Folk Arts Oxford aims to promote folk and traditional dance, music and song in the Oxfordshire region. In particular we are interested in improving access for those who might face barriers to participation in the arts.

Through our funded project work: children in Headington have learned about local lad William Kimber, and the musical legacy he has left; a new band called Iris has been formed, who accompany all their songs with Makaton signing; children from mainstream and special schools in Oxfordshire have the chance to create music together, and perform on the main stage at Folk Weekend: Oxford.

Alongside our own projects and events, FAO works collaboratively with other local organisations, forging links and creating opportunities for folk artists to work in education and community projects, as well as showcase their talent in local events. 


Jackie Oates in concert with Tristan Seume

Date: Saturday 17th February
Time: 7.45pm
Venue: Quaker Meeting House, St Giles

Jackie Oates is synonymous with the reinvigoration of English folk. Her mellifluous voice, plaintive fiddle and tantalizing approach to traditional songs gained her several BBC Folk Awards in a career that's seen her release six acclaimed solo albums. An inventive and enthralling artist, Jackie will be performing music from her new album, set for release at the end of 2017 and featuring self-penned, contemporary and rare traditional material.

'Jackie Oates has one of the most pure and beautiful voices in English folk music. Its an instrument to luxuriate in: sometimes delicate, occasionally vulnerable, always captivating'. Jeremy Searle, Maverick

We're delighted to welcome Jackie and Tristan to the Quaker Meeting House for our Winter Warmer concert.

Access details: Ramp access to the front of the Meeting House, and level access throughout, including accessible toilets at the back of the concert room. The concerts are held in the Meeting Room, which is accessed through the garden, via a paved path. Stewards will be able to direct you to a quiet space if you need one, and a small pop up tent will be available if you wish to enjoy the music from a more sheltered environment. This concert will be amplified.

Makaton workshops

Do you know a child who has trouble communicating? Maybe they have a diagnosed disorder such as Downs Syndrome, or maybe their speech is just a bit unclear or delayed? Do you find yourself wishing you could help them to communicate?!

Makaton is a communication system using signs, symbols, and speech, and has a long history of helping children and adults with a variety of communication difficulties to interact with those around them.

Folk Arts Oxford currently runs three different Makaton courses:

Beginners Course (2 days)
Singing with Makaton (3 hours)
Makaton Taster (90 minutes)

Click the links above for more information and booking.

A chance to sing broadside ballads from the Bodleian collection

Saturday 10th February
Time: 2-5pm
Venue: St James’ Church Hall, Beauchamp Lane

Join singers from Rising Voices Community Choir and three guest choirs at this launch workshop for the exciting new community singing project, "Songs of Life and Love". Local artist and choir leader Cat Kelly has been commissioned by the Bodleian Library to create six new arrangements of songs from their collection of Broadside Ballads, for singing with community choirs.

To browse through the Bodleian Library's collection of ballads, ranging from 16th-20th century, have a look at this website:

At this workshop you'll have a chance to learn the ballad 'Sing On', which will be the song for the opening ceremony at Folk Weekend 2018, as well as an old music hall style song from the 1800s, and a song called Flora and James - a more modern twist on the traditional 'girl follows her boyfriend to sea' type of ballad.

The choirs (and anyone who wishes to join them) will perform all the songs together in the Bodleian Library on Sunday 22nd April, as part of Folk Weekend: Oxford.

The workshop will take place in the church hall at St James' on Beauchamp Lane, Cowley. We recommend parking in Castle Car Park at the bottom of Beauchamp Lane, entrance from Crowell Road. There will be a few spaces by the church reserved for those with mobility needs. Tea and cakes will be provided. Workshop times: 2-5pm.

This workshop is offered FREE of charge with thanks to funding from the Bodleian Library. To reserve your space please go to

Folk Weekend 2018

We are building up to the seventh Folk Weekend: Oxford; your local festival where community comes together to enjoy folk music, get creative, and celebrate Oxford with a weekend bursting fun and surprise.

From 20th-22nd April, we have a full schedule of family activities, music and dance events, as well Morris dancers seemingly appearing around every corner, and pubs opening their doors for folk sessions everywhere.

For all information please visit, follow us on Twitter (@FolkWeekend) or Like us on Facebook (

Folk Weekend


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