Thousands of people attend May Morning in Oxford

Published: Wednesday, 1st May 2019

Approximately 13,500 people turned out to watch May Morning in Oxford today (1/5).

The traditional celebration of the coming of spring brought together Oxford's communities and people of all ages to enjoy dancing, singing and revelry.

The celebrations, which are more than 500 years old, started at 6am with Magdalen College choir singing Hymnus Eucharisticus from the college’s Great Tower.

Traditional events and activities, including Morris Dancing and folk music, then took place across the city as the bells of the Great Tower rang out.

Paula Redway, Oxford City Council’s cultural development manager, said: “May Morning is a uniquely Oxford tradition. It is one of the highlights of living in our beautiful city, and I am delighted that so many people were able to take part and enjoy it.”

The May Morning event at Magdalen Bridge is organised by Oxford City Council on behalf of partners, including Thames Valley Police, Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, South Central Ambulance Service, Oxfordshire County Council, Magdalen College and Oxford Direct Services.

Oxford Direct Services deployed 12 people and three sweepers from 4am to ensure the city centre was kept clean.

Simon Howick, Oxford Direct Services’ Managing Director, said: “It’s great to be part of such a long-standing event like May Morning. Although our staff start one hour earlier than usual, they have pride in setting the scene for the revellers to enjoy this special event, and equally reducing the impact on the people not partaking.”