We were ready for a wash out at Oxford’s Common People. Instead we got a bank holiday weekend of glorious sunshine. This was fortunate for face-painting residents (and our hosts!) Snazaroo who pepped up everyone’s makeup for the weekend, doling out the festival chic and super hero guise in equal measure. The VIP Nook was our regular hang out, pleasantly shunted to the side of the stage with an exclusive bar, stage-side views, activities for the kids and all the face-painting fun we could possibly want.
Beyond the main stage and excitement of the Great Oxfordshire Gin tent, there lay a marvellous kids’ corner. Swing boats, dancing, arts and crafts, balloons, and more face painting made up a fantastic afternoon, before we calmed down and sat on the grass watching the nifty acrobatic performance. With so much to do – including the meet and greet with Paddington Bear – music isn’t the festival’s only great asset. Festival street food fare was in full supply, with Anna Mae’s Mac N Cheese stealing the show. Messing about with a round of crazy golf and getting in on the disco shed garden party were also top of the menu.
Did we see any bands? Maximo Park performed their usual festival set with their usual amount of gusto. The London African Gospel Choir performed Paul Simon’s Graceland, getting everyone who’d never heard of them captivated by their sound and presence – well, me at least. Ride turned up to rep their new album and were revered by the crowd who remembered them. After the sun went down James closed the festival with a brilliant and believable performance that, if it did bring a tear to your eye, Snazaroo’s makeup was hardy enough that nobody would notice.
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