Fantastic festivals to enjoy in Oxfordshire this year
PUBLISHED: 16:55 25 February 2020 | UPDATED: 17:03 27 February 2020
From delicious food to marvellous music, there are plenty of fantastic festivals taking place in Oxfordshire this year
Thurs 23 - Sun 26 April
Star fiction writers Marian Keyes and Maggie O'Farrell are among the authors at this year's ChipLitFest - a remarkable celebration of books at the heart of Chipping Norton. From 23-26 April there's something for everyone, including a fabulously fun-packed children's programme full of storytellers and illustrators. Grown-ups can enjoy over 40 events, including writers' workshops and one-to-one sessions with a literary agent.
Big names from the world of journalism include Kirsty Wark and Jim Naughtie, while Cath Kidston shares her interior designs for her Cotswold home. Throughout the weekend you can drop in on nature writers (there is a session on birds and another on bees!) listen into music writers Pete Paphides and David Hepworth, and meet debut novelists. It's an absolute feast for foodies with Raymond Blanc and cheesemonger Ned Palmer as well for all book lovers.
Ticket sales to Festival Friends from 24 February, general sales from 2 March. Full programme and tickets at chiplitfest.com or 01608 642350
The Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra present their 22nd Oxford Piano Festival from 1-9 August 2020, featuring performances from renowned artists including Nelson Freire, Paul Lewis, Richard Goode, Alain Lefèvre, Elisabeth Leonskaja and Nikolai Lugansky, and masterclasses from the likes of Menahem Pressler, Yohaved Kaplinsky, Vanessa Latarche, Ian Jones and Marios Papadopoulos.
Book now to experience wonderful piano music within the beautiful setting of Oxford in the summertime; venues from Merton College Chapel and Christ Church Cathedral, to Sir Christopher Wren's exquisite Sheldonian Theatre.
The Fourteenth English Music Festival will take place in and around the magnificent mediaeval Abbey at Dorchester-on-Thames. This thrilling weekend of music-making opens with the BBC Concert Orchestra playing premières of works by Elgar and Delius alongside Coleridge-Taylor's gorgeous Violin Concerto. Other highlights include Roderick Williams singing music by Vaughan Williams and Howells; the Armonico Consort performing Purcell and Handel; a rare performance of Holst's glorious Cloud Messenger; and a recital of songs by Warlock, Bax and Moeran.
Also: choral music by Stanford and Ireland; chamber concerts; the Orchestra of the Swan playing Holst, Vaughan Williams and Ireland; and the world premiere of a gem of a piano piece by Edgar Bainton. Works performed will be put in context by a series of informative talks; while social events and meals, and relaxed late evening concerts (including 1930s jazz, and light piano music) will add to the enjoyment and occasion.
Friday 14th (6pm-11pm), Saturday 15th (12 noon-11pm) and Sunday 16th (12 noon-11pm) August 2020
The Angel Summer Festival is now in its sixth year, and has become the best small, family-friendly festival in The Cotswolds. It is the highlight of the Year for this pub who were voted 'Best Cotswolds Pub' for four years in a row. To keep you well fed and watered, you will find 12 real ales to sample, a Gin and Tonic bar and The Angel's award winning food. On top of that, family entertainment including competitions and facepainting, plus live music all weekend means there is something to keep everyone happy.
A visit from the Hook Norton Brewery Shire Horses and Dray is also a popular highlight. The festival raises money for local charities and is very popular with both visitors and locals. Booking in advance is strongly recommended.
Dates June 18 - July 5 2020
2020 is the 12th anniversary of Oxford Festival of the Arts and they have an outstanding programme that is inspired by the 500th anniversary of The Field of the Cloth of Gold - a sumptuous and extraordinary celebration in 1520 when two kings met and partied! So expect Henry VIII to be a larger-than-life presence, lots of Tudor-inspired events embracing everything from music to fashion and plenty of 'gold' in many guises.
Whatever you enjoy, there's something for you. They have art, comedy, film, classical and contemporary music, big-name speakers, theatre, workshops and family events. They can promise performances from exciting and acclaimed artists, experiences which will amaze and delight and more than a sprinkling of stars from the worlds of film, tv and theatre. Performances will take place across Oxford in beautiful and unusual venues, some you will know and some you won't!