Max & Harvey, Norman Jay, Duke, and Big Feastival regulars The Cuban Brothers. There are no prizes for guessing the headliners at the county’s longest-running festival, Cropredy, which, as ever, is headlined on the Saturday by founders Fairport Convention. Also playing Fairport’s Cropredy Convention, from, August 13-15, are former Fairporter Richard Thompson, folk band Clannad and Steve Hackett of prog-rockers Genesis.

The new Kite Festival at Kirlington Park, from June 12-14, which was due to have Grace Jones, Gregory Porter, and a diverse line-up of speakers including film director Richard Curtis, writers Philip Pullman and Jon Ronson, and politicians David Milliband and Alastair Campbell, has now been postponed until June 2021.