ALMOST 20,000 people enjoyed this year’s sold-out Cropredy Convention Festival as Fairport Convention celebrated their 50th year.

The folk rockers launched what was the 41st time the music festival has been held, with organisers calling it a huge success.

The sun even managed an appearance for the weekend performances after the earlier fears the campsite at the festival, near Banbury, would not be suitable after a week of heavy rain.

But it dried up in time for Thursday’s festival launch from the Fairport Convention and held out for revellers throughout the three-day event.

Festival director Gareth Williams said: “The festival sold out about eight weeks ago, which was about 16,000 ticket sales, so with children and all the staff and volunteers its totalled about 20,000 people at the festival.

“For anybody that organises an outdoor event in the UK I think you are forever nervous about the weather but we managed to hold off the rain.

“The earlier weather has managed to dry out and it has been great, everybody has been very comfortable.”

Among the stand-out acts to perform to the crowds alongside Fairport Convention included Petula Clark on Friday and the Trevor Horn Band.

Other performers to delight the crowds included The Divine Comedy, including musician Neil Hannon who channelled his inner Napoleon, as well as Richard Thompson, Dougie MacLean and Marillion.

The festival culminated in another show-stopping extended set by Fairport Convention and special guests.

This year had special significance for the band as it marked the 50 years since they played their first concert in a church hall in May 1967.

Since there has been a large number of musicians joining and leaving along the way but this year's festival saw every surviving member – past and present – come together for the three-day event.

They signed off the festival in style with a host of folk rock fans in awe with the traditional sing-along to Meet on the Ledge.

Mr Williams added: “It has been great, I have just been walking around the site with my dog taking it all in.

“Everyone has been in great spirits.

“It is always a huge relief with organising these festivals when it all goes to plan and you just get that satisfaction.

“So far we have had a lot of great comments with people telling me how much they have been enjoying themselves so that is nice to hear.”

The three-day event also boasted a host of food and drink for festival goers to enjoy whilst camped up all week including 21 food stalls and 21 craft and clothing stalls.