What’s on in Oxford and across Oxfordshire this May

The Shires at New Theatre Oxford / What’s on in Oxford and across Oxfordshire this April / The Oxford Magazine

What’s on in Oxford and across Oxfordshire this May

Hello and welcome to your invaluable guide to the best events, exhibitions and things to do throughout May 2022 in Oxford and across Oxfordshire.

May: creeping warmth and pre-summer excitement. It’s one of Oxfordshire’s finest. And it’s right around the corner.

First up, there’s May Morning on Magdalen bridge. Crowds are always bigger on weekends and bank holidays, and following two years of lockdown, let’s just say we expect attendance to be enormous.

Then, as the month progresses, be sure to check out the Oxfordshire Artweeks Festival - the UK’s oldest and biggest artist open studios and pop-up exhibition event - and feast your eyes on a huge range of creative activities by hundreds of artists, makers and designers.

Top up on your vitamin D at one of the many local restaurants with outdoor seating, or pack a picnic basket and find yourself a coveted spot at any of our numerous parks, open spaces and nature reserves and other fine places to enjoy the sun in Oxfordshire.

And, of course, on Sundays, you can make the most of the tedious hours between brunch and supper with a cultural experience in London’s theatreland.

You must know by now that to celebrate the Queen’s 70th anniversary as monarch, the Spring Bank Holiday that would have been on Monday, 30 May, has been moved to Thursday, 02 June, and an additional bank holiday has been added to the calendar for Friday, 03 June.

Need we say again that this is nothing but a curated list of things to do in Oxford and across Oxfordshire this April. Do take a look at the “What’s on” section, where you’ll find a growing list of events in Oxford and across Oxfordshire, plus unmissable events beyond the county that would make for a great day out.

Got an event that should be on the list? List your event on The Oxford Magazine website and reach our growing audience of people who live, work or place in Oxfordshire. Once again, welcome to your invaluable guide to what’s on in Oxford and across Oxfordshire this April.

Now, here’s our guide to the best events and things to do in Oxford and across Oxfordshire in May 2022. Be warned, you’re in for one sweet, sweet month.

May Morning. Image: Magdalen bridge looking towards central Oxford with Magdalen Tower in the background

May Morning

01 May
Magdalen College Chapel, 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

Find out more

Discover more: Annual events in Oxford

Spring 2021 Jousting Tournament at Blenheim Palace - things to do in Oxfordshire this bank holiday

Spring 2022 Jousting Tournament Blenheim Palace

30 April to 02 May
Blenheim Palace, Woodstock

The Knights of Middle England are ready to take you back to the exciting and colourful era of the Middle Ages with their action packed, high octane Jousting and Stunt Show at Blenheim Palace.

Find out more Book tickets

Discover more: What’s On at Blenheim Palace

Biodiversity - A Special Exhibition at Oxford University Museum of Natural History

Biodiversity – A Special Exhibition

Until 15 May
Oxford University Museum of Natural History

Bringing together the celebrated art of Kurt Jackson with reflections from Oxford University researchers, this new exhibition explores biodiversity across British landscapes and considers the future of our country’s habitats.

Find out more Explore online

Discover more: Oxford University Museum of Natural History

Imogen Rigden: Wilderness Bewilderness / Things to do in Oxford this weekend

Imogen Rigden: Wilderness Bewilderness

03 to 21 May
The North Wall Arts Centre

Fresh air, bird song, silence. In 2020 we noticed our natural environment with renewed clarity. As our horizons narrowed in lockdown, the artist’s “Look Outside Project” called for brief written observations of the natural world at a time of limited freedom. Two hundred contributions from across the globe feature in this solo show.

Find out more

Discover more: The North Wall Arts Centre

Kate Friend: As Chosen by… botanical portraits exhibition at The Tithe Barn at Thyme Hotel & Spa in the Cotswolds

Kate Friend: As Chosen by…

08 May to 18 September
Thyme

As Chosen by… is an exhibition of a series of botanical portraits by Kate Friend. The sitters are flowers, chosen by recognisable public figures. The result is a single flower and vessel chosen by the sitter and shot in natural light at their home, studio, or garden.

Find out more

Discover more: Exhibitions & Displays

When: 07 to 29 May

Oxfordshire Artweeks is the UK’s oldest and biggest artist open studios & pop-up exhibition event and will be celebrating its 40th anniversary this year when you can feast your eyes on a huge range of creative activities by hundreds of artists, makers and designers.

Find out more

Oxford Town and Gown 2019 10k Run / Things to do in Oxford this weekend

Oxford Town and Gown 2022 10k race

08 May
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). What’s more, 2022 will see the celebration of the Town and Gown’s 40th anniversary!

Find out more

Discover more: Running events in Oxfordshire

Oxford Eid Extravaganza 2022

Oxford Eid Extravaganza 2022

08 May
Cheney School, Oxford

Oxford Eid Extravaganza 2022 is a family fun day packed with lots of activities and stalls for every community to join in and celebrate Eid in style in Oxford. Recognising the post-pandemic need for recovery, renewal and ‘building back fairer’, this year’s celebration is dedicated to promoting education and learning for individual and community renewal and wellbeing.

Find out more

Discover more: Kids & Family-friendly

FUNomusica: Animal Antics - Animal Orchestra with Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra

FUNomusica: Animal Antics

08 May
Oxford Town Hall

Come and join Alasdair Malloy and the Oxford Phil for some Animal Antics featuring furry, feathered and finned friends. Bring a toy animal to join in the fun. Most suitable for ages 4 to 8.

Find out more Book tickets

Discover more: Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra

Pianist Samantha Ege and the Castle of our Skins string quartet present an evening of chamber music from the African continent and diaspora. This concert gives the UK premieres of works by a South African composer and three African American composers.

Find out more Book tickets

Gangsta Granny at New Theatre Oxford

Gangsta Granny

11 to 14 May
New Theatre Oxford

It’s Friday night and Ben knows that means only one thing – staying with Granny! From the acclaimed producers of Horrible Histories comes the amazing story by David Walliams, the UK’s best-selling author for children.

Find out more Buy tickets

Discover more: Plays & Drama

The Shires at New Theatre Oxford / What’s on in Oxford and across Oxfordshire this April / The Oxford Magazine

The Shires

19 May
New Theatre Oxford

The biggest selling UK country act of all time, The Shires, first entered the history books in 2015 when their debut album Brave became the first-ever British country album to enter the UK Top Ten. With two gold-certified albums under their belt and 9 playlisted tracks across BBC Music, The Shires are back, and they’re raring to go.

Find out more Buy tickets

Discover more: What’s On at New Theatre Oxford

Angela Gheorghiu with Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra

Angela Gheorghiu

19 May
Sheldonian Theatre

The Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra’s season of great singers continues with the Oxford debut of Angela Gheorghiu, featuring arias from two of Verdi’s most inventive operas, and perhaps his best-loved overture, plus the world premiere of a work for cello and orchestra based on themes from Puccini’s operas, written and performed by Mats Lidström.

Find out more Book tickets

Discover more: Sheldonian Theatre

2021 Blenheim Palace Triathlon

2022 Blenheim Palace Triathlon

28 & 29 May
Blenheim Palace, Woodstock

Every year, competitors and spectators are welcomed to the stunning surroundings of Blenheim Palace to take part in one of the most spectacular triathlons in Europe, set against the backdrop of a World Heritage Site.

Find out more

Discover more: Sporting Events

All Of Me at The North Wall Arts Centre & The Theatre Chipping Norton

All Of Me at The Theatre Chipping Norton

28 May
The Theatre Chipping Norton

In this witty new monologue, grudgingly hopeful, occasionally funny, Olivier Award nominee Caroline Horton brings you an unapologetically dark show about dark things, unlocking an ancient myth to explore living with depression in our modern world.

Find out more Book tickets

Beethoven and his Colleagues VI

Beethoven and his Colleagues VI

28 May
Holywell Music Room

Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra Solo Cello Mats Lidström is joined by Sholto Kynoch to resume their series of Beethoven’s cello sonatas, beginning with a genuine rarity: the composer’s own cello arrangement of his perky Horn Sonata in F major.

Find out more Book tickets

Discover more: Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra

Bowie Experience at New Theatre Oxford

Bowie Experience

29 May
New Theatre Oxford

The world’s number 1 celebration of David Bowie features songs including Space Oddity, Starman, Fashion, Life on Mars, China Girl, Rebel Rebel, Golden Years, Modern Love, All the Young Dudes, Lets Dance, Heroes. For the authentic Bowie Experience and with all the hits from A to Ziggy, this show is a must-see for all Bowie fans.

Find out more Buy tickets

Diversity - Connected 2022 at New Theatre Oxford

Diversity – Connected 2022

30 & 31 May
New Theatre Oxford

Diversity took the nation by storm when they won the third series of Britain’s Got Talent in 2009 and have so far sold out nine UK and Irish tours, sold over 600,000 tickets, with countless television and live performances. This new show centres around the world of social media, the internet, and the digital era we now live in, but more importantly, how this connects us all.

Find out more Buy tickets