Charlbury's Free Music Festival

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Riverside Festival Charlbury

Save the date!

July 29th and 30th 2023

Riverside Festival is Charlbury’s free music festival.

We have grown into the largest FREE music festival in Oxfordshire and beyond. 

We have over five thousand people enjoying great music over the two days, set on the picturesque Mill Field ‘island’ on the outskirts of Charlbury Oxfordshire.

With over 30 bands playing across the three stages; from rock, indie, folk and blues there is something for everyont to enjoy. We have an amazing variety of food, craft and children’s entertainment stalls, making, in our opinion, this the best family event Oxfordshire has to offer.

Important information

First, though… we are volunteers

Riverside is a volunteer run event, ALL the organisers, bar staff and – most importantly – the bands do it for free, none of us gets paid (though we might have a beer later) because we love it, we hope you do too.

We run the whole thing on Karma and gaffer tape. That and the profit from the bar, merch sales and the support of Charlbury Town Council. Many thanks to them.

We are also supported by many friends and neighbours who pitch in or help out by lending / lugging stuff or by advertising in our “amazing value” programme. Thanks to all of them, and thanks to you for reading this.


To help everyone cope with the cost of living crisis we’ve managed to keep this year’s festival free again as is has been for 25 years. To help us cope with the cost of living crisis, please buy stuff. A drink, a t-shirt or one of our …”amazing value” programmes…
We won’t shake a bucket at you, but you can donate at the bottom of this on this page or, on your way home, throw your money down the toilet…


There is plenty of parking at the train station car park opposite the festival site, just search for Charlbury Train Station in your sat nav or bang in OX7 3HH.


Riverside is a free festival but since we deal with up to 5000 people a day, we have the full range of facilities we need to make your visit as safe and comfortable as possible.

So we have a range of food and drink vendors including vegetarian and vegan options.

We provide a good number of toilet facilities and have 2 full bars offering alcoholic and soft drinks as well as ample access to free drinking water (bring a refillable please, save on plastic).

We are very pleased to announce that Hook Norton Brewery will be supplying us with their excellent real ales, ciders and lager. Plus we will have wine by the glass and (recycled plastic) bottle.

There’s tea and coffee and even CBD cocktails for those who want to stay off the pop but still get involved. Naturally there’s Pimms, fizz, and our fabulous gin bar.

Kids’ Stuff

There are loads of FREE children’s activities, with both programmed and turn up & go stuff to do. Plus various kid focussed traders, from face painting to toys.

Green Field

There are numerous craft demos, from on-site bronze axe casting to willow weaving and stone masonry. Keep your eye on the black(smith’s) board for times.

Wellness Tent

Hectic few years? Come down, chill out, feel good, find peace, find your Zen in our new Wellness Tent.

FREE taster sessions in a range of holistic and alternative therapies, all with expert local practitioners.

Pilates, reflexology, reiki, crystal healing, breathwork, meditation and sound therapy.


2 til 3pm – Pilates with Alex Tainsh

3 til 4 pm – Reflexology and Indian head massage with Beth Astle


1 til 2: Pilates with Alex Tainsh

2 onwards – Reiki, crystal healing, breathwork, meditation and sound therapy – The Centre and Jo Keatley

All the sessions are free – but you’ll need to sign up, so come down and see us.


We have a load of local traders selling interesting, handcrafted and generally-good-for-you gear. Keep em peeled as you stroll up the field, there’s bound to be something that catches your eye.

Opening Times

Gates open: 12.00
First Band: 14.00*
Gates close: 22.00

Gates open: 10.00
First Band: 12.00*
Gates close: 20.00

*Second Stage will start at 1pm each day – or maybe earlier if they are ready
Find out where we are, how to apply as a performer, or view pictures from previous years.

Get involved | Contact us


[catlist name="News" numberposts=3 excerpt=yes]


Tom Sharp ran around the festival site on July 21st for two hours to raise money to help out. He’s nearly reached his target, so please support him!

The latest

The evening is upon us but we haven't even got started yet! Next up on that very cool main stage is....The Deadbeat Apostles5-piece soul, blues, rock and roll outfit “infused with a punk spirit that doesn’t trample too hard on the soulful rock’n’roll that is their stock-in-trade”. Angry, political, dressed up to the nines and having a ball. Their songs are a rallying cry for the oppressed and soulful calls for action whilst reminding you why music is your first love. Charlbury Riverside Festival 20/21 JULY 2024#charlbury #charlburyriversidefestival #oxfordshire #oxford #oxfordsmusicscene #oxfordshiremusicscene ... See MoreSee Less
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Final look back at your questions!🚗 Parking can be accessed at the bottom of Pound Hill, on the road to Chipping Norton (Not the cricket ground) - Post code: OX7 3QN.w3w is ///tequila.courier.brimmed - £5 for the day.🐕‍🦺 No dogs allowed except assistance dogs⛺️ No camping available 💵 Make sure to bring spare cash! The EE mast will be out so that may cause network issues.🥤 Reuse your cups!! Make sure to bring them back for some fresh beer and cider!!🍺 Last but not least, please do not bring your own booze. The festival is only free because you use the bar, lets keep it that way!We are SUPER SUPER excited to see you all tomorrow!!!! ... See MoreSee Less
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Last and most important question!!! HOW DO I GET THERE?By carCharlbury is approximately 15 minutes' drive from either Witney, Chipping Norton, Woodstock or Burford. From Oxford the journey is approximately 30 minutes.Parking can be accessed at the bottom of Pound Hill, on the road to Chipping Norton. (Not the cricket ground!!) Post code: OX7 3QN w3w is ///tequila.courier.brimmed £5 for the dayBy trainCharlbury is on the main London Paddington-Oxford-Worcester-Hereford line with regular hourly trains running in both directions. The journey time from Paddington is less than 1hr 20mins, from Oxford it takes as little as 15mins and from Worcester Shrub Hill the journey time is around an hour. For train times and ticket prices go to Great Western Railway. The festival site is only a few minutes walk from the railway station.By busBus services to Charlbury from Oxford and Woodstock (S3), and Witney and Chipping Norton (X9) are operated by Stagecoach. There are regular hourly services on Saturdays, but no bus service on Sundays.Information for disabled visitorsThe Mill Lane is an unmade track about 130m long. The festival entrance is another 160m along Mill Field. The Mill Field itself is a meadow, and whilst the grass isn't cut 'lawn short', it can be a little bit uneven in places. The festival site is approximately 370m end to end. The terrain is flat, with only some small undulations towards the second stage area, but there are no solid walkways on site. Disabled toilet facilities are provided next to the First Aid tent. Parking is available on site for Blue Badge holders only - you will be guided by a steward from the top of Mill Lane. ... See MoreSee Less
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Charlbury Riverside Festival 20/21 JULY 2024A couple more questions and answers for you all!!💵Please bring cash as well as your card, being prepared is better than being without a beer! 🧋 Have you bought a reusable cup over the years? Keep leaving it at home? Well this is a reminder to get it packed in your bag, ready for the weekend!!!!Charlbury RiversideFestival #Cash #Charlbury #charlburyriversidefestival #oxfordshire #oxford #oxfordsmusicscene #oxfordshiremusicscene ... See MoreSee Less
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Charlbury Riverside Festival 2024Here is your final line up!!! Remember all weekend there will be...4 stages, free kids area, crafts: Willow weaving, ironwork, stone carving, bushcraft skills, pole lathing. awesome food, brilliant drinks, also: gin! and soooooo much more!!Continue with your sun dances please.For more info visit: #charlburyriversidefestival #oxfordshire #oxford #oxfordsmusicscene #oxfordshiremusicscene ... See MoreSee Less
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Keep Riverside free

Riverside is a FREE festival organised by a small team of enthusiastic volunteers. The festival is funded entirely by sponsorship, donation and pitch fees.

If you would like to help with a contribution to Riverside, you can now send a donation safely & securely by PayPal.

100% of your donation goes towards keeping Riverside FREE!

Thank you for your continued support.

The Riverside Crew x