Blur star turned farmer will open estate for music festival

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THE Blur pop star turned farmer Alex James is to throw open his Oxfordshire estate to host a music festival.

The four-day event will be a celebration of music and food which will feature acts such as KT Tunstall.

The festival – Alex James presents Harvest, from September 9 to 12 – will be a sister event to the one launched by TV presenter Jimmy Doherty at his farm in Suffolk.

Organisers say it will showcase “the very best of the British food scene alongside a soundtrack of the finest bands around”.

James, who has developed a cheese-making business since stepping away from the limelight, as well as working as a broadcaster, is expected to record with Blur again this year. The band reformed for shows in 2009 which included another rural festival, Glastonbury. Frontman Damon Albarn recently said the band were going into the studio once more.

Notable foodies at the event will include Richard Corrigan, Mark Hix and Yotam Ottolenghi. The Gardeners’ World TV host Monty Don will also take part.

James said: “We’ll throw open the farm gates for Harvest this September. My family are looking forward to a celebration of all our favourite things – food, the farm and music.”

The festival will include cookery master classes, pop-up restaurants, gardening workshops, a farmers market and a children’s field at the farm at Kingham, Chipping Norton.

Doherty’s festival at his farm near Ipswich will take place on the same weekend.