WITH it’s rolling green acres on the edge of the Cotswolds, well-behaved crowd, steady stream of celebrities and constant sound of popping Champagne corks, it’s no wonder the Cornbury Festival has a reputation for being posh.

And while ‘Poshstock’, now in it’s ninth year, has clung on to its rarefied air as a top-class weekend in the country, it has also proved itself as a premier music festival – with possibly the most eclectic line-up you’ll see all summer.

Elvis Costello, James Morrison, Seasick Steve, Pixie Lott, Jools Holland, Will Young and Hugh Laurie are among the acts heading to Great Tew Park, near Chipping Norton, for Oxfordshire’s first big festival of the season, which gets under way tomorrow.

Also playing the three-day event are Irish country-rockers Waterboys, Essex songstress Alison Moyet, country-rockers Danny & The Champions of the World, singer-songwriters Newton Faulkner, Tom Baxter, Marc Almond and Nerina Pallot, Norwegian instrumentalists Katzenjammer, and singer Macy Gray – who will be making her first UK festival appearance.

With a capacity of 16,000 people, and three stages among the woods at Great Tew, Cornbury has both moved on from its origins at nearby Cornbury Park, but also stuck to its ethos of good, clean fun.

And still at the helm is festival director Hugh Phillimore.

Hugh admits he initially bridled at the festival’s now ubiquitous nickname, but now embraces it as a sign that he must be doing something right.

“Poshstock!” he laughs. “I didn’t like it at first, but if posh means clean, tidy, well-organised and safe, well fine. I can live with that.

“It’s a unique festival with a great vibe,” he says. “It’s a country fair with a rock ’n’ roll twist; a farmers’ market with a dancefloor; a village fete with some bands.”

And what bands! As well as the big names, the lower echelons of the bill are a music-lovers’ dream, boasting names like Eli Paperboy Read, Juan Zelada, 9 Below Zero, Beth Hart, and Gretchen Peters.

Even the ‘voice of an angel’ choirgirl-turned rocker Charlotte Church will be putting in an appearance as a special guest, along with Steve Winwood, who plays with Stax Soul.

“The bill is one of our strongest yet,” says Hugh. “You have to think really hard about what people want, and we think we’ve got it right.

“Last year, for the first time, I actually watched quite a lot of it, and really enjoyed it. Perhaps that’s because I wasn’t running every tiny bit of it. And I plan to do the same this year.”

n The Cornbury Festival starts tomorrow and runs through to Sunday at Great Tew Park. Go to cornburyfestival.com for tickets and more information.