Cropredy 2023 – An early progress review

There’s just 145 days and 2 hours to go [at the time of writing…] before Fairport Acoustic take to THAT stage in THAT field to launch the 2023 Fairport’s Cropredy Convention. Our man John popped into the Home Farm field this morning during an Oxfordshire ramble to check on how the preparations were shaping up.

Yes – I’m a rambler, I’m a rambler, (originally) from Manchester way – and the great news is that, as far as Cropredy preparations are concerned, everything seems to be going to plan. Of course, the stage hasn’t been assembled yet, the toilets haven’t arrived and the traders haven’t set up their stalls. The wristband exchange tent hasn’t yet been erected, the campsites aren’t marked out and there’s no sign of the bar, the beer, the CD stall or the CDs. And, so far, the queues haven’t started to form…

It’s the same story on the talent front. There’s no sign yet of Nile Rodgers and his Chic entourage, The Young ‘Uns are, to the best of my knowledge, at home in County Durham preparing for their Spring tour and Beans On Toast is getting ready to wow the good people of Falmouth. On the Fairport front, Chris Leslie and Dave Mattacks are out and about with Feast Of Fiddles, whilst Simon and Peggy are, presumably, taking a spot of well-earned R&R at their respective homes in Kent and The Morbihan. And Ric, ah – Ric: well, I guess that he’ll be admiring that wonderful view of Bloxham’s magnificent Elephant & Castle whilst he recuperates. The cows, grazing peacefully over in the corner of the field are seemingly unperturbed by the absence of any musical legends and, if that’s OK with them, it’s fine by me.

Festival preparations are at much the same stage in and around the village. In the camping fields, the local cattle have started to lay those soft, fragrant patches that help make camping at Cropredy such a comfortable, restful, experience, but neither the canoe club, the primary school, the cricket club nor the village hall appear to have breakfasts on the go and the Dylan band weren’t in evidence at the Red Lion. And, if my esteemed At The Barrier colleague Howard King is hoping for one of his beloved bacon butties from the catering trailer by the bridge, he’ll have to wait for a while – at the moment, there’s no sign of any bread rolls, bacon, or even a trailer…

And all that constitutes a big tick the “compliance to project plan” box! Everything’s under control, Gromit!

Any Cropredy regular who has had the opportunity to wander around the festival field during the 51-week close-season will be aware of the nostalgic, slightly eerie, aura that engulfs the place. And the sense of expectation that is stirred by just being in that field is palpable. Jonah’s Oak, resplendent today in the early Spring sunshine, is a wonderful monument to the special magic of this field, this village and these memories. I tell you – I was so emotionally charged by my visit that I had to pop into the Red Lion to partake of that fine establishment’s malt-and-hops-based substitute for a cup of coffee and a hot bath!

Only 145 days, one hour and forty-five minutes to go… [At the time of writing…] – there’ll be lots of people who are more interesting than me in this field then – just you wait and see! And every time the countdown clock ticks, the waiting time gets one second shorter…

Check out Fairport’s website and social media pages for everything you need to know about Fairport’s Cropredy Convention 2023: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / YouTube

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2 replies »

  1. Cheers Chris – They certainly are. Let’s hope that they keep up the good work for the next 3 months!!😃

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