Oxford’s annual may day celebrations took place last weekend, with record numbers of students, visitors and Oxford residents taking advantage of May 1 falling on Sunday. The festivities were welcomed by local businesses as trade increased across the entire week-
end. Oxford’s lively club scene benefitted, as venues across the city were end. Oxford’s lively club scene benefitted, as venues across the city were filled to capacity until dawn.
A spokesperson from The Plush Lounge said: “We were at capacity from beginning to end, with all the usual fun, frivolity, and good vibes leading the celebratory charge into the new month.” The enthusiasm was matched by Amelia from Emporium, who said: “We couldn’t have asked for a better response with regards to ticket sales, all of which sold out incredibly far in advance, nor could we have expected such enthusiasm and stamina from all of our beautiful patrons!”
“It felt so historical to know that were part of a great tradition”
Many students made use of the excuse to celebrate. “Some friends of mine got to Bridge early and were right at the front of the masses, before one of them had to run away to a café to vomit in the toilet. Vomiting in a café is a new partying low which I don’t wish to experience. When they returned, they had lost their place to thousands of new-comers,” said Daniel Curtis, an English and French student.
Alumni were also keen to participate. Olivia Cormack, from Lady Margaret Hall, recounted that, “An alumnus visited our college to give a speech the night before, so we invited him to the pub, albeit ‘just for 45 minutes’. He ended up spending the whole night in Plush with a group from college and singing on Magdalen Bridge at 5 am.”
Events continued on Sunday morning with, according to the Oxford City Council, over 25,000 people taking part across the city. These included traditional activities such as Morris Dancing, folk singing and the 6am performance by Magdalen Choir. Magdalen chorister and fi rst-year musician Thomas Peet, said “the atmosphere at the top of the tower was amazing.” He went on to say “It felt so historical to know that we were part of a great tradition, making it worth getting up at such an ungodly hour!”
The choir, in one of the most well known elements of the city’s May Day celebrations, have sung the hymn ‘Hymnus Eucharisticus’ from the top of Magdalen tower at dawn on May 1 for over 500 years, making it another of Oxford’s many enduring traditions.
Peter McQuitty, Oxford City Council’s head of culture, said: ‘It was a beautiful crisp, clear morning and people from all the communities across the city and of all ages came together to enjoy that quintessentially Oxford magical moment. You just do not get this anywhere else.