Highlights of Cornbury Music Festival, the fabulous finale

Review Cornbury Festival 2017

Last weekend hubby and I kept asking each other same question again and again… “Why haven’t we been here before?!”  It’s fair to say we all absolutely loved our three days camping and partying at Cornbury Music Festival in Oxfordshire.  We are just gutted that it was our first, and unfortunately last time at the event, as after 14 years the organiser’s have been forced to pull the plug due to ongoing financial difficulties.

review Cornbury Festival

Crowds chilling out in the sunshine at the Cornbury main stage


review Cornbury Festival

I’m not going to publish one of my normal lengthy event reviews, outlining the price of food, toilet facilities and the such like because to be honest it’s rather pointless for an event that is not due to take place again.  What I am going to share however are our highlights of the truly spectacular finale of Cornbury.  I’ll also share some other family-friendly festivals taking place this summer in case you are tempted to take your family along!

Highlights of Cornbury Music Festival, the Fabulous Finale

– The Incredible Setting

I normally hate driving on a Friday evening but even the (traffic-free!) journey to Cornbury was thoroughly enjoyable… we drove through the stunning Oxfordshire countryside passing by many quaint Cotswolds villages to the typically English country estate of Great Tew Park, located just outside Chipping Norton.  The view from our campsite was pretty amazing…

review Cornbury Festival

– The Friendly Atmosphere

From the minute we arrived on site we were chatting and laughing with security guards and other festival attendees.  The atmosphere on site was contagious, everyone mucking in and helping each other out.  We looked after our neighbours baby whilst they sorted their tent out, another neighbour insisted we used his trolley to transport our water carrier and everyone we met had advice to share for the must see acts, attractions and best food stalls.

Most people we spoke to had attended the event many times before and were genuinely upset that this was the last event.

– The Acts

There were some HUGE names on the line up for the last ever Cornbury.  Hugh Phillimore the organiser clearly wanted his much-loved festival to end with a bang!

To be honest we were concerned that our boys were going to fall asleep, or worse have a complete melt down, before we had chance to watch the main stars of the festival but we needn’t have worried.  They partied along with the Kaiser Chiefs who were absolutely brilliant on the Friday night and rocked along to the legendary Bryan Adam’s on the Saturday night too!  (You can see my eldest playing along with his air guitar here, he hasn’t stopped singing ‘Summer of 69’ since).

review Cornbury festival

Just moments before the Kaiser Chiefs came on the stage my boys were laying on a blanket wrapped in a sleeping bag.  We felt completely at ease.  The crowds were lovely, there was no pushing and shoving, everyone was just there to have a great time. Copyright Ben Phillips Photography

review Cornbury festival

We loved singing along to Bryan Adam’s big hits on the Saturday night!  Copyright Ben Phillips Photography

review Cornbury festival

Can you believe I made the mistake of going to the toilet without taking a look around me to get my bearings?  I was lost for a while in these crowds!  Copyright Ben Phillips Photography

There was so much going on it would have been easy to miss a big act.  We spent our three days walking between the four festival stages to make sure we didn’t miss performances by Jack Savoretti, Tom Chaplin, Ward Thomas, Imelda May and Scouting For Girls.  We also watched a lot of acts by musicians we hadn’t heard of before and have since added to our Spotify playlist!

review Cornbury Festival

– The Kids Area

Our boys were absolutely spoilt for choice by the (mainly free) kids entertainment at Cornbury Festival… drumming sessions, science demo’s, pottery making, arts and crafts, Morris dancers, dog shows, circus skills….  We had to drag them away from the Kids Zone with bribes of ice cream to watch the music acts!

review Cornbury Festival review Cornbury festival

– Celeb spotting

Cornbury Festival is nicknamed ‘Poshstock’ for very good reason.  The car park was full of expensive sports cars and SUVs abandoned by the owners who were enjoying the live acts whilst quaffing champagne in the exclusive VIP areas!

We didn’t spot any celebs although a local photographer took a photo of David Cameron enjoying the festival and (according to the ladies I met whilst waiting for a rather delicious stone baked pizza,) Alex James from Blur and former Made in Chelsea star, Millie Mackintosh also attended the event.  These were the only celebs we spotted….

review Cornbury Festival

These two guys dressed up as women were absolutely hilarious!  Riding along on their huge shopping trolleys with music pumping loudly. Copyright Ben Phillips Photography

– Chilling out in the sunshine

We were so lucky with the weather which was amazing all weekend.  So good in fact that on both the Saturday night and on Sunday morning there were lots of hot balloons taking a scenic flight overhead.  As you can imagine my boys thought this was the best thing they had ever seen!

review Cornbury Festival

Hot air balloon display whilst waiting for Bryan Adam’s set

Cornbury Festival review

I woke up to the sound of hot air balloons overhead on the Sunday morning, a great way to start the day.

Final Thoughts – Cornbury Festival, the Fabulous Finale

Our three days reviewing Cornbury Festival were absolutely epic.  We all loved the relaxed friendly atmosphere, the incredible acts and the wide range of entertainment laid on for kids. Hugh Phillimore, the organiser of Cornbury Festival has been quoted to say “never say never” when asked about bringing the Festival back so we’ll be keeping our fingers firmly crossed that he works some magic to bring the event back soon!

Disclosure – We were invited as guests to review Cornbury Festival.  All opinions and words are, as always, my own. 


I feel bad that I’ve tempted you with a festival that probably isn’t going to take place again!  To make up for it I have put together a list of some of the best UK family friendly festivals taking place this summer, including three this weekend. (Many of these festivals are local to us, Gloucestershire friends!)  Check it out here – 10 Best Family Friendly Festivals Summer 2017 

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Review Cornbury Festival

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4 thoughts on “Highlights of Cornbury Music Festival, the fabulous finale

  1. Gwyneth Simmons

    You have captured the wonderful atmosphere perfectly. It was amazing – can’t believe this perfect family event won’t happen again. And Imelda May was fabulous! It was the best. x

  2. zoe

    We didn’t spot you there, but enjoyed Nish Kumar in the comedy tent, and also enjoyed the random solo knife juggler!

    Only disappointment was the use of a VIP section which I didn’t think was very in keeping with the spirit of the festival!

    1. Lisa Post author

      Ooh gutted I missed the random sole knife juggler! How strange. I thought the VIP’s missed out on the whole atmosphere of being with everyone in the main arena actually Zoe so it didn’t bother me one bit that they had an exclusive tent. So pleased to hear you enjoyed your prize!! Do keep an eye out for more giveaways coming soon!

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