MORE names have been announced for a new 'festival of music and ideas' coming to Oxfordshire this summer – featuring famous actors and one of the world's most famous artists.

Kite is a new three-day event featuring not just bands but speakers from the worlds of politics, culture, science and the arts. It claims to be aimed at "curious, inquisitive, and cultural minds".

Taking place between June 10 and 12 at Kirtlington Park – between Woodstock and Bicester – the event will blend music of all genres and debates of a variety topics, as well as comedy, poetry and dance.

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Having previously announced sets by art-funk-pop star Grace Jones, R&B legend Mavis Staples, and R&B girl-group TLC, the organisers have unveiled yet more stars, including Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, actor Russell Tovey – star of The History Bots, Him & Her and Being Human – and film star and musician Minnie Driver.

Other new names include journalist and television presenter Andrew Neil, journalist Ari Shapiri, gallerist Robert Diament, rock band 'Black Country, New Road'.

They join the already advertised musicians Tom Misch, Kate Stables – AKA This Is The Kit – Seun Kuti, Egypt 80, and Self Esteem – the musical project of Rebecca Lucy Taylor.

Professor Richard Dawkins, cookery writer Delia Smith, Drag Race UK star Bimini Bon Boulash and politician Ed Miliband join the 'deas' line up.

Oxford Mail: Grace Jones. Picture: Andrea KlarinGrace Jones. Picture: Andrea Klarin

A spokesperson for the festival said: "Kite will offer room to dance and space to think. In an age defined by the ubiquity of the internet and social media, there is a growing public appetite for knowledge, debate, and discussion.

"Audiences are looking for more alternative and non-musical activities at music festivals. Kite will rise to the challenge by creating a unique offering for people who are passionate, and curious by tapping into the public's increased awareness and interest in the world around them."

The ideas portion of the festival will "ask provocative, fundamental questions in a highly polarised world", the organisers explain.

They said: "What binds us together? What drives us apart? World-class public figures, cultural icons, artists, and thinkers will delve into concepts  both big and small  and explore them."

Oxford Mail: Bimini Bon-BoulashBimini Bon-Boulash

A wide range of topics will be explored during the course of the festival, including the environment, society, technology, sport and political systems to identity, wealth, the arts, history, globalisation, and sexuality. These topical debates will be lead through a mix of long-form interviews, workshops and smaller group discussions.

There will also be other elements to the festival, including the anarchic comedy cabaret act Blow My Wig, poet Gboyega Odbunjo.

The spokesperson added: "Kite puts the beautiful Oxfordshire countryside on your doorstep. A three-day, greenfield camping festival, Kite offers weekend, day, glamping and premium tickets in an experience that is accessible to all ages.

Kirtlington Park, a breath-taking Grade I-listed Palladian house set in 3,000 acres of rolling parkland overlooking the Chiltern Hills, presents the ideal venue for deliberations that look to the future while acknowledging the past."


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