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Cornbury Music Festival - Great Tew Park, Oxfordshire, 13/7/2018...15/7/2018

  by Nick Dent-Robinson

published: 24 / 8 / 2018

Cornbury Music Festival - Great Tew Park, Oxfordshire, 13/7/2018...15/7/2018


Despite organiser Hugh Phillimore declaring that last year's Cornbury Festival would be its last, Nick Dent-Robinson enjoys its resurrection this year and an impressive set from veteran reggae star Jimmy Cliff

A blazing sun greeted visitors and campers to the magnificent Great Tew estate in Oxfordshire's Cotswolds where the Cornbury music festival was staged this July. Cornbury has long been a favourite with many families and it was a surprise addition to this year's music calendar as organiser Hugh Phillimore had declared that the 2017 event would be the last. Its 2018 resurrection, however, saw a popular line-up which included UB40, Squeeze, Mavis Staples, Alanis Morissette and excellent local band the Standard. The usual VIP visitors mingled with the rather genteel crowd and, as usual, there were the too-posh-to-share VIP loos and the big VIP marquee with spa treatments for the upmarket folks with big budgets! UB40's mellow and steady-paced performance was appropriate but not too exciting and it was 70 year-old Jamaican ska and reggae musician Jimmy Cliff who, with his energetic young band, was the true star act of the event. He soon had the whole crowd dancing and singing along to classics like 'You Can Get It If You Really Want', 'Wonderful World', 'Beautiful People', 'Many Rivers to Cross' and 'The Harder They Come'. Speaking to me afterwards, Jimmy Cliff generously credited his band with generating much of the huge and infectious energy of his act. “These guys are almost fifty years younger than me and they are really, really good,” he said. “They give out great power and I pick up on that” - though of course they claimed to me that it is Jimmy Cliff that energises them! “I live in Florida these days,” Jimmy continued - “and sometimes I visit Jamaica - but I have never forgotten the UK whose audiences really made my career special. My life has been wonderful and I am grateful to Britain for that. I love to come back here whether working or just on holiday and always feel at home. Just being out here in the English countryside with this fantastic crowd has been a true privilege.”

Also at Great Tew Park, Oxfordshire

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Cornbury Music Festival - Great Tew Park, Oxfordshire, 13/7/2018...15/7/2018

Cornbury Music Festival - Great Tew Park, Oxfordshire, 13/7/2018...15/7/2018

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