About 12,500 people turned out to see 2022 May Morning in person on 01 May, for the first time since 2019.
The estimate from Oxford City Council used drone footage to work out how many people attended the ticketless event.
The traditional celebration of the coming of Spring brought Oxford’s communities and people of all ages together to enjoy dancing, singing and revelry.
The celebrations, which are more than 500 years old, started at 6.00am with the Magdalen College choir singing Hymnus Eucharisticus from the college’s Great Tower.
The crowd, stretching from Long Wall Street to the Plain Roundabout, listened to the choir. This, after a two-year absence due to the coronavirus pandemic.
This was then followed by traditional events and activities, including Morris Dancing and folk singing, across the city as the bell of the Great Tower rang out.
The crowd management system first implemented in 2018, including one-way crowd flow on Magdalen Bridge, worked successfully.
The May Morning event at Magdalen Bridge is organised by Oxford City Council on behalf of partners, including Thames Valley Police, Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, South Central Ambulance Service, Oxfordshire County Council and Magdalen College.
ODS supplied 5 or 6 vehicles to block off streets for security purposes from 4.00am to 8.00am.
12 people and three sweepers were deployed by ODS from 4.00am in the morning to ensure the city centre was kept clean throughout the day as the festivities and normal activities carried on.
Paula Redway, Oxford City Council’s Cultural Development Manager, said: “May Morning makes Oxford the envy of the world. It is a uniquely Oxford tradition and makes us proud to be Oxonians. It was so uplifting to see everyone back together again after the pandemic, and we hope to see in many more May Mornings together in the future.”
Ian Thompson, ODS City Centre and Streetscene Operations Manager, Said: “ODS’ Streetscene Team are pleased to see that, after two years of having a virtual May Morning celebration, this year, it is back to normal with thousands of people planning to attend this popular event.
“Our team are helping to organise the clean-up of the event. We will have 12 staff with 3 sweepers starting at 4.00am to clear the city centre in readiness for the event. The team are looking forward to helping out at the event as they really enjoy the atmosphere that these busy mornings bring.”