Cornbury Festival is set to return in the summer of 2018, after this year’s sold out event was announced as the last one ever.
But following “an unprecedented wave of demand from fans”, the promoter has changed his mind and decided to keep the Oxfordshire-based event going for at least one more year – to celebrate its 15th year in July 2018.
Dubbed “Poshstock” by the broadsheet media because of the celebs and VIPs it attracts each year – including former Prime Minister David Cameron – this year’s bash saw the likes of Bryan Adams, Jools Holland and The Kaiser Chiefs headlining on the three nights, and attracted more than 20,000 people to attend.
Firmly believed by all involved to be the last ever Cornbury Festival, July 2017’s Fabulous Finale was a huge success with sell-out crowds enjoying a hot and humid weekend on the picturesque Great Tew Park site in the Cotswolds, with organiser Hugh Phillimore (photographed above, backstage at this year’s festival, with Midge Ure) saying afterwards: “We all know that a party is only as good as its guests, and thanks to everyone we had a truly fantastic and memorable weekend”.
Locals, regulars and even new comers not wanting to miss out on their last chance to enjoy this popular ‘festival come celebrity village fete’, turned out in force this summer to enjoy the family-friendly and chilled experience that is Cornbury. But with the prospects of a gap in their festival calendars, a wave of support ensued as the Oxfordshire media and public alike cajoled the events founder and organiser not to give up the challenge after 14 years. But to continue with their support, to provide this unique weekend.
“So many people have sent messages since July – our audience love the event and want it to keep going. Literally hundreds of our supporters, together with bands, agents, managers, sponsors and media partners telling me I shouldn’t let such a jewel in the festival calendar end,” said Hugh. “The festival market has become a tough playing field over the last few years and very saturated, which lead partly to my decision to leave while we were on a high.
“However, the response has been so overwhelming with support for Cornbury to remain, that it has caused a rethink on my part, and I can confirm that we have decided to listen to public opinion and return next year as strong as ever in July 2018. If people still want us here, in a way, it would be foolish to stop now and 15 years does give us another great reason to celebrate.”
The poster from the “Fabulous Finale”
The over-riding message that finally convinced Hugh, was simply that the festival was not his, but belonged to its audience who had supported the event over the 14 years.”I’ve been humbled by the depth of feeling for this event, and I now feel that I should keep Cornbury going as a worthwhile community event, because it contributes to the local economy and seems to spread quite a lot of joy,” he explained. Local schools and charities have benefited from fundraising at Cornbury, over its 14-year history.
The 15th Cornbury Festival, with the same format as this year, will be staged at Great Tew Park from July 13th to 15th 2018. Further details will be announced soon. Please see our “Live Zone” for the full review and photographs from the July 2017 event. Music Republic magazine will bring you ticket and lineup details for the 2018 event as soon as we get them – and we will be there to report on the three days of music and fun next year. Try and stop us!
Midge Ure and Hugh Phillimore photograph: Simon Redley