Fairport’s Cropredy Convention

Fairport’s Cropredy Convention
Photo: fairportconvention.com
Fairport’s Cropredy Convention, formerly known as the Cropredy Festival, is an annual folk and rock music festival that takes place in the village of Cropredy, Oxfordshire, England. It is the largest annual festival of its kind in the United Kingdom.

The festival was founded by the folk rock and electric folk band Fairport Convention. The first festival actually was a small private performance to about 750 Cropredy villagers that took place in July 1976. The next year the band repeated the performance and allowed fans to attend. The first properly organized festival was held in 1978.

In 1979, Fairport Convention decided to disband because they had no record deal and the vocalist had been diagnosed with tinnitus (ringing in the ears). They played their farewell concert on August 4, 1979 to around 4,500 fans. However, the Cropredy Festival continued with the band’s annual reunions.

What started as a one-band festival was expanded to a two-day event featuring guest acts in 1981. After Fairport Convention reformed in 1985, the Cropredy Festival became the band’s major platform for showcasing new songs. Since 2000, it has been a three-day event that takes place on the second full weekend in August. The festival received its current name, Fairport’s Cropredy Convention, in 2005.

Although the main focus of Fairport’s Cropredy Convention is folk rock, the festival also embraces other genres and styles of music including electric folk, acoustic music, punk, reggae, and more. Notable artists who have performed at the festival include Alice Cooper, Status Quo, Buzzcocks, 3 Daft Monkeys, Steeleye Span, Dreadzone, Al Stewart, Robert Plant, Lonnie Donegan, Oysterband, Eliza Carthy, and many others.

Fairport’s Cropredy Convention draws around 20,000 attendees each year. The festival features a single stage that hosts musical acts, folk dancing, and live sessions in two pubs. There are stalls selling CDs, books and clothing, food vendors, and a large bar specializing in cask ale. The festival bar is visited by festival-goers and performers alike, so the public can freely mingle with the musicians.

Fairport’s Cropredy Convention

Photo: James Howard




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