ORGANISERS of the Cornbury Festival have thanked music-lovers for helping to make the weekend-long event a “huge success”.

Up to 13,000 people packed the site for the festival, which was brought to a rousing close with a set by veteran rockers Status Quo.

For the first time, the event was held over three days, rather than just two as in previous years, and took place at a new site, at Great Tew. Revellers were treated to three days of fine weather, and a typically eclectic line-up featuring a mix of classic bands and new artists, spanning everything from rock and pop to folk and blues. Highlights included sets by multi-platinum selling singer-songwriter James Blunt, folk-punks Bellowhead, Kinks frontman Ray Davies, singers Cyndi Lauper, Imelda May and Sophie Ellis Bextor, and vintage rock act The Faces — joined by Simply Red star Mick Hucknall.

Among those soaking up the music and sunshine were Top Gear star Jeremy Clarkson, who lives near Chipping Norton, food writer AA Gill, and Blur bassist-turned celebrity cheese-maker Alex James, from Kingham.

Set up eight years ago at Cornbury Park, in Charlbury, the festival’s move followed a deal between organiser Hugh Phillimore and major music promoter 3A Entertainment. The deal secured the future of the event, which, despite huge critical acclaim and enormous popularity, had previously failed to make a profit and last year went into liquidation.

And artists and festival-goers were full of praise for the new site.

A smiling James Blunt told Friday night’s audience that despite playing countless shows around the country, he had “never played anywhere so beautiful”.

And other artists agreed. Julia ‘Juju’ Heslop. from Oxford, whose three-piece Little Fish played on Saturday, said: “It is a fantastic festival. The site was lovely, with lots of secret places to explore among the trees. It was a nice, safe environment, with respectful people, and was really well organised.

“It went really well and we enjoyed our set. There was a really supportive crowd, with lots of familiar faces."

Festival-goer Ruth Clarke, from East Oxford, was enjoying her fourth Cornbury. She said: “Cornbury is always a highlight of the summer — and this year’s has been the best yet. The music was great, the weather was gorgeous, and the new site is breathtaking. It’s so lovely and laid-back; festival-going doesn’t get better than this."

Promoter Mr Phillimore, who curates the festival, said: “I was really pleased with the level of support we had. I have had so many people coming up to me and saying how much they love the new site.

“I want to say huge thanks to people for coming with us to Great Tew.

“Without their loyal support. there would be no festival.

“All the acts have been fabulous. Imelda May put on a fantastic show, and Sophie Ellis Bextor went down really well.

“Everyone enjoyed hearing Ray Davies sing all those great Kinks, songs while The Faces played rock-and-roll at its best.

“This weekend’s success means that Cornbury's future is totally secure. We are here to stay — and are already talking about which bands to book for next year.”