Music, theatre and cinema


For a relatively small city, Oxford’s music scene is impressively diverse. This is in part due to the religious, classical and choral tradition deeply rooted in collegiate culture. Thanks to the large student population, the city is also known for its nightly gigs featuring local bands. Bigger acts from around the country and abroad perform at the O2 Academy on Cowley Road. 

For choirs and classical concerts, organisations and venues include:

Oxford University Music Society is supported by the Music Faculty and runs a number of student ensembles. College websites have details of their own events.

Some local churches offer choirs for children. Many schools offer music lessons, either through the Oxfordshire Music Service or private companies and charitable foundations. Many children in Oxford learn instruments, and are well served by a community of tutors. Daily Info lists private music tutors, or you can post your own ad. For those looking to join a group, there are a variety of youth orchestras and ensembles around the county, or  Oxford Youth Choirs offers singing for children aged from 4 upwards.


Oxford has two main theatres, The Oxford Playhouse and The New Theatre. There are also a number of smaller theatres some of which operate as community centres and offer a variety of workshops and courses.

In the spring and summer, many performances take place in temporary venues such as college gardens, the Bodleian Library quad and even the BMW car factory. 

To keep up-to-date with information about theatre listings, reviews, times and tickets, visit:


Oxford has a number of cinemas located across the city. For more information on new releases, timetables and the latest reviews, visit the Daily Info cinema listings.

Did you know?

The Old Fire Station building on George Street housed Oxford's fire brigade from 1894 until 1971. The Pre-Raphaelite artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-82) lived in George Street when he was commissioned to paint a mural for the new Oxford Union building in nearby St Michael’s Street in 1857. He was assisted by William Morris (1834–1896) and Edward Burne-Jones (1833–1898), leaders of the Arts & Crafts movement.