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What's On, Culture

Festival Round-Up 2023



Before you ask, no it’s not too early to start planning your summer. Here we’ve provided a roundup of our favourite local festivals to get excited for this year, from food to opera and everything in between.

Truck Festival

21-23 July

“The Godfather of the small festival scene” coming straight out of the idyllic Oxfordshire countryside, Truck have treated us to some of the biggest and best emerging artists since 1998. Lineup tbc at time of writing, but Truck has good form in securing an eclectic mix of known and undiscovered acts.

Hill Farm, Steventon

Photography by Caitlin Mogridge and Gaelle Beri

Kite Festival

9-11 June

Kite 2023 line-up revealed and limited early bird tickets on sale now.

KITE reveals its line-up for the second ever edition of the festival - a curated journey of cutting-edge debate and a rich programme of ideas with spectacular musical performances for audiences seeking an alternative festival experience.

Household names from the world of literature, music, politics, art, culture, and comedy are lining up across seven unique stages in the grounds of a breath-taking Grade I listed Palladian house in Kirtlington Park. So far confirmed for the Music stages are Candi Staton, Suede, and Hot Chip plus Simon Sinek, Marina Hyde and Tomiwa Owolade in the Ideas zones.

Kirtlington Park, Oxfordshire


8 July

Fi.Fest '23 is just around the corner, and this year it's even bigger. The Main Stage provides a full day of high-quality entertainment including chart-toppers The Feeling and the one and only Barrioke with Shaun Williamson (see xxx) plus the KidsZone has been designed to keep little minds active and creative. The food village has a wide selection of local street food caterers providing a huge variety of food and soft drinks for all the family to enjoy.

Fifield, Berkshire

Nocturne Live

14-18 June

Nocturne Live returns to Blenheim Palace this year, and the 125 million-selling international pop superstar, Lionel Richie, is their first confirmed artist and will be playing at the concert series. Joining Lionel Richie in this year’s lineup, pioneering dance music DJ and Pete Tong will bring his globally acclaimed Ibiza Classics show to Blenheim Palace next summer.

Blenheim Palace

Longborough Festival Opera

29 May-3 August

Taking place in a 500-seat home-grown theatre overlooking stunning views just outside Stow-on-the Wold, The 2023 installation of Longborough Festival Opera includes Wagner's epic Götterdämmerung; Donizetti’s hilarious comedy The Elixir of Love; Monteverdi’s poignant take on the Orpheus legend L’Orfeo; and Purcell’s The Fairy Queen, based on Shakespeare’s play A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Each production includes a 90-minute dining interval: bring a picnic and find a spot in the grounds to enjoy the view, or book into the delicious on-site restaurant.

Public booking opens on 27 February.

Wilderness Festival

3-6 August

Wilderness is a four-day boutique festival spanning Music, The Arts, Food and Wellbeing, all set amidst the idyllic surroundings of Cornbury Park. Christine & The Queens, Fatboy Slim, The Chemical Brothers and Sugababes plus Sara Pascoe (click for interview), Elizabeth Day and Ben Quinn’s Long Table Banquet in the Woods all confirmed.

Cornbury Park

Rewind Festival

18-20 August

Rewind Festival rolls back time beside the Thames at Temple Island Meadows, laying on a weekend filled with musical legends, themed venues, and pop-up entertainment for all ages. Early bird tickets are on sale now and acts are tbc but last year included the mighty Holly Johnson and The Human League so dig out your legwarmers and get ready to party like its 1983.


The Big Feastival

25-27 August

Hosted at Alex James’ Farm, this festival is renowned for delivering incredible live music, critically acclaimed chefs, award-winning street food and an unrivalled programme of family entertainment. No hints yet on confirmed acts, but we know Alex James has an unrivalled book of contacts so hopes are high for another vintage year.

“We will be back in 2023 and cannot wait to welcome you all back on the farm for August Bank Holiday weekend.” – The Big Feastival HQ

Alex James’ Farm

Towersey Festival

25-28 August

Towersey spoiled us last December with a month-long advent calendar of reveals for the 2023 lineup: The Divine Comedy and the Proclaimers have been announced already, along with Thea Gilmore and the Urban Folk Quartet. Expect the usual family-friendly folk vibes, complete with the first ever 12-hour continuous Ceilidh. Keep an eye on Towersey’s website and social media for updates on what else you can expect from the 59th year of the festival.


Corinne Bailey Rae
Wed 1 May 2024

Corinne Bailey Rae’s Put Your Records On snap-shotted the summer of 2006. Her most recent release, Black Rainbows came out 2023 and it is obvious to hear how much she is relishing the full range of her unique voice and, as I was to discover when we spoke, her extraordinarily lyrical vocabulary.

Paul Foot 3 wi4hf6
Tue 2 Apr 2024

Award-winning quirky and alternative comedian Paul Foot is returning to Oxford this month with his new show, Dissolve which is set to be his most vulnerable and honest yet. We got in touch to find out what we can expect from his performance at Oxford’s New Theatre, as well as – in very Paul Foot fashion – getting side-tracked by King  Tutankhamen, and what  Jesus might have  achieved if  he'd been a plumber...

Katie otb8tw
Fri 1 Mar 2024

This month, Katie Melua will be in Oxford, helping to launch the Oxford Literary Festival’s new Programme in Georgian Literature and Culture.

Namvula BBC Music nuyc98
Fri 1 Mar 2024

Described as having a diasporic upbringing, singer-songwriter Namvula is also a gifted photographer and was co-founder of Film Africa, a London-based celebration of African cinema and culture. She now lives in Oxford where she will be performing later this month at The North Wall.