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Balliol’s beef with Burgerfest

The controversial Burgerfest festival is set to go ahead on Saturday 27 May despite Balliol College requesting that it should not as it falls within a “red zone” of dates.

This period is a protocol to ensure that students revising for exams are not disturbed. The four-day festival celebrates the 70th anniversary of the twinning of Oxford with Bonn in Germany.

It will feature performances from visiting German groups and food stalls. In February, Balliol argued that it should not go ahead because of the proximity to students sitting exams, with potential noise and access issues.

The protocol of the Broad Street Stakeholders committee, which includes the Oxford colleges around Broad Street as well as city councillors, does not usually allow events to run near exams. Despite this, the festival is set to go ahead between 12 and 4pm.

Vicechairman of the Oxford International Links committee told the Oxford Mail: “Burgerfest will be going ahead on Saturday as part of a full programme of events to celebrate Oxford’s twinning link with Bonn.

“In the end it turned out that one of the noisiest bands musically has been unable to attend so there shouldn’t be any problems.

“The whole weekend will be a great opportunity for people in the city to celebrate Oxford’s long-standing links with Bonn.”

As well as this, there will be an Oxford Bonn Economic Forum, providing the opportunity for collaboration with Bonn on development including trade, science and technology.

A play will be performed at the Burton Taylor Studio, and more than 200 singers from Bonn will perform at Oxford Town Hall on Friday.

The Bodleian Library will also be displaying its Beethoven collection on Saturday, which includes original scores, sketches and autographed manuscripts.

Oxford’s twinning with Bonn was part of the reconstruction of Europe after the Second World War.

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