Oxford Entertainment & Nightlife

Studying here is more than just about work or societies - there's also loads of opportunities to have fun with your friends and make new ones! Don't feel like you have to emerge from the comfort of Netflix in your room if you don't want to... but if you fancy venturing out in the evenings then here's an outline of things that you could get up to. This page is a general page to get you started - if you're particularly interested in clubbing and want a brief description of each of Oxford's main clubs, follow the link to the clubbing page.

Where to drink

Clubs in Oxford

College bars are heavily subsidised so are really cheap ways to spend an evening, as well as great ways to see other colleges. All of the bars have different atmospheres and some have signature drinks so it's worth giving a few a go - perhaps on one of the college bar crawls that regularly take place. Keble's own college bar is one of the largest, offering very reasonably priced drinks - a pint is just £2.50 and soft drinks from 50p. It has darts board and a TV and our pride and joy - our very own pizza oven where a drink and entire pizza is just a fiver! The Bar also hosts a large number of college events, particularly drinks before and after black-tie dinners in Hall and also the regular BOPs.

Oxford is famous for its multitude of pubs, they can be a little beyond the student budget but a relaxed way to have a drink or two! Some of them have incredible histories from when they were frequented by well-known historical figures who studied at Oxford, notably the Turf Tavern and Eagle and Child. The Kings Arms (KA) is also worth checking out for its and buzzing atmosphere whilst the Four Candles (Spoons!) is a cheaper option for pre drinks.

If you want a classier evening Oxford has a fair few cocktail bars that are fun places to hang out with friends over great-tasting drinks. The Duke of Cambridge and Freud's are both good choices being close to Keble and having good student deals. The Varsity Club just outside the Covered Market will offer you a great view with its rooftop bar but the price tag to match. Turtle Bay is a restaurant that becomes a buzzing cocktail bar at night with an extensive cocktail menu and a great 2-for-1 happy hour. If you feel like a walk then venture to Cowley for a greater selection, a couple of highlights are All Bar One and Kazbar.

How to party the night away

Keble's Entz (elected JCR entertainment team) put on all sorts of events throughout the year to entertain and amuse you. Some highlights this year have been quizzes, open mic nights and food and drinks to keep us company while watching the US Presidential Election, Superbowl and Eurovision. If you have an idea for a social event that you want to happen or organise then do contact them as they're always looking for new ideas.

BOPs (Big Open Parties) are big college fancy dress parties that happen two or three times per term roughly between 10pm and 1am. They are run by Entz and funded by the JCR so often include a couple of free drinks and are loads of fun. The fancy dress is always imaginatively themed and the standard of costumes ranges from the last-minute to the elaborate DIY endeavour so feel free to go all out if you want to! Most colleges' bops are open to non college members but you usually need someone to invite you - at Keble just ask the Entz reps if you want your friends to be added to the guest list.

Black tie dinners are organised once a year in Keble hall for every subject group and various sports teams. They are quite expensive (£35) but worth it for the wine, extra special hall food and great atmosphere. Included in the price is a prosecco reception in the bar before dinner and people usually go out afterwards. Dress-code is black tie and (top tip) make sure you send in your RSVP slip before the deadline otherwise you will miss out...

Crewdates are an experience quite unique to Oxford - when one sports team, society, or group of friends pay £15 for a meal with another group at a local restaurant (it's BYOB so bring your favourite cheap wine). Normally involving a lot of rowdiness, ridiculous traditions and drinking games, crewdates are an experience that is not for everyone but can be a hilarious way to make friends.

Every year (usually in Trinity term), lots of colleges and societies host balls - basically just massive parties with unlimited food and drink where everyone gets dressed up. Prices vary from around £50 for a small one run by a society to over £200 for the most elaborate of white-tie balls. Keble has a black-tie ball at the beginning of Trinity Term every year, and it has the reputation throughout Oxford of being one of the best, if not the best, black tie balls - tickets are around £90 for Keble students and enough are reserved for everyone. You can even apply (at Keble freshers fair) to be on the committee organising the ball which is hard work but, by all accounts, very rewarding! If you want to go to balls in a more cost-effective way then working at them is a great option, at most you can chose to work for half of the night then have the rest for free or be paid for a whole nights work.

What to Watch

If you're a film nut you'll be glad to know that Oxford has a couple of ODEON cinemas that show the latest box office hits and are only a 10 minutes walk from Keble. Another option is the Phoenix Picture House in Jericho where tickets are cheap, the venue is nice and chilled-out, and cool arty and foreign language films are on offer. Every so often there will also be student film screenings so check the OUFF Facebook page for those. We're lucky at Keble that we have the O'Reilly which is occasionally used to screen movies on weeks where there is no show (sometimes there's even free popcorn!)

Oxford has an incredible theatre scene with four or more productions being put on every week at various venues. Our very own O'Reilly theatre is the largest solely student theatre and has top-quality productions on four times per term. If you have thespy friends then you'll be updated on all of the plays that are on through their constant changing of Facebook profile picture... But if you want a more comprehensive listing then sign up to the OUDS (Oxford University Drama Society) mailing list - which you can do through their website - all plays/musicals and auditions for them are advertised there so why not have a go yourself! It's definitely worth going to the theatre while you're here, even if you think it's not your thing, it's of a very high quality and is usually quite reasonably priced.

Keble hosts concerts and recitals a few times a term, so if you like classical music do have a look at the KCMS (Keble College Music society) term card and the chapel's listings. If you're looking for more chart-topping stuff then the O2 Academy and the Bullingdon in Cowley host regular concerts of bands such as Scouting for Girls so their listings may be worth a look!

If you're up for a more educational way to spend your night you will never be short of talks to attend here. The Oxford Union is the best-known provider of these but membership is very expensive so be sure that you'll actually go before you invest. Other societies also host really interesting and more specific talks such as International Relations Society, the Oxford Climate Society and Amnesty International. Check subject-specific newsletters and the windows of Waterstones and Blackwell's as they often have some great speakers too.

Written by Lucy Miles