IT wouldn’t be Oxfringe without so much drama.

The city’s answer to the Edinburgh Fringe festival was cancelled but is now back on again, in a scaled down format.

In true theatrical fashion the acts involved stepped in at the 11th hour to save the day.

The annual arts, comedy, music, literary and dance festival will go ahead from Friday, May 24, to Sunday, June 9.

At its peak the Oxford Fringe, which began with just two acts in 2007, had more than 70 sprawled across 30 venues, attracting thousands of people.

But this year, while organisers hope to stabilise the event, it is likely to be contained to the Old Fire Station in George Street.

The idea of continuing as a collective was put forward by Tom Crawshaw of Underground Venues, which manages Fringe venues and performances in Oxford, Buxton and Edinburgh.

Mr Crawshaw, who ran a festival venue at the Broad Street theatrical hub last year, said he would do everything in his power to make sure it went ahead.

The 26-year-old former Oxford University student said: “It would be a huge blow for Oxford to lose its Fringe.

“It is a platform, not just for Oxfordshire’s artists but for artists from around the world to put on a show.

“We obviously don’t have the money that the Oxfringe had but the enthusiasm shown suggests we can go ahead anyway.”

Last year the event attracted crowds of about 7,000 people across 12 days.

Oxfringe director Sarah Jones would not reveal running costs but said it could not continue as before without the same level of funding.

Ms Jones said: “There have been one or two issues but the committee is intact. Our regular sponsor, the brewer Brakespear, has been incredibly supportive and continues to be so. We are in the process of negotiating with them.

“We are staying positive. We have Holly Payton on board, who helped make the Brighton Fringe what it is today and is extremely experienced in running Fringe festivals all over the world. Tom and The Old Fire Station have also been great.”

Joel Kaye, who is putting on his own show, Elias Ashmole Versus The Widow, said: “The Fringe is crucial in opening up groups like mine – the Oxford Playwrights – to a bigger audience. I’m committed and want to take part and will also do what I can to help.”

Brochures will be available in the town from late April and the line-up will be announced at and on Twitter at @oxford_fringe