Exciting events coming to Oxford in 2016

Published: Monday, 29th February 2016

From music festivals and carnivals to half marathons and fireworks, Oxford will have something for everyone in 2016.

Oxford City Council has worked with a series of world-class event organisers to bring together another exciting programme for the city this year.

New to this year’s programme is Common People Oxford, which will see the organisers of Bestival bring world-class musicians to Oxford for the first time, and Pretty Muddy, which will see people take part in a 5k muddy obstacle course to raise money for Cancer Research UK.

The City Council helps organisers to put on more than 300 events across Oxford every year.

This year’s events include:

  • Dancin’ Oxford, which will see a host of dance events take place across the city from Friday 26 February to Monday 7 March
  • ReFashion Oxford, an award-winning event that highlights the problem of disposable fashion, in Oxford Town Hall on Thursday 10 March
  • Oxford Sport Relief Mile 2016, featuring one, three and six-mile fun runs, in Cutteslowe Park on Sunday 20 March
  • Folk Weekend Oxford, which will see a folk music take place at venues across the city between Friday 15 April and Sunday 17 April
  • Zippos Circus in South Park between Thursday 21 April and Tuesday 26 April
  • May Day, which sees thousands gather to watch the choir sing from Magdalen College’s tower at sunrise, on Sunday 1 May
  • Oxford Town and Gown 10k in University Parks on Sunday 15 May to raise money for Muscular Dystrohphy UK
  • Oxford Pride, which will take place at venues across the city between Friday 27 May and Sunday 5 June
  • Common People Oxford, featuring world-famous acts such as Duran Duran, Primal Scream, Craig David and Public Enemy, in South Park on Saturday 28 May and Sunday 29 May
  • Low Carbon Oxford Week, which will see pop-up green events throughout the city between Saturday 11 June and Sunday 19 June
  • Oxford Festival of the Arts, which will feature events in music, theatre, dance, art and literature at venues throughout the city, and will offer a host of performances, workshops and talks between 17 June and 2 July
  • Offbeat, a seven-day festival of theatre, dance, comedy, music and spoken word across the city, between 20 and 26 June
  • Oxfordshire Science Festival, with a new format and new dates, from 23 June to 3 July
  • Alice’s Day, featuring events throughout Oxford themed around Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, on Saturday 2 July
  • Cowley Road Carnival, this year themed “All the World’s a Stage” to mark the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death, on Sunday 10 July
  • Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life 5k and 10k in University Parks on Sunday 10 July
  • St Giles’ Fun Fair in St Giles’ on Monday 5 September and Tuesday 6 September
  • Bike Oxford, featuring 25, 50 and 80-mile bike races through Oxford and Oxfordshire, on Sunday 11 September
  • Open Doors, which will see organisations across the city open their doors to the public, on Saturday 10 September and Sunday 11 September
  • Oxford Pretty Muddy, which will see women take part in a 5k muddy obstacle course on Saturday 17 September and a slide ride on Sunday 18 September, both in South Park, to raise money for Cancer Research UK
  • Oxford Half Marathon, which, following the success in 2015, will take place in Oxford city centre again on Sunday 9 October
  • Oxford Fireworks, the city’s annual fireworks and bonfire night, in South Park on Saturday 5 November
  • Oxford Christmas Market, featuring dozens of stalls selling stocking fillers, in Broad Street between Thursday 8 December and Sunday 18 December

Oxford Arts Market, which showcases high-quality handmade, original and affordable work by local artists, will take place in Broad Street three times in 2016:

  • Saturday 23 April and Sunday 24 April
  • Saturday 17 September and Sunday 18 September
  • Saturday 3 December and Sunday 4 December

Later in the year the city will also host Santa’s Fun Run, which raises money for Helen & Douglas House, and the Christmas Light Festival. Dates for these events have not yet been announced.

Councillor Mark Lygo, Executive Board Member for Events, said: "Oxford city council welcomes this expansion in our events offer.

“We believe that festivals and events build the skills and confidence of those who are participating as performers. They bring people and communities together, and also bring significant economic benefits to our city."

Oxford City Council organises Dancin’ Oxford, ReFashion Oxford, Low Carbon Oxford Week, May Day and the Christmas Light Festival. It provides funding and officer support to some of the other events.

All the events take place fully or in-part on Oxford City Council’s land. The City Council is responsible for parts of the city centre, including Bonn Square, and most of the city’s parks, including South Park.

The Council’s events manager, Alison Drummond, holds weekly events surgeries that people can drop-in to and find out more about holding an event in Oxford.

Surgeries take place every Tuesday from 12pm to 1pm in Oxford Town Hall. A representative from Oxfordshire County Council’s highways department attends on the first and third Tuesday of every month.