A starry Christmas concert
Macmillan’s Christmas carol concert Follow the Stars at Oxford’s Christchurch is always a hot commodity, but this year is looking particularly star-studded as it’s the event’s 25th anniversary. The celeb line-up includes Dame Mary Berry, Toby Jones, Gugu Mbatha-Raw (who you’ll recognise from Dr Who and the new Loki series) and Aimee Lou Wood (aka Aimee from Sex Education), who will all be performing readings as part of the service.
This year, for the first time ever, the event will be livestreamed too – which is lucky, as in-person tickets disappeared faster than a tin of Quality Street on Boxing Day. Instead, pop onto Macmillan’s JustGiving page on Fri 10 Dec at 8pm to see a performance guaranteed to warm even the Grinchiest heart. Don’t forget to donate!
Although it seems light years away from denim shorts and flower crowns (even the thought has me reaching for the central heating), we’re busy planning for the summer’s festivals after the latest lot of line-up announcements. Let’s get you up to speed, shall we?
There’s a brand new local festival on the scene, and it has one of the weirdest line-ups we’ve seen in a while! Kite Festival is due to land for its inaugural showing in Kirtlington Park, Oxon on 10-12 June 2022, and its headliners include Grace Jones (above), TLC, and, er, David Miliband? Positioning itself as a festival of music and ideas, Kite has thrown names such as Delia Smith, Elizabeth Day and Jarvis Cocker as speakers in with its indie folk line-up. We wonder what backstage is like…
After a two-year break, Cornbury Festival in Chipping Norton has announced its headline acts for 8-10 July 2022. Joining the party in Great Tew Park is Bryan Adams, James Blunt, The Darkness and Ronan Keating, as well as Cornbury old hat Jools Holland (above – this’ll be the third time he’s taken the stage). Keep an eye out for David Cameron and wife Sam (in the audience, not on stage, obv), who have donned their Cornbury wristbands several times in the last few years.
Local boy Tom Kerridge’s festival offering Pub in the Park has already sold out of its early bird tickets – which isn’t surprising considering the stellar headliners this year, alongside the usual excellent grub. McFly, Rag’n’Bone Man, Sister Sledge, Sophie Ellis Bextor and Faithless will all be descending on Marlow’s Higginson Park from 12-15 May, with the Saturday headliner still to be announced. Make sure you sign up for the next ticket release in the new year if you want a spot.
Waddesdon Manor in Bucks is welcoming a whole host of celebs in July, with at least three big-name concerts recently announced.
Man of the moment Michael Bublé arrives first, with his open-air concert ‘An Evening with Michael Bublé’ taking place on Sat 2 July. Tickets go on sale TODAY (Fri 3 Dec) so scurry on over if you’d love to see the Canadian crooner IRL.
The very next day, McFly will be playing an outdoor evening show from 6pm – which is the perfect opportunity to see them if you missed out on their Pub in the Park performance (or to go twice if you’re a mega fan!).
Finally, 80s nostalgia is calling in the form of Tears for Fears, who’ll be playing an open-air concert on Tues 5 July to celebrate their new album. The Tipping Point will be their first studio album since 2004, and comes out in Feb next year – so you have plenty of time to learn the words ahead of seeing them live.
Imagine Dragons are performing a single UK date on their new Mercury world tour in 2022 – and would you believe it, it’s in Milton Keynes? The best-selling rock band will land at Stadium MK on Sat 18 Jun, so be sure to scoop tickets up quick if you’re a fan (or you have one on your Christmas list).
As seen on screen
If you recognise some of the shots in Downton Abbey: A New Era (er, not the sunny French bits, obviously), that’s because scenes from it were filmed at Cogges Manor Farm in Witney, which once again reprises its role as the show’s fictional Yew Tree Farm. The film arrives on Fri 18 Mar, so you can keep an eye out for yourself.
Speaking of filming, you might spot Jodie Comer or Joaquin Phoenix on the streets of Oxfordshire in the new year, as Ridley Scott’s new film Kitbag about the life of Napoleon Bonaparte starts filming here in January. They’re even on the lookout for extras – long-haired beardy types, apply here!
Finally, fans of Clarkson’s Farm will be delighted to hear that you might soon be able to plan date night at Diddly Squat in Chipping Norton. Clarkson is said to be planning a 60-cover restaurant in his lambing shed, although neighbours are apparently, um, less than receptive to the idea. Watch this space…
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