Riverside Festival


Fun for all the family down by the river

FREE family-friendly music festival in an idyllic riverside setting with more than 40 acts playing across four stages, rock, indie, jazz, and folk on the main two stages and all sorts on the Riverside Fringe and Buskers stages!
If you want to hear Oxfordshire's finest musical talent for free, head for the Mill Field opposite Charlbury Railway Station at the end of July for the ever-popular Riverside Festival. The festival held on the beautiful banks of the River Evenlode has grown year on year since it began life 23 years ago, attracting thousands of music lovers of all ages, and yet Riverside is still the friendliest, most relaxed music festival in Oxfordshire and, astonishingly, still completely FREE to enter.

Be part of the greatest show in Charlbury
This year, Charlbury Riverside Festival is bigging up the Big Top. Along with events across the country, Riverside is marking the 250 anniversary of the world's first circus. Back in 1768, in a bid to attract a larger audience to his daring riding displays, equestrian impresario Philip Astley drew a ring on a patch of waste ground in London's Waterloo, and filled it with a series of quirky acts. In addition to his bareback riders, there were clowns, jugglers, acrobats, and other novelties.
The Festival organisers aren't promising bareback riders, trapeze artists, strongmen or, indeed, strong women, but, as always there will be a cornucopia of wonderful musical acts and family fun. They're also hoping to attract a host of folk with circus skills, so if you're a dab hand at juggling, know a magic trick or two, excel at stiltwalking, have acrobatic tendencies or just enjoy clowning around, they'd like to hear from you (email:
For those with a musical talent, take a turn on the Buskers' Stage in the Tea and Cakes Tent. No prebooking required; just turn up and have a go.

The music
Once again, Riverside has put together a fantastic line up. This year's Main Stage welcomes back four Riverside favourites: Oxford music mainstays Zurich, The Standard, Knights of Mentis and The Mighty Redox. Other acts to look out for are US country punk band Speedbuggy USA and popular popsters Candy Says. As in previous years, local record stores Rapture in Witney and Oxford's Truck Store will run the Second Stage, and there are a variety of acts performing on the Fringe Stage.

Whistle whetters
In addition to the Riverside bar serving Hook Norton craft beers, the popular Pimm's and Tins tent returns along with the Riverside Gin and Fizz lounge and the Pre-School Tea and Cakes tent. There is also a wide assortment of stalls selling traditional festival fodder.

Family fun
Riverside is very much a community-run family event. As well as having a dedicated Kids' Zone where youngsters can try their hand at a range of circus-inspired activities, festival goers can find out more about traditional crafts and meet local artists in the Green Field site.
The Festival would not exist, and certainly would not be free, without the huge band of local volunteers who make it happen. Charlbury Primary School and the Charlbury Beer Festival help with equipment, Charlbury's Pre-school provides teas, and the local recycling group ensures that 99 percent of Riverside's waste doesn't go to landfill. West Oxfordshire District Council has given Riverside Festival an Inclusive Award in recognition of its work to ensure the festival is open and welcoming to people of all abilities whether they be volunteers working at the festival, performers or, most importantly, the audience.

How to get there
Location: The Mill Field, Dyers Hill, Charlbury, Oxfordshire OX7 3QG
Entrance to the Festival site is down Mill Lane, opposite Charlbury railway station. Only disabled and emergency parking is available onsite. With limited festival parking at the station and in the town, it's recommended you walk to the festival, or take public transport, if possible. Like all festivals, festival goers cannot bring bottles and cans onto the site, but, unlike other festivals, the bars and refreshment stalls will be selling drinks at very reasonable prices. Please leave dogs at home, only assistance dogs will be allowed in.

Where to stay
No camping onsite but local campsites are available. For information on these and local hotels and B&Bs click on Stay at the top of the page

Gates are open from 12pm to 10pm on Saturday 28July and 11am to 8pm on Sunday 29 July

More information on the Riverside Festival and the Riverside Stage at The Cornbury Music Festival at Great Tew (8-9 July) at
Twitter: @Riversidefest
Facebook: Charlbury Riverside Festival or

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