Oxford City Council increases city events fivefold in six years and brings world-class acts to Oxford

Published: Tuesday, 24th May 2016

Oxford City Council has helped increase the number of events that take place on the land it manages from 50 in 2010 to more than 300 now – including this weekend’s Common People Oxford.

The City Council supports all events taking place on the land it manages. This includes 120 parks and open spaces, including South Park, and city centre spaces, including Bonn Square. For city-wide events, the City Council brings together key stakeholders.

As well as a fivefold rise in the number of events taking place across Oxford, the City Council has also worked to increase the quality of the events and involvement from all aspects of the city’s communities.

This weekend will see Common People Oxford take place in South Park, bringing world-class acts such as Duran Duran, Primal Scream, Public Enemy, Katy B, Craig David and Soul II Soul to Oxford – and bringing back the local talent of Gaz Coombes from Supergrass and reggae legend David Rodigan.

On top of this, 2016 will also see other new events coming to Oxford, including Swim Oxford, which will see fundraisers swimming a mile along the River Thames; the Canal Festival; and the Oxford Food and Drink Festival.

Oxford City Council itself organises hugely popular events throughout the year, including May Morning, which this year attracted a record-breaking 25,000 people; and the Christmas Light Festival, which in 2015 saw more than 50,000 people attend over the weekend.

The City Council also organises the Dancin’ Oxford, a dance festival that sees events take place in venues and public spaces across the city during spring, summer and autumn. This year is the 10th anniversary and the spring festival saw a record 8,000 people take part.

Every year the City Council also oversees a whole host of cultural exchanges that take place between Oxford and its twinned cities, ranging from youth football, community choirs, art, theatre and history, to student visits and conferences.

Two weeks ago the City Council also organised the Oxford United promotion parade, which saw more than 5,000 U’s fans turn out to cheer on their heroes as they paraded through the city centre on an open-top bus.

On top of all this, the City Council helps to fund some of the city’s biggest events. Earlier this year the Council pledged to support the Cowley Road Carnival by £30,000 each year for another three years – funding one fifth of the total cost.

But the City Council also helps to fund dozens of smaller, community events across the city, including the Summer Mela, West Oxford Fun Day, and Barton Play & Activity Day.

Councillor Christine Simm, Oxford City Council Executive Board Member for Culture and Communities, said: “This is not just about supporting our communities and enabling them to express themselves through culture and the arts, these events also leverage in hundreds of thousands of pounds to Oxford’s economy. They are also tremendous fun.

“Our wonderful culture and events team has worked incredibly hard to increase the number of events taking in the city fivefold, and encourage event organisers to expand their offer and bring new world-class events to the city.

“But I know that this is just the beginning. We want to continue growing and improving all these events, and every year involve more and more people in them.”

For more information about all the events that take place on City Council-managed land, please visit our Events pages