First Night: Cornbury Festival, Oxfordshire

The rock festival of Pimms and picnics marks a seventh year

Cornbury bridges the gap between traditional rock festival and an English garden fete. It is a festival for which middle to upper-class families load their pushchairs to spend a civilised weekend sipping Pimms while watching a line-up of soul, blues and soft rock and pop. It's the family-friendly, relaxed atmosphere that had the Prime Minister, David Cameron, who is the area's local MP, return for a fourth year with his family yesterday.

The festival has been dubbed "Poshstock" for its location on the 6,500-acre Cornbury estate, near Charlbury, Oxfordshire, owned by Lord and Lady Rotherwick, and for its clientele, who this year also included local Jeremy Clarkson. But it's really the civilised facilities that earn it the nickname. On offer to the 20,000 people attending throughout the weekend were luxurious camping options, a fairground, tombola and plush food and drinks stalls – Waitrose cocktail bars, a Pimms bus, Jamie Oliver's food, and tea and cake. Looking out towards the main stage, the grass was a sea of deck chairs and picnic rugs, with children weaving playfully between.

In its six years, Cornbury, sponsored by media partner The Independent, has seen the likes of Paul Simon, Robert Plant and Elvis Costello play. This seventh instalment's middle of the road line-up included headliners David Gray and Jackson Browne, the soft acoustic pop of Joshua Radin, the Feeling, and folk singer-songwriter Seth Lakeman.

There was lively pop from the Noisettes, who further set themselves out as one of the best young British live acts. Singer Shingai Shoniwa's flamboyant dress, and a stage filled with red and gold balloons, mirrored the energetic performance by the London trio. Their single "Don't Upset The Rhythm" was a hit, as was the stomping blues-rock "Don't Give Up".

Buddy Guy, whose legendary blues guitar playing has influenced Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton and Beck, lived up to his promise of "I'm gonna play something so funky you can smell it".

Soul singer Candi Staton ended a euphoric set including "Stand By Your Man" with her 1986 double platinum single "You Got the Love" – recently brought back to the charts by Florence and the Machine; Staton's understated soul-disco version remains the best though. Another highlight was Squeeze: it's the hits that festival-goers really want, and Squeeze have them in abundance. Rolling out "Cool for Cats" and the brilliant "Up the Junction", Glenn Tilbrook and Chris Difford's differences seemed behind them as Tilbrook introduced his co-founder, Difford, as "the man who wrote every word".

As his children went on the helter-skelter, Mr Cameron's comment was: "It's a lovely family day out, with lots of activities for the kids, and particularly good when it's such good weather."

Arts and Entertainment

game of thrones reviewWarning: spoilers

Arts and Entertainment
The original Star Wars trio of Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill

George Osborne confirms Star Wars 8 will film at Pinewood Studios in time for 4 May

film

Arts and Entertainment
Haunted looks: Matthew Macfadyen and Timothy Spall star in ‘The Enfield Haunting’

North London meets The Exorcist in eerie suburban drama

TV

Arts and Entertainment

Filming to begin on two new series due to be aired on Dave from next year

TV

Arts and Entertainment
Kit Harington plays MI5 agent Will Holloway in Spooks: The Greater Good

'You can't count on anyone making it out alive'film
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

    Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

    Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

    Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
    China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

    China's influence on fashion

    At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
    Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

    The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

    Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
    Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

    Rainbow shades

    It's all bright on the night
    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
    Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

    The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

    A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
    'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

    Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

    Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

    The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
    Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

    Vince Cable exclusive interview

    Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
    Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

    Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

    Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
    Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

    It's time for my close-up

    Meet the man who films great whites for a living
    Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

    Homeless people keep mobile phones

    A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before