Book before they’re gone! 15 local events to nab
Festivals, circus, opera, theatre, cinema... it's all here. These are the hot tickets in Bucks & Oxon to bag now and make 2022 one to remember (depending on the hangover...)
Wilderness Festival, Cornbury Park
Wilderness is practically part of the ‘English Season’ thanks to its celeby/fashion following. And this year it’s back on 4-7 Aug with an ambitious line-up of music, theatre, talks, wellbeing, food and family activities. Current acts include Underworld, Peggy Gou and Years & Years with more to be announced. Alongside the likes of Sadler’s Wells dancers, Skye Gyngell cooking, yoga, wild swimming, crafting and outdoor hot tubs, that’s everyone in the clan catered for.
Giffords Circus is taking its inspo from the 1920s travelling theatres of Mexico and South America with its 2022 show, Carpa! Expect the usual jaw-dropping acrobatics, humour and cute animals alongside the slapstick antics of Gifford stalwart Tweedy. Tickets for Daylesford Organic (6-16 May), Blenheim Palace in Woodstock (2-6 Jun), Stonor Park in Henley (14-18 Jul), Barrington in Oxon (21 Jul – 1 Aug) and Stratton Meadows in Cirencester (8-19 Sept) are now on sale and they’ll go like the clappers so be sure to click quick!
Supercars & Classics, Stonor Park
On the back of its success with supercars, Stonor is this year extending its motor extravaganza weekend to classic cars alongside the sporty numbers. Over the two days (21-22 May), expect over 500 cars to drool over, plus artisan food and drink stalls and shopping, plus tickets include access to Stonor’s ever popular Tumblestone Hollow Adventure Playground. Sign up to the website now to bag an early bird discount.
Cornbury Music Festival, Great Tew
Held in The Great Tew Park, Oxon, this civilised festival prides itself on being quintessentially English – think country fair with a rock’n’roll twist. And this year – KLAXON – will be the last ever Cornbury, so experience the iconic event before it’s consigned to the annals of festival history. The full line up is still TBC but the fest has announced some old friends – as you’d expect from a swansong – and a few newbies. On the roster is Bryan Adams (my big crush, 1984 – hands off) plus James Blunt, Ronan Keating, Jools Holland and Mica Paris. There’s the option to glamp, plus make sure you bag tickets for the annual Festival Feast night (8-10 Jul).
Imagine: it’s a July evening and the sun is setting. You’re dancing in a field with your besties, wine in hand, listening to one of the country’s best Eighties acts. Set to take place in Tring on 1-2 July, Chilfest is aiming to come back big after two years of hiatus, and to celebrate it’s 10 year aniversary. Acts confirmed so far include The Proclaimers, Tony Hadley, Top Loader and more for the Sat night and a clutch of fabulous tribute acts on the Friday – with Amy Winehouse, The Beatles, Oasis and ABBA all represented.
Opera International, Oxford New Theatre
On 15 and 16 April, Opera International’s award winning Ellen Kent Production will be performing Puccini’s Tosca followed by Bizet’s Carmen in Oxford. Tosca’s heady mix of true love, torture and treachery is gripping meanwhile Carmen is no less passionate – hot stuff. Both poignantly featuring two Ukranian opera singers.
Award-winning theatre, Wycombe
If you’re a theatre lover, bag your tickets early for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, the Olivier and Tony Award-winning adaptation of Mark Haddon’s novel. It’s on 17-21 May at the Wycombe Swan and has received rave reviews.
Garsington Opera, near Oxford
The 2022 season at Garsington Opera, near Watlington, lasting 1 June – 31 July is set to be superb. We particularly can’t wait for The Turn of the Screw, 2-18 July, thanks to its gripping score and intensity (plus, it’s sung in English!).
Waddesdon Manor concert series
At the beginning of July, Waddesdon Manor turns full music venue, starting with An Evening with Michael Bublé on 2 July, then slam-dunking it with a concert (OMG!) from McFly on 3 July. If that wasn’t enough, 80s legends Tears for Fears will be taking the stage on 5 July. What a week! If you can’t wait that long, nearby Muddy fave hotel, bar and restaurant The Five Arrows is also stretching its musical muscle with two jazz club nights, on 30 Mar and 27 April – book by email to nab your table and ticket in one.
Foodies Festival, Oxford
Food might be the big draw here with the likes of Sunday Brunch‘s baking expert Jack Sturgess, Great British Bake Off 2021 legend Jürgen Krauss and our very own Oxon rising star Kitty Tait of The Orange Bakery; but musically they’ve got it nailed with Natalie Imbruglia, The Feeling, Liberty X and N-Trance. Enjoy sampling, shopping, boogying and baking but don’t drink too much and enter the chilli eating contest, ‘kay? (27-29 Aug).
The Big Feastival, Cotswolds
Alex James puts on quite the annual party at his farm, and this year (27-29 Aug) is bigger and better – there’s The Stereophonics and Anne Marie booked to start, as well as Basement Jaxx, Sam Ryder and the Sugababes. It’s definitely got a family focus so there’s a ton for kids (an entire field of crafts/Lego/playground/dress up/circus kids stuff). Grown up/big kid fun comes in the form of cooking classes, a funfair, talks from the likes of Thomasina Miers and Ching He Huang, plus yoga, wild workshops and of course, the cheese.
Blenheim Palace Flower Show, Woodstock
Oxon’s version of Chelsea does sell out so if you want to get your hands on tickets, get in there now (its 24-26 Jun)- they’re already on sale. Apart from the gazillions of plant stalls to peruse there’s talks, demos, food and drink and entertainment and of course, lots of shopping. Entry to the Palace, Park and Gardens is included in your tickets, which is a bit of a boon.
REW!ND Festival, Henley-on-Thames
Leg warmers and glitter at the ready (sustainable, natch)! Henley’s REW!ND at Temple Island Meadows is steaming ahead for this Aug (19-21 Aug to be precise) and tickets are available to buy now, for weekend, camping and day tickets. Headliners are an Eighties pop queen’s dream: Holly Johnson, The Human League, Belinda Carlisle, T’Pau, Level 42 … What are you waiting for?
Henley Festival, Henley-on-Thames
Henley’s fabulous festival on the water will be going ahead this year 6-10 July with a brilliant line up to celebrate its 40th year. We’re talking The Script, Jack Savoretti, Pete Tong’s Ibiza Classics with The Heritage Orchestra and Tom Jones, plus comedy, food and more drink than you can shake a cocktail stick at. Don’t forget to dig out your glad rags – the whole event is black tie apart from the family-friendly Sunday.
Luna Drive In Cinema, various locations
Luna Cinema is back for summer 2022 with fresh films like No Time to Die and Spielberg’s Westside Story, alongside favourites like The Greatest Showman, Dirty Dancing and Pretty Woman. The established outdoor cinema operator has the UK’s highest definition outdoor screens, and natty little in-car speakers as well as ‘click & collect’ food and drink. Tickets go on sale soon, so sign up to its website to get your first choice – last year’s Blenheim Palace screenings were fabulous.
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