Oxford is a charming City, one with a myriad of cobbled streets and sumptuous buildings. It only takes fifteen minutes to walk around the city centre, but it takes many years to learn the whereabouts of hidden gems and noteworthy music venues.
One Note Forever (formerly Oxford Music Blog) was founded in 2009 and over the past three years have seen countless bands in countless pubs, bars, halls and venues.
The list below details my top 5 music venues in Oxford; if you think I’ve missed a hidden gem then please get in touch!
The Jericho Tavern
Arguably one of the most influential venues in the south of the UK, The Jericho Tavern is one of my all time favourites. The pub reeks of history and oozes talent on a weekly basis, and if you’re lucky you’ll bump into one of the many music stars that reside in Oxford. It’s a small venue compared to most, but with a solid relationship with local promoters and bands alike, the Tavern is simply the best venue a city could ask for!
O2 Academy Oxford
What used to be known as the Zodiac – a charming and completely unique music venue in the heart of Cowley Road – is now a large music venue to house touring artists and bands with international renown. Boasting two venues in one, the Academy offers night life to rival the local Universities and a bookings roster over a year in advance. If you’re coming to Oxford to see a band, chances are you’re off to to the O2 Academy.
The centre of Oxford is dominated by University buildings and retail stores, but in amongst the student haven lies an underground venue called The Cellar. Renowned for a thriving electronic, dub and reggae music scene, The Cellar is one of those little venues that you just can’t peel yourself away from. A cosy stage coupled with a low ceiling, the venue is certainly the easiest to get to if you’re new to the area – and it’s often open after hours!
The Oxford Town Hall
Arguably the least suited venue to house a live music performance this side of London, Oxford’s Town Hall is situated right in the middle of the City and can squeeze hundreds of people inside it’s spectacular facade.
Whilst this isn’t a regular venue for the typical Oxford gig-goer, The Town Hall is a special venue for a special performance.
The Port Mahon
Oxford’s infamous Cowley Road is home to a number of music venues, but for those in the know a local pub called The Port Mahon is one to watch.
Definitely tipping the small end of the scale, The Port Mahon is a great place for local bands playing to local people. Situated between the City Centre and Cowley Road, this little venue offers a superb menu for those arriving early.