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Music fans go wild at festivals in the county
11:00am Monday 13th August 2012 in News
Buy this photo » Joan Armatrading at Cropredy
CAMEL riding, folk music, and one of the world’s biggest naked swims were among the highlights of two festivals which came to a close last night.
Tens of thousands of people enjoyed music, drinks and laughter at Wilderness Festival at Cornbury Park, near Charlbury, and Fairport’s Cropredy Convention in the north Oxfordshire village.
The three-day Wilderness festival, now in its second year, attracted 10,000 people to an expanded site among the woods and lakes of the Cornbury deer park.
Organisers had hoped to break the world record for a collective skinny-dip with its Saturday evening Secret Swim, which saw 162 people shedding their clothes for a swim in one of the park’s lakes. Simultaneous swims were held in 25 other locations around the world – including Mapledurham in south Oxfordshire, Swindon, Bath and as far away as Japan and South Africa. It was not known last night whether the record had been broken.
Among those enjoying the spectacle was David John, from Jericho, Oxford.
He said: “It was absolutely hilarious. The water was pretty cold by then so everyone looked pretty chilly when they got out.”
He added: “It has been an amazing festival, by far the best in the country – which is why it attracts people from so far away.”
Meanwhile folk music fans from all over the country converged on Cropredy, near Banbury, for Fairport’s Cropredy Convention.
About 20,000 people attended the three-day event, from Thursday until Saturday to enjoy a line-up of acts ranging from Bellowhead and Squeeze to Joan Armatrading, as well as performances from Fairport Convention themselves.
The festival, which has been held since the 1970s and is run by the group, always ends with a performance of their hit Meet on the Ledge.
During the event, tributes were paid to former festival compere and Coronation Street actor Geoff Hughes, who died last month.
As well as the music, Adderbury Village Morris Men took to the stage for their first performance at the event.
Dancer Nick Duxbury, 27, said: “It was amazing – looking out at 20,000 people enjoying morris dancing isn’t something you get to do often.
“It has been amazing weather too, which really does help pull everyone together in a nice summery atmosphere, and the music is always of a great standard.”
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