* While the Fairport faithful take up their traditional places on the hillside at Cropredy today, a rather different event gets under way, down the A34.

BoomTown Fair is not just a festival but a city-themed community, which springs up in the Bowl of the Matterly Estate near Winchester. With hundreds of artists playing across 22 stages over nine individually flavoured ‘city districts’, BoomTown has come a long way from its roots as a village fair back in 2009, growing into one of the UK’s top 10 festivals.

Part of the festival’s appeal is its carnival atmosphere, with ‘citizens’ plunged into the make-believe world of this creative urban metropolis, complete with its own quirky storyline, fictional political history, mayoral elections and passports.

Citizens are encouraged to explore street theatre, circus and spoken word alongside an eclectic and varied soundtrack of ska, folk, gypsy, reggae, world, punk, electro-swing, jazz, jungle, garage and techno.

Reggae once again dominates the line-up as heavyweights Stephen Marley, SOJA, Alberosie, Barrington Levy and Kidlington’s own David Rodigan take to the iconic Lion’s Den stage. However, diversity is offered through gypsy-punk band Gogol Bordello, US ska outfit Streetlight Manifesto and French electro-swing group Caravan Palace, to name but a few, in a distinctly non-mainstream programme. We’ll tell you what we thought next week.


* If friendly, intimate gatherings are more your thing, head to the mystic Rollright Stones, for something altogether more wholesome.

The Rollright Fayre, which runs from tomorrow to Sunday is billed as the “biggest, small festival around”.

For its fifth instalment it offers music, circus, workshops and all-round revelry, fun, games and silliness during the day – and an eclectic mix of singers, bands and DJs spanning folk, funk, Balkan, Eastern European, soul, hip-hop, drum & bass and gypsy rhythms by night. If you feel like releasing your inner hippy, head to the stones.