Your guide to May Day 2017

Can you make it to Magdalen bridge?

May Day is the quintessential Oxford holiday and one that every student hopes to take full advantage of. You can’t say you’ve completed May Day unless you pass out by midnight and wake up with vague memories of a boat and queues longer than Kebab King at 3 a.m. on a Monday.

To make the most of this year’s, use this as your guide to the best 12 hours of drinking you’ll ever have.


This year you can start drinking earlier than ever with the guys at The Cowley Retreat kicking off the celebrations a day early on the 29th, with a two day beer festival.

With a selection of “great locally sources beers and ciders” on offer to get you in that May Day feeling.

The Boats

This year there have only been two boat parties announced, which is a decline from previous years where there have been multiple boats leaving throughout the day from the Head of the River pub.

As always Brookes Snow are hosting their ever popular boat with tickets in high demand for the controversial society’s annual boat party.

If you’re still hoping to get tickets for this then move quickly as there are only a couple left.

However, if you can’t find or afford the Snow boat ticket then there is a second, student run, boat that has come to the rescue.

This one run by second years Kate Nightingale and Alex Norman, is black tie so there is no excuse for not getting dressed up and partying on the river Thames.

Club Nights

Even though Oxford clubs have been dropping like flies lately this year’s May Day events give you more choice than ever.

After last years This is May Day festival which was headlined by Stormzy. The night has moved to the O2 with big DJ’s like Feel my Bicep and Horse Meat Disco keeping the party going until 6 a.m. This is also included as part of the Brookes Snow boat party ticket.

However if you’re still feeling classy after the black tie boat parties there is the James Bond themed From Russia with Love night at Emporium which offers a free champagne reception on arrival and stays open until 5 a.m.

Staying on a classy vibe, The Varsity Club are hosting a night full of live music acts called Gin & Phonics with acts such as Femi Nylander, Elephantasy and Soul Sessions DJ set going until 5 a.m.

If you love MNB then you won’t want to miss the Lost Temple all nighter at Bridge as it is being put on by the MNB team and is transforming Bridge into an Aztec temple. Again this one is open til 5 a.m.

There has also been a mysterious event announced by Encore events called Project Mayday with no real details expected to be released until next Tuesday.

Magdalen Bridge

If you make it this far then you’re ding well. All of the celebrations for May Day are centred around this, the choir singing on top of Magdalen tower at 6 a.m. with crowds cramped on to the bridge below.

From here there will be loads of cafes open offering special May Day breakfasts as your final reward for making it through nearly 12 hours of drinking. Not that we would condone such behaviour.