• Mon. May 20th, 2024

Cropredy stars brave heat for Fairport Convention festival


Aug 17, 2022

ORGANISERS of one of Oxfordshire’s longest-running festivals have thanked their 15,000 audience members for braving the weekend’s heat to make the event a success.

Cropredy Festival, the event organised by the folk-rock band Fairport Convention, attracted music lovers from around the world for three days of live music in scorching temperatures of up to 32C.

The festival – officially called Fairport’s Cropredy Convention – has been running since 1980, when it was launched as a reunion for the band who had played a farewell show in Cropredy, near Banbury, the year before.

The gathering has taken place every year since – other than the past two years which were cancelled due to the pandemic.

The festival, which drew to a close on Saturday night, was a belated celebration of the 50th anniversary of the band’s Full House album and of the arrival in the line-up of charismatic bass player Dave ‘Peggy’ Pegg.

It featured sets by the Trevor Horn Band – with special guests Robert Fripp and Toyah, Clannad, Steve Hackett of Genesis, Turin Brakes, Sharon, Shannon, Seth Lakeman, Edward II, Home Service, Rosalie Cunningham and Fairport Convention themselves – who bookended the festival with an opening acoustic slot and a two-and-a-half-hour closing show.

Oxford Mail: The Cropredy crowd all lit up. Pictures by Kirstie Handley

Picture by Kirstie Handley

The festival also featured a solo set by Fairport founder Richard Thompson – widely regarded as one of the word’s best guitarists. The artist, who lives in America, is a regular guest at the event, joining the line-up about every three years and has a reputation among festival regulars for bringing the rain which has plagued many of the annual August gatherings.

This year’s heat put that folkloric rumour to rest, however.

A spokeswoman for the festival said: “Richard does have a reputation for bringing the rain but that was certainly not the case this year, which was very hot and dry. In fact, we were all rather hoping it would rain!”

Oxford Mail: The line-up featured regulars, new bands and guests. Pictures by Kirstie Handley

Picture by Kirstie Handley

She paid tribute to artists and fans, saying: “It was a long, long wait to see these artists but was totally worth it. They did us proud – and so did the audience who showed up in blazing heat and ran onto the field like they normally do and jumped up to dance.”

Oxford Mail: Arriving at the event well prepared

Picture by Kirstie Handley

The heat took its toll on revellers, with a number being treated for its effects.

The spokeswoman added: “The number of heat related incidents was high but dealt with successfully by the on-site medical team and the Horton Hospital.”

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