Oxford, the city of dreaming spires, is well known for its University, and is steeped in architecture and history. But if you’re into music, then you’ll know that it has a pretty good reputation when it comes to that too.
From an abundance of orchestras and choirs to a string of chart-topping rock bands, Oxford has something to offer both the classical connoisseur, and the more casual music lover.
Whether you’re looking to absorb some musical delights, or actively partake, then here’s a quick guide to what’s hot on Oxford’s music scene:
1. Classical music
Given Oxford’s academic association it’s hardly surprising that there’s such an abundance of classical music on the go around the centre. Both from within the University and the local community, there are a few mainstays of classical music that must not be missed:
- Oxford University Orchestra
- The University Choirs of Christ Church, Magdalen and New College
- Oxford Chamber Orchestra
- Adderbury Ensemble
- Oxford Symphony Orchestra
- Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra
2. Open Mic Nights
If you have some musical talent, or just want to pop along for a listen, then Oxford is brimming with open mic nights, scattered across the city. If you did want to perform then some organisers may need forewarning; others encourage you to just turn up and play. Worth checking in advance:
- Royal Blenheim, St Ebbes, every Monday 8pm
- The Spark Side of the Moon, James Street Tavern, Every Tuesday 8.30pm
- The Firry Mic, The Fir Tree, Iffley Road, 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month 8pm
- Cowley Road Unplugged, The Bullingdon, Cowley Road, every Wednesday 9pm
- The Catweazle Club, East Oxford Community Centre, every Thursday 8pm
- Cafe Aloha, Every Thursday, 8pm Westway Shopping Centre
- Sparky’s Flying Circus, The Half Moon, St Clements, every Thursday 9pm
- Jolly Postboys, Florence Park some Sundays
- The Old Bookbinders, Victor Street, every Sunday 8pm
3. Oxford’s famous bands
Oxford has a long history of producing some top music over the years. From the 1980s-formed rock band Ride, through to the massive Radiohead and lovable Supergrass, to recent hits Foals, Oxford boasts some of the best indie and rock music acts of the last thirty years.
But what are they up to now?
Radiohead, this year celebrating 20 years since the release of OK Computer, are getting ready to release OKNOTOK, a digitally remastered deluxe version of their masterpiece, with added previously unheard bonus tracks.
Meanwhile, Ride have been making a come-back, with their first album in over 20 years, Weather Diaries, being released on 16th June.
4. Music activities for kids
If you’re looking to get your children involved in Oxford’s famous music scene, then there’s plenty of activities to choose from.
- Babies Music Class Little Music School 11-11.30am/£4/Thu 22nd Jun 17 Ark T Centre, Crowell Road
- Rattle Box Music Box Oxford (formerly BirdSong music) 9.45 – 10.30am/£7 per class, payable termly in advancee/Fri 23rd Jun 17 North Oxford Association Community Centre
- Tinder Box Music Box Oxford – 10.40am – 11.25am/£8 per class, payable termly in advance/Fri 23rd Jun 17 –North Oxford Association Community Centre
- African Drumming 9:45 – 21:45/£8.50 / £7.50 concessions/Mon 26th Jun 17- Fusion ArtsEast Oxford Community Centre, Princes Street
- Baby and Toddler Music Classes Monkey Music Oxford – 10.00am- 12.00pm/£7.00/Mon 26th Jun 17 – North Oxford Association Community Centre, Summertown, and West Oxford Community Centre, Botley Road
- Babies Music Class Little Music School – 11-11.30am/£4/Tue 27th Jun 17 – Headington Community Centre, Gladstone Road
- Humpty Dumpty Music Club – 10.30am-11.15am/£3.50 (£1.00 siblings)/Tue 27th Jun 17 – Florence Park Community Centre, Cornwallis Road