New lifeline grant ensures Banburyshire's favourite music festival will live to see another event at Cropredy

Banbury-based, legendary band Fairport Convention has received a £120,000 government grant to help secure the future of the annual Cropredy folk rock festival.

Tuesday, 23rd November 2021, 12:41 pm
Updated Tuesday, 23rd November 2021, 12:42 pm
Fairport Convention, l - r, Chris Leslie, Simon Nicol, Dave Pegg, Ric Sanders and Gerry Conway. The band has received a third grant to ensure the survival of the Cropredy festival

The grant comes from the third round of the government's Culture Recovery Fund enabling Fairport's Cropredy Convention to continue despite two cancellations because of the Covid pandemic.

Fans have been holding onto tickets bought for the 2020 festival and were disappointed again when this year's August event had to be postponed. Now hopes are high that the 2022 convention will go ahead.

Festival Organiser Gareth Williams said: “Postponing Cropredy for a second year really strained our resources and those of our suppliers. The funding we received in CRF Rounds One and Two was invaluable in keeping the festival office open and supporting the businesses we need to be there for us next August. In fact, without the funding I’m not sure we could have survived. But now we can look forward with renewed confidence to welcoming our audience and suppliers back to the field next summer.”

Faiport's Cropredy Convention is among 925 recipients to benefit from the latest round of CRF funding. The festival has been held annually in Cropredy since 1979 and over the years has grown from a few hundred fans of folk-rock pioneers, Fairport Convention, to a 20,000-capacity event.

Local businesses, associations and charities benefit each year from the income these festival-goers provide. The postponement of the 2020 festival for a second time came as a blow to all concerned.

As before the grants funding has been administered by Arts Council England with over £1.2 billion having been awarded from the Cultural Recovery Fund so far. In total over five thousand organisations across the arts have benefitted from the three grants and this latest round will continue the help needed to deal with the reopening challenges ahead.