Fairport Convention is often credited with being the first English folk-rock band. Formed in 1967, with Simon Nicol, Richard Thompson, Ashley Hutchings and Shaun Frater, Fairport rapidly developed from playing cover versions of American 'west coast' style music to an individual style which melded rock music with traditional English tunes and songs.
Bedevilled by numerous personnel changes throughout its first decade, Fairport Convention was temporarily disbanded in 1979 but played annual reunion concerts until it reformed in 1985. Since then, it has enjoyed stability and continues to tour and record regularly.
In part, the continuing success of Fairport Convention is due to the annual music festival it organises. Cropredy Festival has been held every year since 1974 near Cropredy, a village five miles north of Banbury, Oxfordshire and attracts 20,000 fans. Now renamed Fairport's Cropredy Convention, it remains one of the key events in the UK folk festival calendar.