Suede, Hot Chip and Candi Staton top bill at new Oxfordshire festival

·3-min read
Suede at Truck Store, Cowley Road, Oxford. They will headline Kite festival. Picture by Marc West
Suede at Truck Store, Cowley Road, Oxford. They will headline Kite festival. Picture by Marc West

ART-ROCK band Suede, electronic pop act Hot Chip and soul star Candi Staton will headline a fledgling festival to be held in the grounds of an Oxfordshire stately home.

The acts have been revealed for the second instalment of Kite festival at Kirtlington Park, between Woodstock and Bicester, in June.

Read more: Pete Tong joins Lionel Richie on bill for extended music festival at Blenheim Palace

The three-day event is billed by organisers as “a festival of ideas and music” and features theatre, comedy, talks and discussions with familiar names from the worlds of arts and politics.

Mercury Music Prize-winners Suede, fronted by heartthrob Brett Anderson, were one of the best-loved British bands of the 90s, topping the album charts. Crowned Best New Band in Britain by music magazine Melody Maker in 1992, they went on to be hugely influential. Their critically acclaimed new album Autofriction went straight to number two in the charts.

London Electronica artists Hot Chip are giants of dance-pop and best loved for hits Over and Over, Boy from School and Ready for the Floor.

Oxford Mail: CANDI STATON. Picture by Alan Messer
Oxford Mail: CANDI STATON. Picture by Alan Messer

Candi Staton

Veteran Alabama-born soul and gospel singer-songwriter Candi Staton is an iconic performer with hits going back to the 1970s. They include disco classic Young Hearts Run Free, Nights on Broadway, versions of Suspicious Minds and Stand By Your Man, and anthem You Got the Love – released with The Source and which reached number four in the singles charts.

The artist, 82, a four-time Grammy Award nominee, said: “I am so excited to be playing Kite festival and can’t wait to be finally back in the UK. I just love playing to British audiences and adore the English countryside.”

Also gracing the eclectic line-up are alternative pop artist Baxter Dury (son of Blockheads star Ian), Indo-jazz percussionist Sarathy Korwar, Peruvian DJ Sofia Kourtesis, Northern Irish DJ, producer and composer David Holmes, cult sensation Lynks, Amsterdam space-disco five-piece Mauskovic Dance Band, and DJs Decius and Raw Silk.

Oxford Mail:
Oxford Mail:

Hot Chip

Representing the ‘ideas’ element of the festival will be former editor of GQ and chair of London Fashion Week Men’s Dylan Jones, who will talk about fashion and journalism. Award-winning author of Grief is the Thing with Feathers Max Porter will share his insight on writing, while Miki Berenyi, formerly of ‘shoegaze’ band Lush, will discuss her life in music and play her songs.

Also billed are art-loving actor Russell Tovey, investigative journalist Alexi Mostrous, motivational speaker Simon Sinek, journalist Marina Hyde, authors Gaia Vince and Tomiwa Owolade, writer and political scientist Remi Adekoya, comedian-actor Cariad Lloyd, actor Mike Fenton Steven, author and podcaster Katherine May, and comedians Rosie Wilby, Toussaint Douglass, Josh Berry, Shazia Mirza and Kiri Pritchard McLean.

Oxford Mail: David Holmes
Oxford Mail: David Holmes

David Holmes

More names are to be announced in the new year.

Festival director Ciro Romano said: “Ideas and music have always co-existed; they are linked in our history, but, for the most part, there has been a clear dividing line between ideas/literary festivals and music festivals. We are thrilled to have developed a new greenfield festival that puts music and ideas on an equal footing and be back again.

Read more: Fatboy Slim and Chemical Brothers to bring beats to festival in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds

“At Kite, thinking and dancing can co-exist. It will engage with the most vital artists, musicians, writers, and public figures in one setting over three days. We couldn’t be more excited and look forward to having you join us at Kirtlington Park next June.”

Kite takes place at Kirtlington Park, near Bicester, from June 9-11. Tickets from