With more than 40 bands and artists across five venues in one day, Oxford’s Ritual Union is the perfect pick-me-up for music-lovers suffering the end of festival season.

The second instalment of the all-dayer – which takes its name from a song by Swedish synth-pop band Little Dragon – returns this Saturday. And its glittering line-up will knock rival events into a cocked hat.

Wheatley local hero Gaz Coombes takes top billing on the line-up, with a headline show at the O2 Academy. He is joined by a smorgasbord of national names interspersed with local talent. So we have Ghostpoet, Jane Weaver, Nadine Shah, Suuns, The Lovely Eggs, Gnod, Boy Azooga, Le Feye and Warmduscher – featuring members of Fat White Family and Paranoid London – but also local acts Self Help, Cassels, Easter Island Statues, Mother, Vienna Ditto, Cherokii, Lacuna Common and more.

Organiser Simon Bailey of promoter Future Perfect handpicked the line-up, and is understandably excited. “I started with a wish-list and worked from there,” he says. “October is the busiest month of the year for live music and some of my picks were not available while others came to me. It all comes together in the end.”

One of the acts to approach him was Gaz, who has spent the year touring his new album World’s Strongest Man. He has just returned from a solo tour of North America.

He plays with his live band, featuring local lads guitarist Garo Nahoulakian, bassist Mark ‘Growler’ Fowler and drummer Mike Monaghan. Backing singer Kansas-born Piney Gir also returns with Gaz and plays her own set earlier in the day.

“Gaz’s team approached us, which was a shock,” says Simon in his warm, lilting Wolverhampton accent. “We were looking for a headliner, and they thought it’d be a good fit for Gaz.”

He goes on: “It’s going to be a great day. There is a mix of artists I’ve never worked with before, and some who have done great shows with us before, like The Lovely Eggs and Ghostpoet.”

And he said the East Oxford thoroughfare was the ideal spot for a festival, with shows taking place upstairs and downstairs at the O2 Academy, in the Bullingdon, The Library and Truck Store.

“I always wanted to do a multi-venue festival and Cowley Road is the perfect place as everywhere is just four or five minutes away. It’s all concentrated on one small stretch of road. The weather forecast is good, but even if it wasn’t, it wouldn’t matter because everything is so close together – and it’s all inside anyway.”

So who is Simon particularly looking forward to?

“Ghostpoet will be incredible,” he says. “Last time he sold out the O2 Academy and was unbelievable. As an artist, he is consistently getting better and better and has a great presence on stage.

“I am also looking forward to Self Help – there’s a great buzz around them – and Lice, a punk band from Bristol who are headlining The Library. Boy Azooga are really cool as are Cassels who are one of the local bands we have been trying to build up all year.

“Low island are playing their biggest hometown show to date. Their sound is getting much more electronic and they should sound amazing. The last time they headlined here they blew the roof away!”

But, of course, it is former Supergrass frontman Gaz that everyone is talking about. “The festival has been timed with a minimum of clashes and everyone should get in the room for Gaz. It’s his only full-band show in Oxford this year and will see him playing a selection of favourites,” he says.

And his advice? “Get there early and discover your new favourite band.”

And don’t go home too soon either. Simon has a major surprise up his sleeve for the afterparty in The Bully – a DJ set by former snooker legend Steve Davis.

“It’s not a joke,” he laughs. “He’ll be playing krautrock, noise rock and techno for us. What a lucky break!”

  • Tickets from ritualunion.co.uk or in person from the Truck Store in Cowley Road, Oxford