POP stars, TV personalities and top chefs will join 20,000 fun-seekers on a West Oxfordshire farm this weekend for what must surely be the country’s most rarefied music festival.
Alex James, bassist with the Brit Pop band Blur, throws open the gates of his 200-acre farm at Kingham, near Chipping Norton, today, for the start of his Big Feastival – the annual celebration of food and music he co-hosts with celebrity chef Jamie Oliver.
Now in its fourth year, the Feastival has grown from an intimate two-day gathering of 10,000 people, to a three-day festival attracting twice that number and with a line-up which rivals many of the country’s biggest festivals.
Headline sets come courtesy of superstar DJ Fatboy Slim and smooth jazz pianist Jamie Cullum. There will also be sets by hip-hop star Kelis and De La Soul, Jazzie B’s Soul II Soul, Mercury-nominated Laura Mvula and comic Latin-pop act The Cuban Brothers.
Foodie celebs include Masterchef judge Monica Galetti, Dragon’s Den star – and Reggae Reggae Sauce creator – Levi Roots, Jamie Oliver’s mentor Gennaro Contaldo, Rachel Khoo, Gizzi Erskine, Mark Hix, Emily Watkins of the nearby Kingham Plough, and model-turned cook Daisy Lowe, with stars showing off their skills in a demonstration kitchen.
There will also be presentations by hosts Mr Oliver and Mr James – who as well as running a farm and performing occasional sets with Blur, has launched his own acclaimed range of cheeses.
There will also be appearances by children’s TV personalities Justin Fletcher and Mr Bloom, and BBC Countryfile presenter Adam Henson, who brings along animals from his Cotswold Farm Park, near Stow-on-the-Wold.
“The Big Feastival occupies a really great niche in terms of its size,” says Mr James, a father of five.
“We have great music and food and are a fantastic day out for families. That’s what I care about and that’s what motivates me. I wouldn’t do it otherwise.”
He adds: “My farm is a big fountain of joy and everybody who comes finds something they love about it. It’s a really beautiful part of the world.
“It’s been hard work to make something work, and takes 12 months to make it come together, but now we can just let it happen.
“Jamie and I have nine kids between us, and it’s not the easiest job to be doing, but it’s about all the things I love – and you have a good idea it will pay off.
“I enjoy it so much and am really looking forward to it.”
- The Big Feastival runs from today to Sunday. Day and weekend tickets are available at jamieoliver.com/thebigfeastival or on the gate. Camping tickets have sold out.
Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS or SPORT or NEWS AND SPORT, depending on which services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone’s contacts as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.
11:20am Monday 28th July 2014
What do you think? We welcome letters from our readers on a wide variety of subjects and you can send us a letter through the blue headline above.
Our top stories
'Major hope' that Caterham factory in Leafield could re-open despite F1 team also going into administration
1:34pm Friday 24th October 2014
ADMINISTRATORS have been handed full management responsibility for the Caterham Formula One team in a bid to find a new buyer.
11:40am Friday 24th October 2014
HUNDREDS of people have gathered outside St Mary Magdalene's church in Woodstock to pay their respects to the 11th Duke of Marlborough.
1:01pm Friday 24th October 2014
AN ELDERLY woman was taken to hospital after two cars crashed on the A4074.
9:30am Friday 24th October 2014
James Roberts is in no mood to rest on his laurels as the young Oxford United striker looks to feature in a fourth successive game when they visit Carlisle United tomorrow.
7:00am Friday 24th October 2014
A £110m cancer research centre is planned for Headington to study pioneering treatment with hundreds of county patients.
6:30am Friday 24th October 2014
MULTIPLE roadworks that cause city traffic gridlock are “worth it”, a minister has said.