Oxford and Oxfordshire are renowned for their vibrant music scene, with many pubs and venues hosting live performances throughout the year. Whether you’re into rock, jazz, blues, or something a little different, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Below are just few venues in the area;
Sandy’s Piano Bar is a hidden gem in the heart of Oxford. This intimate venue hosts a variety of jazz, blues and swing acts, with regular appearances from local musicians and touring performers. Enjoy a drink at the bar or take a seat and soak up the atmosphere.
Little Sandy’s Cocktail Bar opened last year in Witney and has quickly become a popular spot for cocktail enthusiasts and those looking for a unique and fun night out. They regular host live music events from jazz nights, house pianist and open mic nights, there’s always something happening at Little Sandy’s to keep you entertained! The bar boasts an impressive selection of classic and modern cocktails, tapas and bar snacks. Located in Langdale Court the bar offers a cosy and welcoming ambiance for a great night out.
The Jericho Tavern is a well-known pub located in the heart of Oxford’s trendy Jericho neighbourhood. With a rich musical history, relaxed atmosphere and great pub food, it’s a favourite spot for both locals and visitors alike.
During the 1980s and 90s that the tavern became a music venue and helped to launch the careers of several famous bands, including Radiohead and Supergrass. The venue still hosts live music and comedy nights, showcasing both established and up-and-coming musicians. The staff are friendly and welcoming, and the ambiance is relaxed and unpretentious.
Fat Lil’s is a music venue located in the heart of Witney. Known for hosting live music events, Fat Lils has become a popular destination for music lovers from across the region. The venue offers a unique and intimate setting for bands and audiences alike with a variety of music events throughout the year, ranging from rock and metal cover bands to acoustic acts and tribute acts.
One of the premier rock/metal cover bands in the region, Shepherd’s Pie, has established a large following and deservedly so. They’ve performed at Fat Lil’s on multiple occasions and always draw a big crowd. Fallen Angels, another popular band from Oxfordshire, are also regular performers at the venue. Fat Lil’s is definitely worth checking out. With its friendly atmosphere, great music, and tasty food and drink options, it’s the perfect place to let loose and enjoy some live entertainment!
The Listening Room – The Cross Keys in Thame, is home to a unique music venue called The Listening Room. Located upstairs from the pub, this intimate space provides an up-close and personal experience for music lovers. With a capacity of just 50 people, the audience is guaranteed an immersive experience.
The Listening Room hosts an eclectic range of live music acts, from folk and acoustic artists to jazz and blues musicians. The venue has become known for its commitment to showcasing emerging artists, with many of the performers being local talent from Oxfordshire and the surrounding areas. The Cross Keys is also known for its great food and drink selection, which can be enjoyed before or after a show at The Listening Room. The pub has a range of beers, wines and spirits, as well as a menu of classic pub dishes made from locally sourced ingredients.
The O2 Academy Oxford is popular venue that attracts big-name artists from around the world. With a capacity of around 1,350, it’s one of the largest music venues in the area. The venue hosts a variety of events, from indie rock to electronic music, some of the best gigs to date have come from Ed Sheeran, Foals, Stereophonics, Ozzy Osbourne, Babyshambles, Hozier and Royal Blood.
The Northcourt is Abingdon’s live music venue, created with a mission to fill the gap in the local area for a high-quality music destination. Located on the corner of Oxford Road and Northcourt Road, the not-for-profit venue hosts live bands of all styles, with gigs usually taking place on Friday and Saturday nights. The main venue room is fully licensed and can hold up to 200 people, and there is also a lounge bar to relax and enjoy drinks before or after the shows. The Northcourt is committed to promoting live music and supporting local and regional artists.
O’Neill’s is a popular Irish-themed pub that hosts live music on weekends. This Oxford city pub has a lively atmosphere and serves up a range of dishes and drinks.
The Bullingdon is a popular independent venue in Oxford that hosts a range of music nights including indie, rock, and electronic, they also hold club and comedy nights. Celebrating over 20 years of live performances and showcasing local, national and international artists, it’s a great place to catch up-and-coming artists before they hit the big time. The Bullingdon Cocktail has over 135 years of history and boasts an impressive selection of 40+ cocktails!
McCafferty’s Bar at The White Hart is a warm and inviting bar with an Irish twist located in the heart of Bicester. With a friendly atmosphere and a wide range of drinks on offer, it’s the perfect spot for a night out with friends or a relaxed drink after work. McCafferty’s have live acts every weekend, promoting local musicians with a mix of modern bands and traditional Irish music and DJ nights.
Make sure you save the dates for these upcoming Oxfordshire music events in 2023!
Oxfordshire is set to be a hub of music events in 2023, with something for everyone. First up is the Witney Music Festival on 9-10 June at The Leys, followed by the Kite Festival at Kirtlington Park from 9-11 June. Then in July, FollyFest takes over Faringdon from 7-9 July, before the Abingdon Truck Festival rolls in from 21-23 July. August sees Wilderness Festival at Cornbury Park from 3-6 August, Rewind South in Henley on Thames from 18-20 August, and The Big Feastival in Kingham from 25-27 August.
Get ready to enjoy some incredible live music performances!