City Council wins £140,000 funding to continue hugely-popular dance festival

Published: Friday, 14th October 2016

Oxford City Council has won £140,000 from Arts Council England to continue the hugely-popular dance festival Dancin’ Oxford for a further three years.

The funding, from the Grants for the Arts funding pot, will enable the City Council to continue running the festival in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

Dancin’ Oxford sees three festivals of dance every year: a spring international dance festival, summer festival featuring free outdoor public performances, and an autumn family-focussed dance week.

Previous festivals have seen a large number of national and international artists and companies visiting the city, including Matthew Bourne, Retouramont, Ballet Lorent, Candco Dance Company, Fabulous Beast, and Thomas Noone & Mercat de las Flors.

Dancin’ Oxford has gained regional and national recognition, and through it’s Spring/Summer 2016 programme the festival engaged 211 artists, 586 active participants and over 6,500 audience members.

The Arts Council England funding will allow the City Council to continue commissioning:

  • A wide range of high-quality performances outside traditional venues, such as public spaces, museums and libraries
  • Participatory programmes, including family, outreach and inter-generational activity
  • Locally-based dance artists and companies to create new work for the festival
  • Interactive digital strands, including installations in the heart of the city

The funding will also fund a Dancin’ Oxford festival projects officer and a festival creative apprentice for the next three years, along with the development of a core team of festival volunteers.

Dancin’ Oxford’s 2016 autumn festival kicked off on Saturday 8 October and will see family-friendly and free dance events taking place at venues across the city until Saturday 19 November.

Arts Council England has supported Dancin’ Oxford since the festival was first established in 2007.

Councillor Christine Simm, Executive Board Member for Culture and Communities, said: “It is fantastic news that we have received this funding from Arts Council England. It means that we will be able to deliver our popular Dancin' Oxford festival for the next three years, bringing joy and fun to our communities throughout the city. The festival attracts excellent artists to the city, and enables people to engage with and participate in top quality dancing events.”

Claire Thompson, City Council arts participation officer and Dancin’ Oxford director, said: “Dancin' Oxford is proud to offer both residents and visitors of Oxford the opportunity to see and experience dance at its very best throughout the year.

“We are delighted that Arts Council England has given us this money, which will enable us to bring people from all walks of life together – be it to watch or actively participate – to celebrate all things dance.”

For more information about Dancin’ Oxford, visit or @dancinoxford on Twitter and Instagram.