COMEDY, music, literature and dance will take over the streets of Oxford from today when the Oxfringe festival begins.

The festival, which began with just two events in 2007, will run across the city for the next fortnight.

It features 130 performers in more than 20 venues, including the Turl Street Kitchen, Jericho Tavern and the Old Fire Station.

Festival director Sarah Jones said: “It’s quite an exciting time. This year we have a lot of magic and cabaret acts.

“And we have a lot of exciting comedy. Not just from our headline acts, but a huge amount of up-and-coming comedians.”

Oxfringe started out in 2007 as an offshoot of the Oxford Literary Festival.

Last year’s event featured 70 acts – ranging from poetry to comedy and drama.

Ms Jones said: “This festival is all about providing a platform for acts who want to take the first plunge from amateur to semi-professional and then professional.

“That’s so important now, when cutbacks are really hitting the arts.”

Jubilee celebrations are also at the forefront of this year’s event, with an outdoor event at Oxford Castle Unlocked on Sunday.

The event will feature a clowning troupe, a performance of A Comedy of Errors and community music and dance groups.

The Jericho Tavern will play host to the music headline event, Jubilee Jam, on Friday and Saturday.

At the newly restored Old Fire Station, in George Street, comedians John Hegley, Isi Suttie and Simon Munnery will lead a series of stand-up performances.

Ms Jones said: “We’re so excited to have the Old Fire Station on board, it’s a fabulous venue.

“We warmly welcome everyone who is interested in doing their thing, strutting their stuff in front of a local audience, family and friends.”

She added: “A few years ago, we just wanted to prove something like this could be done.

“And it has grown incredibly since then. It should be another great year.”

Events in this year's festival include

  • June 2 and 3: Jubilee Jam, Oxfringe Live Music Sessions – Jericho Tavern
  • June 3: Oxfringe Jubilee Unlocked – Oxford Castle Unlocked
  • June 3: Whose Story is it Anyway? – Pegasus Theatre
  • June 4, 6, 7 and 10: An Evening Of Magic, Comedy And Illusion – Old Fire Station
  • June 8 and 10: Alternative Sex Education – Old Fire Station Oxfringe 2012 runs from today until Sunday, June 10.

For full details of all festival events, see and for tickets call 01865 305305 or visit