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Why Cornbury Festival is one of a kind

We're looking forward to providing festival accommodation at Cornbury Music Festival this summer - Hugh Phillimore, founder of the festival, gives us a little insight as to why Cornbury is one-of-a-kind and what's not to be missed at this year's very English open air party...

When I dreamed up the idea of Cornbury back in 2003, I pictured a village fete with some really great bands. Unfazed by the pouring rain of the English Summer in year one (and a couple more to date) and the commercialisation of many of the UK’s music festivals, I’ve persevered to maintain this spirit and continue to book an eclectic bunch of music legends, chart toppers and rising stars.

Aided by our magical Cotswolds site on the Great Tew Estate, Cornbury is just lovely – a very English open-air party, perfect for families, music lovers, first-time festival goers and happy campers.

A couple of years ago, whilst having a massage early on the Sunday morning in the Therapixie tent, I looked out over the site to see a group of people doing Tai Chi with the bells of the local church ringing out from our glamping arboretum – I think that sums up the atmosphere pretty well. It’s the sort of festival where the regulars come back year after year, and where, if you say excuse me enough times, you’ll easily make your way to the front of the main stage crowd; The sort of festival where Pam Ayres is mobbed walking across the site, where the Kids Zone activities are all free and where you can drink tea and eat cake in aid of our local school in the ‘Tea for Tew’ tent.

Cornbury is a great starter festival if you’ve never tried one before, with a compact site which is easy to navigate and lovely camping areas. Top tips for first-timers have to be to try the Hooky’s latest Ale in the Campsite Bar, catch local bands on the Riverside Stage, taste as much of the food as possible, discover your inner child with Bubble Inc. and showcase your best moves at the Disco Shed.

This year I’m particularly excited for the return of Corinne Bailey Rae on Saturday, having a chuckle with Kieran Hodgson in the comedy Emporium, my regular massage in the Therapixie Tent, a feast of words with rock ‘n’ roll poet Murray Lachlan Young, and finding my inner Abba with Bjorn Again – what a way to end the weekend.

Hugh.