Comedy, talks, a kids' zone and vintage cinema are just a few of the non-music related activities at Cornbury, says Katherine MacAlister

It’s a deceptive title, Cornbury Music Festival, because there is so much going on besides music this weekend.

Families especially will benefit hugely from the awesome extra-curricular line-up of fun, talent and opportunities on offer this year.

Oh, and anyone with a sense of humour will be in heaven because the likes of comedy greats Jeremy Hardy, Mark Watson and Al Murray will be striding on stage and making you laugh till you cry.

Cornbury even has its own literary festival with an eclectic and exciting line-up of events, plus a vintage mobile cinema, dancing classes, performance poetry and wine talks; tired yet?

But it’s the kids’ zone which shines out of the programme for anyone with children, because there is so much for them to do they won’t know where to start.

From musical theatre workshops to bhangra dance and Bollywood moves, samba drumming, Moo Music classes, puppet show Snot The Dragon, the Ace Of Diamonds Magic Show, percussion classes, The Pirate Queen and storytelling.

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On the arts and craft front they can try clay sculpture, withy weaving, living pictures, acorn animation, button pictures, carnival masks and groovy records. And if they haven’t collapsed by then, move on to Circus Kaos – probably the best circus workshop in the world.

But back to the grown-ups, because they haven’t been forgotten.

For example, legendary music journalist Mark Ellen will talk about the music industry with former music industry insider John Niven, regaling the audience with tales of the darker side of the music business.

John Mitchinson, co-creator of QI, which began life over drinks in the nearby Falkland Arms, is on board with his QI Elves; Tom Hodgekinson talking about his eclectic West London-based Idler Academy, and Robert Llewellyn actor, comedian and writer, best known as the mechanoid Kryten from Red Dwarf and presenter of Scrapheap Challenge, will be discussing his latest sci-fi novel News from The Squares set in a future world run by women.

Sunday starts quietly with the Sunday Hangover session run by wine buff and blogger Richard Bray, followed by performance poet, wit and raconteur George Chopping, before everything kicks off on Sunday afternoon when flamenco queen Rosa Maria taking over the marquee to teach festival-goers how to dance the flamenco-rumba in readiness for world music stars The Gipsy Kings who close the festival on Sunday night.

If film is your thing, you’ll relish the mini short-film festival in the lovingly restored Vintage Mobile Cinema featuring classic archive footage from the British Film Institute including famous wartime information films such as Listen to Britain, and old favourites including Night Mail, John Betjeman’s poetic journey on the mail train to Scotland with music from Benjamin Britten; as well as modern short films and children’s sessions.

And then, exhausted, you can sneak home and have a long sleep. Who needs music?

Cornbury Music Festival runs in Great Tew Park from tomorrow until Sunday.
See or call 0844 3380000.