• Sat. Jun 15th, 2024

Stars party at The Big Feastival on rock star Alex James’ Cotswolds farm

Byoxfordnewspaper

Aug 30, 2022

STARS from the worlds of music, food, TV and film joined thousands of revellers on the farm of rock artist Alex James for what has been described as the tastiest festival of the summer.

Fans of pop, rock and dance were joined by gastronomic enthusiasts and families for The Big Feastival at the Blur bassist farm in Kingham, near Chipping Norton at the weekend.

The event, which drew to a close on Sunday night, was Oxfordshire’s last major festival of the summer and saw revellers – including some famous faces – treated to three days of pop, rock and dance from chart stars and up-and-coming new artists, and demonstrations by leading culinary experts.

The festival, which basked in glorious sunshine, was headlined by 80s electro-pop act The Human League, chart star Anne-Marie and Welsh rockers Stereophonics who brought the main stage to a close on Sunday night with a rousing set of hits, culminating in anthem Dakota – complete with crowd participation.

Other artists to receive the thumbs-up included Basement Jaxx, Gabrielle, Jax Jones, Gracey, The Futureheads, Jake Bugg and the reunited original line-up of chart-toppers Sugababes – Mutya Buena, Keisha Buchanan and Siobhan Donaghy.

Oxford Mail: The 2022 Big Feastival  Anne-Marie headlines the main stage on Saturday. 27/08/2022 Picture by Ed Nix

Anne-Marie

Familiar faces included former Love Island presenter Laura Whitmore and TV’s Vernon Kay – who both compered the main stage; comedian, writer and actor Simon Pegg – who returned to read stories to young festival-goers; and Cotswold writer, comedian and Trigger Happy TV star Dom Joly – who also tried his hand at DJing in the festival’s Cheese Hub bar venue.

Oxford Mail: Alex James at The Big Feastival. Picture by Tim Hughes

Host Alex James

Also spotted was local lad Kaleb Cooper, the Chipping Norton farmer who rose to fame through his appearances on Clarkson’s Farm – the Amazon Prime TV programme which follows the agricultural travails of presenter Jeremy Clarkson on nearby Diddly Squat Farm. Mr Cooper was overheard asking organisers where they had secured the huge number of hay bales used for seating and for a children’s play area.

Oxford Mail: The Big Feastival 22. Picture by Tim Hughes

Laura Whitmore

Foodies were treated to some of the best street festival caterers in the country and could pick up tips from chefs such as Thomasina Miers, Romy Gill, Becky Excell, Ed Hughes, Clare Smyth and DJ BBQ.

Host Mr James told the Oxford Mail: “ This festival absolutely combines everything I love: where I live, food, music and family stuff. This was a dream line-up and we spent all year making it brilliant and gorgeous.”

Oxford Mail: The Big Feastival 2022. Picture by Tim Hughes

Fairground thrills

He added: “We will be back in 2023 and cannot wait to welcome you all back on the farm for August Bank Holiday weekend.”

Jess Way from Berkshire, was visiting for the first time and said she was eager to return. She added: "The Big Feastival was so brilliant – there was so much tasty food and so many great acts.

"Gabrielle was my favourite. I loved how, in between in each song, she used her platform to share a message about love, menopause and just being happy

"The weekend felt like a mish-mash of all my favourite festivals and all the best bits of them. I'll definitely be going back – it's full of so many different people of all ages plus families, but everybody fits in and has a good time."

Oxford Mail: The Big Feastival 2022. Picture by Tim Hughes

Stereophonics

Music lover and food writer Heather Rezek, from Wantage, was visiting with her family. She said: "We always love coming to The Big Feastival because they get the festival-foodie-family balance so perfectly right.

"The kids and I love it in equal measures – for them the donuts and dodgems and for me it’s the glitter and grub!"