SMALL is beautiful. That was the message from the organisers of Oxfordshire’s self-styled charity ‘micro festival’ Arcane.

The three-day event, which came to a close on Sunday, was hailed as a hit by organisers, musicians and festival-goers.

While many larger festivals have struggled to attract revellers in the face of the recession, Arcane, which took place at City Farm, Eynsham, easily pulled in a capacity crowd of just less than 500. And among those to benefit was a clutch of good causes and charities who stand to share from the proceeds, which are still being counted.

The party – which was headlined by political folk band Chumbawamba, ska act Imperial Leisure, and Oxford’s Original Rabbit Foot Spasm Band – raised funds for Farms for City Children, Oxford’s refugee support group Asylum Welcome, and charity Practical Action, which works on intermediate technology projects for developing countries.

Also benefiting was Oxfam through its Oxjam music scheme.

Co-organiser and musician Su Starling said: “We are not a big festival, but we have a lot of fun and even raise some money for good causes. I think we prove that ‘small is beautiful.

“When we started this festival, we wanted it to feel like a party for our friends, and that’s what we’ve got. We are intimate but lively. Arcane is a micro-festival and that’s how we like it.”

While the bands were popular, many of Arcane’s regular festival-goers come to dance, with DJs running well into the small hours. One of the most popular was the Prism sound system, a fixture on Oxford’s club scene in the 1990s, and still fondly regarded by hardened dance fans of a certain vintage.

Club master of ceremonies and guitarist, ‘Osprey’, from East Oxford, who also performed as part of the Ox4 All Stars, praised Arcane’s organisers for staging “a great little festival”.

He added: “People love it. You see the same people every year. It has a lovely vibe and that’s how it should stay.”

Gordon Wilson, from North Oxford, who was enjoying his second Arcane, said: “It is a million miles from Glastonbury, Reading, or even Cornbury or Cropredy, but it is way more fun than any of them – with a great crowd, brilliant atmosphere, and a lot of laughs.

“Why put up with crowds, queues and stiff ticket prices if you can come to a festival like this and have the time of your life for three days for just £40?”