What is The Elder Stubbs Festival?
This annual festival takes place in the nine-acre Elder Stubbs Allotment Site, amongst the flowers, apple orchards, and a strange collection of wooden dinosaurs. Eat your heart out Chelsea Flower Show – this is the real gardeners paradise!
Every year members of our Elder Stubbs Recovery Group rise to the occasion and organise this special festival. Organising such a large event enables them to develop in confidence, teamwork and planning skills, and connects Restore to the wider community.
By involving around 150 local volunteers, performers and organisations, and with 3,000 devoted attendees, the Elder Stubbs Festival is a fantastic platform for raising mental health awareness whilst contributing to a strong and active community.
Just a little of what we have in store for you this year…
- Headlining the Main Stage is Emily Macguire, singer/songwriter an advocate for mental health. Ms. Macguire speaks frequently in the media about combating the stigma of mental illness, including BBC Radio 2 and 4!
- Raw Sounds and Music in Mind – two talented bands who use music as part of their mental health recovery.
- Deaf choir Handy Voices will be performing and teaching guests how to sign along to popular songs!
- Oxford favourites, Horns of Plenty.
- Hands-on workshops, including Bath Bomb Making, Bird Feeder Building, Cooking Demos, Soul Dance, yoga, Mindfulness and Tai Chi.
- World food stands from local traders across Oxford.
- As always the allotments will be heaving with craft stores from all our recovery groups!
- Swing boats, pony rides, treasure hunts, parachute games, tight-rope walking, and crafts. Plus Matthew Belbin, children’s entertainer will be there to engage children in song and dance.
“Well, there was a short shower after all, but being British, we wouldn’t let that dampen our spirits, would we? More than 3,000 people turned up once again to enjoy one of OX4’s most cherished events last Saturday.
Elder Stubbs is a unique festival for a unique community – boasting a diverse array of attractions from performing arts to hands-on workshops, world cuisine to willow weaving. I’m sure it’s one of the few places in the country where belly dancers, martial artists and poets rub shoulders among flowers, giant wooden sculptures and vegetable patches.
With more than 50 stallholders presenting their wares throughout this urban oasis it really is colourful in every sense of the word. I wound my way through the apple orchard and enjoyed some old school dub from Natty Marks, got involved in the judging of some prize-winning pumpkins and got to go home with some delicious homemade organic jam, yum!
Ultimately, the nine-acre site is a leading example of the successful reinvention of city land use, and this annual celebration provides a welcome platform for over 20 local community groups and charities to raise valuable funds for their causes. So, be sure to have it pencilled in your diary again for next year.
One of my most enjoyable moments at Elder Stubbs Festival was watching a pop-up performance from Oxford Playhouse – which sees the city’s leading theatre taking shows to unexpected places across the county.”
If you are interested in volunteering at the festival, fill in our online volunteering form.
If you would like to book a stall at the festival, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for a price list and booking form.
If you are a musician or performer and would like to be part of the festival, email email@example.com.
Photo credit: Jeff Slade