ONE of the tastiest events in Oxford's social calendar will be back this summer and has announced a smorgasbord of culinary and musical acts.

Foodies Festival is planning to return to the city's South Park on August Bank Holiday weekend, August 28-30.

And along with samples to try, there will be star appearances by MasterChef and Bake Off champions and pop acts Scouting For Girls and Toploader.

MasterChef 2021 champion Tom Rhodes, MasterChef: The Professionals champion Alex Webb, and MasterChef 2021 and 2020 finalists Laura Michael and Sandy Tang will appear at the event which tours the country.

Mr Webb said: “I'm absolutely delighted to be touring around the country with Foodies Festivals this summer. I’ve been working on lots of delicious new recipes and I can’t wait to see you all in person and cook live on stage!"

Also cooking up a storm in the park will be Michelin-starred restaurateurs Mike North from the Nut Tree Inn in Murcott near Bicester, and Nick Galer from The Miller of Mansfield in Goring.

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The event will feature up to 50 musical acts including Scouting For Girls, who will no doubt perform tunes She’s So Lovely, Heartbeat and Elvis Ain’t Dead; while Toploader can be expected to play their number seven chart hit Dancing In The Moonlight.

For something marginally more up to date, there will be tunes from Lady Gaga tribute act, Maybe Gaga.

MasterChef: The Professionals champion Alex Webb

MasterChef: The Professionals champion Alex Webb

Alex Webb

Scouting For Girls frontman Roy Stride said: “After a long, dismal year away from touring and seeing our fans, we’re all hugely excited to be playing Foodies Festival.

“It’s not just because we’ll finally be playing our favourite songs again to a real-life crowd as the sun sets on a perfect summer’s day out, it’s also the sense of liberation and relief that will come with the fest for everyone involved.

“The fact that we’ll all be able to sample an amazing smorgasbord of food and drink from around the world is another great bonus.”

Dan Hipgrave from Toploader said: “We are properly excited to be back performing at this years festival.

It has been a few years since we last played at the excellent Foodies Festivals and we’re hungry just thinking about it! What more could a band want than a stage to perform on, awesome food and free flowing drinks in the sunshine. Bring it on and see you there!”

The three-day Covid-safe festival will include a Chefs Theatre, Cake & Bake Theatre, Drinks Theatre with wine, Champagne, beer and cocktail making masterclasses, Shopping Village with award-winning artisan producers, Street Food Avenue, Kids Cookery School and live music stage.

Other attractions include a chilli eating competition and family friendly areas with activities for children.

Over 150 exhibitors – many local – will showcase their produce, providing festival-goers with a fantastic opportunity to sample the best of Oxfordshire - and to try a selection of food and drink from around the world.

Director Sue Hitchen said: "I am so pleased that we are returning to Oxford this year, bringing top chefs to cook live and big name music acts to our stage.

“As we're outdoors and in local parks we are able to plan Covid safe festivals, and our experienced health and safety team are working closely with local councils across the country to make sure we take all appropriate measures and follow government guidelines to keep everyone safe.

“There has never been a better time to support local restaurants and food producers and we are all ready to enjoy a fun day out with friends.”

For the third year running, the festival is supporting Musicians Against Homelessness (MAH) with tickets raising money for UK-wide homelessness charity Crisis.

MAH founder Emma Rule said: “The last year has been incredibly difficult for charities, we are so pleased to be back at Foodies with our music stage and brilliant artists, raising much needed funds.”

  • Adult day tickets are £19
  • Weekend tickets £29
  • Children aged 12 and under go free when accompanied by an adult.
  • See or call 0844 9951111.