Seby Ntege. Pic. Jeff Slade

Oxford Canal Fest is back in September with an exciting line-up of food, drink, music, activities, talks and cinema.

Oxford’s popular waterways festival, which celebrates the city’s waterways, its traditions and colourful history, will take place on Saturday September 17.

Copy of Canal crafts. Pic Jeff Slade

Visitors will be able to enjoy great music from across the city on the main stage, refreshments in the community bar and entertainment in the spoken word tent.

The Oxford Canal is an important part of Oxford’s heritage so everyone who visits, or lives on or near the canal, is invited”

Try this year’s University Challenge, where four groups (including children) will take on the experts with tricky and comedic questions, get involved in the arts and crafts tent, venture into the film tent and or take a guided walk to learn about the canal, its wildlife and history.

Enjoy delicious food from across the world, enter the popular dog show, or flex your muscles in the Canal Olympics, plus lots of other canal themed fun and games.

The Seby Ntege Band. Oxford Photographer Jeff Slade. 

Community stalls and a selection of local traders, including some on canal boats will join in the festival along the nearby towpath.

Matt Turner, who takes over the helm from musician and Jericho Choir leader Steph Pirrie, said today: “We aim to share this talent the surprising amount of creativity and talent that exists on the canal – writers, artists, musicians, designers all live there. Oxford Canal Fest aims to bring it to a wider audience.” 

Canal boat pic Jane

Matt, lives on Kingston Road, close to the Canal, and plans to bring a strong musical programme to the festival, and encourage local talent.

“The Oxford Canal is an important part of Oxford’s heritage and a vital green lung running through the city so everyone who visits or lives on or near the canal is invited,” he says.

beer tent. Pic.Jeff Slade. Copyright Oxford Canal Festival

Proceeds from the festival will go towards the Kilsby Theatre Boat Project, which aims to restore and transform a historic narrowboat into a unique community theatre space for everyone to enjoy.

The last Oxford Canal Festival was held in September 2018, before Covid put paid to plans for 2020.

Seby singer

Oxford Canal Fest runs on Saturday September 17. For further details go to