Rural traditions combined with a bit of musical genius over the years have made Oxford County into a great spot to hear live music outdoors. With a combination of festivals and permanent locations, one can enjoy anything from pop to folk. We’ve picked four of our favourite places to listen to outdoor music in Oxford County.
1. Patio Night at the Elm Hurst Inn & Spa
The Elm Hurst Inn and Spa has been an Oxford County staple since 1865 when it was built for the James Harris Cheese Factory. Since then, it has become an inn, spa & restaurant where travelers from all over Canada and beyond stay for both convenience of location and the beauty of the building and grounds.
Each summer, the Elm Hurst offers Patio Nights every Thursday night from 6-9PM. These happen rain or shine and take place into early September. On any given patio night, one can see a full band or solo act while sipping a glass of wine and enjoying delicious food.
2. Stonecroft Folk
Nestled back on a country road just outside of Woodstock, Stonecroft Folk is an intimate live music venue set in an old farm house. This farm still operates on beef, swine and cash crops and has been in the owner’s family since the 1800s. Stonecroft Folk houses professional musicians from far and wide who entertain guests with fabulous music. See one performance or buy up season tickets before they’re gone!
3. Canterbury Folk Festival
Summer in Oxford County just wouldn’t be the same without Ingersoll’s annual Canterbury Folk Festival. Each July, the festival pulls thousands of people in to enjoy a bohemian-type weekend of art and folk music. With meals, workshops, art, dance and some of the best musicians from across Canada, Canterbury Folk Fest has become an important part of Ontario’s cultural landscape. Oh and did we mention it’s free?
When you live in Woodstock, the dairy capital of Canada, festivals for cows are bound to be udderly fantastic. Cowapalooza is a unique festival for the entire family where visitors can take part in a soapbox derby or cow milking contest and watch professional wrestling. One of the high lights each year however, is two outdoor concerts featuring professional musicians that are sure to please the crowd. Set under the Oxford County stars, in the natural amphitheater of Southside Park, you can’t go wrong!
5. Walters Dinner Theatre
The Walters Dinner Theatre is a truly special venue located on a spacious farm property in Bright. Featuring and owned by the Walters family, who have traveled and played music all over the world (including the Ryman Auditorium) the dinner theatre is host to several shows each year. From tribute to variety shows, the theatre is always a hit. The theatre opened in 2000 and now sees thousands of visitors each year!
6. Downtown Woodstock Summer Streetfest
Woodstock Summer Streetfest is an amazing four-day street festival put on by the Downtown Woodstock BIA each year. With vendors, car shows and over thirty musical acts each year, there is music for everyone!
So if you’re looking to combine your love of music and nature, look no further than Oxford County. With a combination of amateur and professional musicians, a great time is guaranteed.
By: Gabrielle Bossy, Tourism Oxford