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May Morning 2021

The ancient traditions look a little different this year but there's still lots of fun to be had, whether you're coordinating a big Zoom-based party, having a tiny socially distanced gathering in your garden, or simply want to enjoy the music
Your home, Sat 1 May 2021

May Morning 2021 will once again look very different from usual, as the 'rule of 6' means large gatherings at the foot of Magdalen Tower and throughout the city can't go ahead. But as the history of these celebrations reflects, traditions last the longest when they adapt, and Oxford's musicians and dancers have done just that to ensure you can embrace the spring whilst staying safe.

Live To Your Living Room, Oxford's pioneers of virtual gigs, have come into their own with May Morning: they've teamed up with Oxford Contemporary Music to bring early birds (or those pulling an all-nighter) a May Dawn Dance at 5.30am, with performances from Martin Green, Eliza Carthy, Boss Morris and more. If you're not planning to be awake at such an hour (or you've got the stamina to carry on revelling into the evening) they also have a performance from Jenny Sturgeon at 8pm.

Then at around 6am you can watch Magdalen College Choir singing the Hymnus Eucharisticus at the top of Magdalen Tower. They're pre-recorded the performance, so it'll go live on their Facebook and Youtube channels. And Daily Info's Virtual May Day festivities from 2020 are still available to watch.

Oxford City Council are encouraging people to share their virtual celebrations on social media with the hashtag #MayMorning.

And of course, May Day wouldn't be May Day without a big breakfast to help you refuel after a night of partying. This is one of the elements of May Morning that's very achievable at home, but if you want it to feel even more authentic, G&Ds are opening all 3 of their branches - St Aldate's, Cowley Road and Little Clarendon Street - for takeaways from 7am.

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