History of Oxford Pride

15 years of Pride in Oxford

The 3rd June 2017 sees the 15th Oxford Pride celebration of lesbian, gay, bi, trans and queer life in Oxfordshire, providing information, education and entertainment in a safe and inclusive environment.

It all began back in 2002 at a Spring bank holiday celebration of the Queen's golden jubilee. Oxfords’ two gay pubs at that time, Jolly Farmers and Castle Tavern, held a street party on Paradise Street with barbecues, games and entertainment. When far more people turned up than expected it prompted talk of organising a Pride event in Oxford. Oxford saw its first ever Pride Day on 3rd May 2003 held in Oxpens Field.

The Oxford Pride Event moved in 2005 from May to July and in 2008 Oxford Pride expanded to include the Oxford Pride Parade; starting in the busy city centre the Parade walked past the Paradise Street pubs and continued on to the event.

The date was changed to early June in 2009 to encourage more involvement by university staff and students and continued to diversify and develop with the introduction of a 10-day Art and Culture Festival.

Oxford Pride relocated to the city centre in 2015 to Paradise Street and expanding into the Oxford Castle Quarter. A new logo was adopted incorporating a fusion of town and gown represented by a rainbow bowler hat.

In cities like Oxford, where we are free to express our love for one another, events like Oxford Pride provide a voice and visibility to help ensure that our human rights are maintained and upheld.

Oxford Pride is a registered charity run by a dedicated team of volunteers elected from the membership. Festival events produced by Oxford Pride plus those by local organisations, businesses, the universities and individuals; reach out to the wider community providing visibility under the umbrella of inclusion. 

Oxford Pride continues to provide a voice and a positive focus for Oxfordshire individuals and community groups, and encourages people from beyond Oxford to visit the city in a celebration of equality and diversity.

If you'd like to get involved to share and develop your skills, or just help a little, please email volunteer@oxford-pride.org.uk 


Founding Members


Aiden Walters, Andi Whiting, Andy Garlick, Dave Hill (Secretary to 2007), Jill Rayner, Karl Andrews,  Lara Hartley, Lulu Hudson, Mark Holton, Mark Whittaker, Michael Spurling, Sarah Scarrott, Spike, Steve Atkins (Castle Tavern), Toby Warner and Paul Stewart (Treasurer 2004 to 2007).