New website celebrating May Day festivities in Oxford. Expanding all the time - come back soon

Garland on the High Street, May Morning 2017 (photo Tim Healey)

Oxfordshire folk legends Magpie Lane get the ball rolling with a concert on Sunday 29 April

May morning in Oxford is famous for the thousands who gather at 6am to hear a Latin hymn sung from the top of Magdalen College tower.

It is an extraordinary ceremony, but only one feature of Oxford tradition. Maytime revels take place all over the city, and were already controversial in Britain in 1250 when the Chancellor of Oxford University forbade ‘alike in churches, all dancing in masks or with disorderly noises, and all processions of men wearing wreaths and garlands made of leaves of trees or flowers or what not.’

This website honours both the historic celebrations and the joyous spontaneity of revels today. You will find photos, videos and any amount of abstruse information about maypoles and morris and much more besides.

Up the May!

Listening to the choir at Magdalen Tower, May Morning 2016. A record-breaking 25,000 people are reckoned to have attended, and even more - 27,000 - were reported for May Morning 2017 (photo Tim Healey).

Sol Samba on the High Street, May Morning 2017 (photo Tim Healey)

Abingdon Traditional Morris at the Bridge of Sighs, May Morning 2017 (photo Tim Healey)

Dancing to the Whirly Band, May Morning 2017 (photo Tim Healey)

This site is maintained by writer and broadcaster Tim Healey. Thanks to the many friends who have contributed material.

Email contact to right

Click on Menu above for events details, photo gallery, videos and pages on the historic background.

May Morning 2018 falls on a Tuesday. As it is neither a weekend nor a bank holiday, crowds may not be as large as they were in 2016 and 2017. But you never know...


Oxford City Council maintains a website devoted to May Day, with important notes on bus transport, road closures and parking.


Daily Information highlights concerts, gigs, and much more. See 

Folk in Oxford offers a round-the-year survey of the traditional music scene and how to join in. See