The unmissable annual events in Oxford taking place in 2023


The unmissable annual events in Oxford in 2023
St Giles’ Fair – one of the unmissable annual events in Oxford in 2023

The unmissable annual events in Oxford in 2023

From the Oxford Literary Festival to the Oxford Half Marathon – here are the unmissable annual events in Oxford taking place in 2023.

Grab your diaries – digital or otherwise. Fire up those WhatsApp groups. Get your planning hats on. There’s quite a lot to look forward to in 2023.

As we’ve now learnt to live with COVID-19, thanks to vaccines and therapeutics, it’s fair to say that the concept of ‘making plans’ is back on the table, and the days of holding off on buying tickets or wondering when – not if – your favourite band would cancel their upcoming tour are long gone.

This is why we’re excited about all the great stuff Oxford has in store for us in 2023. We’re excited about blockbuster exhibitions at the city’s major museums and anticipating outdoor events at the city’s parks and outdoor spaces, including the iconic Broad Street.

And, of course, we’re also gearing up for plenty of pomp and pageantry with the King’s coronation in May 2023. There will be a bank holiday on Monday, 08 May, following the Coronation on Saturday, 06 May. This will provide opportunities for communities across the county to come together to celebrate.

These are just a handful of the thrilling events and things to do in Oxford on the horizon in 2023. There are loads more still to come, and we promise to keep this page updated as they are announced.

  • Oxford Literary Festival 2023

    Oxford Literary Festival 2023

    When: 25 March to 02 April
    Where: Sheldonian Theatre

    The Oxford Literary Festival is a world-class literary event that brings together leading authors and public figures in a magnificent setting in the central university area of Oxford each year.

    Festival lineup includes: Mary Berry, Kate Bingham, Jeremy Bowen, Maggie Aderin-Pocock, Isabel Wilkerson, Adam Rutherford, Matthew Cobb, Joseph Coelho, Peter Frankopan

    View event Buy tickets

  • May Morning 2023

    May Morning 2023

    When: 01 May
    Where: Magdalen Bridge, Oxford

    May Morning is an annual event in Oxford, held on 01 May – a tradition stretching back over 500 years. The event typically attracts crowds of thousands of people – students and Oxford residents alike – who start gathering under the tower, on Magdalen Bridge, and along the High Street.

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    Discover more: Community Events

  • Oxfordshire Artweeks Festival 2023

    Oxfordshire Artweeks Festival 2023

    When: 06 to 29 May
    Where: Various venues

    Oxfordshire Artweeks is the UK’s oldest and biggest artist open studios and pop-up exhibition event. And this year, from 06 to 29 May, you can feast your eyes on a huge range of creative activities by hundreds of artists, makers and designers in artists’ studios, pop-up galleries, glorious gardens, ancient churches, medieval tithe barns and hundreds of other amazing venues in Oxford and across Oxfordshire.

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    Discover more: Exhibitions & Displays

  • Oxford Town and Gown 2023

    Oxford Town and Gown 2023

    When: 14 May
    Where: Oxford University Parks

    Oxford Town and Gown is the oldest run in the series. It started in 1982 by local runners as a fun run to raise funds for muscular dystrophy, and still to this day, all profits from the race go to Muscular Dystrophy UK (MDUK). The race now attracts up to 6,000 runners every year.

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  • Oxford Pride Day 2023

    Oxford Pride Day 2023

    When: 03 June
    Where: Oxford University Parks

    Oxford Pride is an important event celebrating the LGBTQIA+ community and bringing people together for an annual parade through the city centre on Pride Day. The 20th Anniversary Pride Day event on 03 June is moving to University Parks. The Pride Parade will still go through the city centre, ensuring it receives the same high visibility as in previous years.

    View event Event website

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  • Foodies Festival Oxford 2023

    Foodies Festival Oxford 2023

    When: 26 to 28 August
    Where: South Park, Oxford

    Foodies Festival Oxford, part of the UK’s biggest food festival, will return over the Bank Holiday weekend with a mouth-watering summer festival, live music, workshops, masterclasses and of course, Top Chefs. Watch MasterChef Champions showw off their skills, learn how to make show-stopping cakes, sample new wines, champagnes and cocktails, taste new flavours, meet artisan producers, and most importantly, have fun all day.

    Festival lineup includes: Scouting For Girls / Sophie Ellis-Bextor.

    View event Buy tickets

  • St Giles’ Fair 2023

    St Giles’ Fair 2023

    When: 04 & 05 September
    Where: St Giles’, Oxford

    St Giles’ Fair is one of the greatest and most prestigious in the country. The fair dates back to 1625 when it was a parish festival to celebrate the feast of the patron saint, St Giles, and is held on the Monday and Tuesday following the first Sunday after St Giles’ Day (01 September).

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  • Oxford Open Doors 2023

    Oxford Open Doors 2023

    When: 9 & 10 September
    Where: Venues across Oxford

    Oxford Open Doors is a weekend that celebrates Oxford’s heritage and culture by giving everyone the chance to explore the colleges, university buildings and green spaces together with a range of heritage sites across the city – many of which are not usually open to members of the public.

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  • Oxford Half Marathon 2023

    Oxford Half Marathon 2023

    When: 15 October

    The Oxford Half Marathon is a flat and fast 13.1-mile race through historic Oxford. The route begins at Oxford’s iconic Broad Street in the city centre and passes through Old Marston village, the River Cherwell, Oxford University’s impressive Lady Margaret Hall, before finally finishing on Parks Road.

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  • Oxford Round Table Charity Fireworks Display 2023

    Oxford Round Table Charity Fireworks Display 2023

    When: 04 November
    Where: South Park, Oxford

    A household event in Oxford’s South Park, the Oxford Round Table Charity Bonfire and Fireworks Display is widely considered to be Oxfordshire’s largest firework display for charity. Expect a traditional spectacular fireworks display, an enormous bonfire, Hebborn’s Funfair, and a fully licenced bar.

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  • Oxford’s Christmas Light Festival 2023 (TBC)

    Oxford’s Christmas Light Festival 2023 (TBC)

    When: 17 to 19 November (TBC)
    Where: Venues across Oxford

    The festival has been taking place since 2009. It’s evolved over the years from a single evening’s event in the city centre to a full three day weekend that includes light and sound installations, a festive market, music, dance and lots of free activities in venues across the city, and more recently to light trails and events in residential areas of the city.

    View event Event website

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  • Oxford Christmas Market 2023 (TBC)

    Oxford Christmas Market 2023 (TBC)

    When: 01 to 17 December (TBC)

    The Oxford Christmas Market is scheduled to return to the heart of the city on beautiful and historic Broad Street in 2023, with the sound of choirs singing Christmas carols, market traders offering unusual and handmade gifts, colourful decorations brightening wooden stalls and the aroma of mulled wine and cinnamon drifting in the air.

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