The Wheatsheaf music venue to close?

City centre’s last live music venue threatened with closure

2 March 2021

Jazz at The Wheatsheaf
Spin Jazz Club meets at The Wheatsheaf
Photo: Steve Foster & Daily Info

Oxford Civic Society is alarmed to hear that the city could soon lose a well-regarded music venue. Not long ago, there were eight venues in Oxford city centre hosting gigs by up-and-coming local, national and international bands.   Since 2019, when The Cellar was closed, The Wheatsheaf has been the sole survivor in the city centre.

Oxford has a worldwide reputation for creating amazing bands, which is far beyond what would be expected from a city of its size: Radiohead, Supergrass, Stornaway and Foals to name just a few. None of these bands would have been able to develop and become internationally famous without venues like the Wheatsheaf to start out in and perfect their craft.

The Wheatsheaf hosts gigs of all musical styles and is home to a wide variety of gig nights. For example, it hosts Oxford’s only jazz club “The Spin” – which holds a Parliamentary Jazz Award for best club in the country.

The city centre needs all the vibrancy that it can get.  If the application succeeds, a new music venue will need to be found to continue the Wheatsheaf’s work.

You can read and comment on the planning application on the City’s website here.

2 thoughts on “The Wheatsheaf music venue to close?”

  1. OCS is absolutely right to decry the potential loss of this long-standing and popular music venue. Its closure would be a huge blow to Oxford’s live music scene. This is particularly true at a time when all of us – local residents and students – have been deprived of live entertainment for over a year, and are keen to embrace it again as soon as it can restart. The availability of live music, and the ability to enjoy it in the company of other people, will be vital to the restoration of citizens’ mental health following the pandemic, and the Wheatsheaf has a key role to play in that.

  2. This would be a huge loss for Oxford’s cultural life. I have seen some of New York’s finest contemporary jazz musicians play in this space as guests of the Spin jazz club. It is also a well-known proving ground for many local musicians, a number of whom have gone on to have stellar careers.

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