Review: Common People Festival 2016 | Oxford

Ok. So we are on a mission to look for alternatives to the wonderful Reading festival. That is not to knock the Reading festival, it’s a great gig for young-with-spare-cash people. Or older for that matter. It simply isn’t made for those who have kids dangling about them, or, worse, sprinting off down the street without hardly a goodbye.. Ours is a ‘which family friendly festival are the best in the region’ mission and we are looking high and low.

Common People – what a great name, we had to check this one out. Also it’s really local – well a 45 minute easy drive away with park and rides galore, yes, this one is in Oxfordshire…

So here we go:

Location: As we said, fairly easy to reach (we’d give it a 3.5 stars out of 5) – lost stars on account of not having any local parking and we are simply lazy folk.. the park and ride was easy and there were loads of them, to be fair. OK 4 stars.

Line up: Duran Duran; Soul 2 Soul, Katy B (list more) and Public Enemy? We thought the gigs were a knock out, really top class players still up there after all these years. The weird thing was that the crowd didn’t seem as overwhelmed with joy about it as I personally felt, but then this is Oxfordshire and it differed apparently depending where you were experiencing it from, our cameraman, Juan, always in the front line, stated unequivocally that there was plenty of excitement from where he was standing.

Special mention to the Cuban Brothers brought a different element to the weekend, outrageous, hilarious and incredibly entertaining. They are made up of charismatic Mike Keat (Miguel Mantovani), Archie(Archerio) and Kengo Oshima (otherwise known as Kengo san). Despite the fact that none of them are actually Cuban, they are incredibly convincing.

Lining your stomach: The food was outstanding. Really very good quality, and yes, I did sample quite a bit. The price was, well, London, I’d say, depending on what you went for; a plate of excellent curry £9 pounds. I’d pay much more for excellent curry however if you are more cash-strapped than lead by your tummy, it is worth thinking about. Burgers and Pizzas went for more around the £5 pound mark.

Looking good? The crowd was looking good – you might want to polish your wellies (helpful if Hunters) up a bit before coming in here if you give a damn for such things as fitting in with the crowd! Having said that, we met with nothing but friendliness and were not quite so good looking ourselves – it didn’t seem to matter.

Little ones: Our 4 year old had a really good time; she loved the helter skelter, typically, which was 2 pounds a go as were the bouncy castles, again, that got her jumping for joy (sorry). The entertainer was pretty mesmerising on his high wire juggling flames and there were plenty of other juggling going on in the crowd by other, older children. Talking of which, if she was just a bit older we reckon she would have enjoyed other tents and the crowd of children around as the atmosphere was friendly – definitely the friendliest bouncy castle bloke I’ve ever met – I stopped short of asking for a photo but he was pretty great…

Lots for your money? Loot: Some things were costly – beer and cider 5 pounds a pint and as mentioned, some of the food. However entrance was only £29.50 for an adult. Frankly that is just fabulous for the line up on each day and For £59 per day you got into the The Nook – VIP area, where you got shelter from the sun in huge tents, a great view of the stage and even a couple of kind of short beds that you could flake out on if they weren’t pre-loaded with flaked out kids.