• Fairport's Cropredy Convention
  • Cropredy

Fairport’s Cropredy Convention is loved by music fans from near and far – and this year’s instalment was no exception.

Its single sloping field allows maximum visibility of acts, featuring musicians from all over the world playing on one big impressive stage.

Whether we were enjoying Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys and his voluptuously full-sounding band from halfway up the field, framed by a vivid orange sunset; were dancing in the rain to Afro Celt Sound System, or practicing circus skills, there was somewhere for everyone to enjoy at this inspiring family festival.

Quality food stalls catered for a wide range of tastes and there was good ale and cider without much of a wait at the long and generously well-staffed bar. You might have even bumped into any number of musicians there too as one of the attractions of Cropredy is its sense of inclusion. We all share the same space, the same bar and the same field. Big acts rarely get to enjoy the company of their fans, but at Cropredy, many of them do just that.

It rained a bit but we didn’t mind; we had our chairs, umbrellas and our waterproofs.

Magic moments included The Oysterband celebrating their 40th anniversary, the Bar-steward Sons of Val Doonican and a rubber dinghy crowd surf to a Doonican-esque rendition of House of Pain’s Jump Around.

When Al Stuart and guitarist David Nachmanoff played Borderline the rain stopped, an eerie calm accompanied umbrellas closing, hoods going down and smiles clearly visible all around.

We all sang Fairport Convention’s Meet on the Ledge which followed a special ovation for Maartin Allcock who, joined his former Fairport Convention friends for a masterly performance.

Organisation seemed well crafted with lots of friendly stewards. Enthusiasm and kindness among festival goers outweighed rain blues because at Cropredy you are part of a community.

On that field, you are as much a part of the festival as hosts Fairport Convention themselves. 5/5