A FREE family-friendly music festival in an idyllic riverside setting will have more than 40 acts playing across four stages.

The Riverside Festival in Charlbury, running from Saturday, July 28 (12pm – 10pm) until Sunday, July 29 (11am-8pm) will have rock, indie, jazz, and folk on the main two stages and all sorts on the Riverside Fringe and Buskers stages.

The festival held on the beautiful banks of the River Evenlode has grown year on year since it began life 23 years ago, attracting thousands of music lovers of all ages, and yet Riverside is still the friendliest, most relaxed music festival in Oxfordshire and is still free to enter.

Along with events across the country, Riverside is marking the 250th anniversary of the world’s first circus. Back in 1768, in a bid to attract a larger audience to his daring riding displays, equestrian impresario Philip Astley drew a ring on a patch of waste ground in London’s Waterloo, and filled it with a series of quirky acts. In addition to his bareback riders, there were clowns, jugglers, acrobats, and other novelties.

The organisers this year are hoping to attract a host of people with circus skills, so if you’re a dab hand at juggling, know a magic trick or two, excel at stiltwalking, have acrobatic tendencies or just enjoy clowning around, email admin@riversidefestival.charlbury.com

For those with a musical talent, take a turn on the Buskers’ Stage in the Tea and Cakes Tent. No pre-booking is required.

This year’s Main Stage welcomes back four Riverside favourites: Oxford music mainstays Zurich, The Standard, Knights of Mentis and The Mighty Redox. Other acts to look out for are US country punk band Speedbuggy USA and popular popsters Candy Says.

In addition to the Riverside bar serving Hook Norton craft beers, the popular Pimm’s and Tins tent returns along with the Riverside Gin and Fizz lounge and the Pre-School Tea and Cakes tent. There is also a wide assortment of stalls selling traditional festival fodder.

The address is The Mill Field, Dyers Hill, Charlbury, Oxfordshire OX7 3QG

Entrance to the Festival site is down Mill Lane, opposite Charlbury railway station. Only disabled and emergency parking is available onsite. With limited festival parking at the station and in the town, it’s recommended you walk to the festival, or take public transport, if possible. Like all festivals, festival goers cannot bring bottles and cans onto the site, but, unlike other festivals, the bars and refreshment stalls will be selling drinks at very reasonable prices. Please leave dogs at home, only assistance dogs will be allowed in.