FROM Rocking All Over the World, original Status Quo drummer John Coghlan will be performing rather closer to home next year, headlining the Witney Music Festival.

It is a tribute to the growing reputation of the event that performers of the calibre of Mr Coghlan, who lives near Burford, are now appearing on the bill of a festival that has steadily developed over seven years from a small-scale event in pubs to one featuring a free open-air big-stage show, attracting thousands of music fans to The Leys.

With a new team at the helm for next year’s event, though still able to draw on the experience of Stuart Foster, one of the festival’s founders, the prospects for this showcase for West Oxfordshire’s music scene are set fair.

Over a period when the live entertainment scene in the town has been affected by the three-year closure of the Corn Exchange, due to a host of problems, the festival has provided a locally-focused counterpoint to the large commercially-driven festivals held in the district Previous chairman Derek West and the team behind him are to be congratulated for their efforts nurturing the festival from small beginnings.

We look forward to seeing what the new team can bring to the party next May.