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Sponsors help to keep Cornbury ‘club class’

12 March 2019

AS THE partnership between Cornbury Festival (cap. 14,000) and high street coffee chain Caffe Nero reaches its 10th anniversary, organiser Hugh Phillimore believes this and other sponsorships have enhanced the appeal of his event.

With over 500 coffee outlets in the UK, Caffe Nero uses the festival as a staff incentive scheme, he says, offering free festival tickets to employees in return for short shifts at the its three outlets onsite, including the 250-capacity coffee-bar style stage, showcasing unknown singer-songwriters.

“Caffe Nero co-founder Paul Ettinger is mad about music, so he programmes the stage himself,” says Phillimore. “They have showcased breaking artistes including Passenger and Jack Savoretti over the years and I’m proud of that.

“We have similar deals with brewer Hook Norton and estate agents Knight Frank.”

Phillimore had declared the 2016 event would be the last one, but returned the next year after the festival sold-out. “We get 74 per cent repeat business, but the other 26 per cent is dependent on artistes and the economy,” he says.

“We’re one of the most expensive festivals, but punters get a club class experience. I pride myself that cash is handed in to lost property.”

Ticket cost £215, with sales are about 12 per cent up on last year. Headliners include The Specials, Keane and The Beach Boys.

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