Family fun at the Cornbury Music Festival

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There is a reason Cornbury Music Festival is so popular with families. It’s not just that it’s one of the safest most relaxed festivals in the country, nor that there’s music to appeal to all ages, a great range of child-friendly food and quiet campi

It’s the fantastic Kids’ Zone with activities to suit all ages running throughout each day of the festival: things to watch, things to join in with, things to have a go at, things to listen to, things to throw around, and quiet things - musical moments and gentle yoga.

The Kids’ Zone is a colourful, creative, friendly space right in the middle of the festival, in sight of the main stage, so families can drop in and out whilst seeing all the festival highlights; and, unlike other festivals, all activities are free and there is no need to book in advance, just turn up and join in.

Spread over three tents and an open area, the wide mix of activities means there is something for all ages on the go all the time - activities to engage and inspire, whether for a few minutes between acts or for a whole afternoon. From Clay Modelling and Lantern Making to Circus Crafts and Bollywood Dancing - plus knitting, the new rock and roll!

New highlights to this year include - Marky J’s Monkey Magic Show - a marvellous mix of puppets, magic and circus; Dizzy O’Dare and The Big Balloon Experiment - an amazing show featuring a VERY big balloon; and the truly nutty Professor Pumpernickel with the greatest show on earth! Starring exotic chemicals, unfathomable physics phenomena and some really rubbish jokes.

Making a song and dance of it

Kids can learn to play the ukulele with Sarah Kelly, join in Miniature Music sessions, or Songs For Kids with Nick Cope, find their inner rhythm at the Drumming workshops or pick up new moves with Sohan Kailey’s Bhangra, Bollywood and Indian Dance lessons. And, new this year, is Billy & Andy's Accessible Music Making Bonanza, making creative music with people with special needs using instruments and technology suitable for all to participate with.

Getting crafty 

New to the Crafts and Making tent this year are Circus-themed Crafts by Young Piccolos; Lantern Making with Spare Room Arts; Banners and Bunting with Salaric Arts; Screen Printing with Far Out Workshops; and Knitting with The Woolly Warriors. Plus: Withy Weaving, Clay Modelling and Giant Colouring In.

And the ever-popular Circus Skills Workshop runs all day with expert tuition from Circus Kaos and Solo Circus in juggling, plate-spinning, diablo, unicycle, hula hoops and much more!

Outside the tents, Under The Canopy Creations need help to make a crazy croquet/mini golf course that will go over the weekend and there’s The Rig interactive musical installation (The Rig works with the BBC Ten Pieces Project to encourage children to engage with classical music).

As always world class street performers invade the Festival site. Ones to watch out for this year include Loz Because’s Walkabout Hula Hoop Show, Creature Encounter’s larger than life exotic avian amigos Squawk with their inquisitive beaks and joyful squawks; and leading tightrope artist, Dizzy O’Dare’s innovative tightwire shows, The Airettes and Lumi.

Published on 24 April 2015 by Ben Robinson

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