What is Oxonmoot – other than an annual get–together for Tolkien fans?
Oxonmoot takes place in Oxford on a weekend close to Bilbo and Frodo’s birthday on 22 September. It is open to members of The Tolkien Society and non–members, although members receive a discount on the cost of registration. There are also usually day tickets available to allow anyone to attend the talks and papers without joining the whole event.
There is something for everyone at most Oxonmoots: studies of languages, life, sources and interpretations plus debates and seminars to further expand our understanding of Tolkien’s life and works. As well as talks and papers, the timetable features events typically including:
The Welcome Dinner – held on the first night of Oxonmoot, this is an opportunity for First Timers to meet the ‘oldies’, and for the latter to be reunited with each other.
The Percival Quiz– a very popular event, this takes place in the Bar after the Welcome Dinner at around 9pm, and is open to everyone in teams (we will find you a team). Some questions are fiendish, but the emphasis is on fun. Some answers are fiendishly funny.
Saturday Lunch– the only meal included in the price of registration, this is an opportunity for all attendees to have a meal together. The Subcomm will take the opportunity to read out ‘Parish Notices’ and may spring the occasional surprise.
Telerin Circle– the plan this year is for Denis Bridoux to host a Telerin Circle after the Quiz on Friday night – exact details TBA.
Entertainments & Masquerade– This year once again part of an evening party, this is your chance to sing, dance, perform, anything that you feel will entertain your fellows and to show off your costumes. If you have a last-minute idea, don’t hesitate to talk to either Helen Armstrong or Mike Percival about it – they’re very good at suggesting how to best present it.
Enyalië– The visit to Tolkien’s grave on Sunday morning at 11am where the Tolkien Society Chair reads from Tolkien’s work, and members have the opportunity to thank the Professor for bringing us together in Fellowship.
That is a brief overview of the weekend, but each Oxonmoot is individually crafted by the Subcomm, and by members submitting their ideas. In 2019, we are delighted that Merry and Pippin are planning to return with their cheerful Hobbit Dance Workshop, and we are also planning a Hobbit Bake-Off where our members can display their culinary talents.
In a normal year, for example, we also have an Art Show and a Dealers’ Room selling books, but we aren’t running those this year. Held for over 40 years it has never been dull, and with recent changes Oxonmoot is set for another 40 at least.
Some delegates attend Oxonmoot for the academic conference alone and enjoy doing so, but for most the evenings are devoted to pursuing the other side of Tolkien, his love of good ale and good company. Room parties can continue late into the night (or early in the morning) in areas of College set aside for those to whom a deep sleep is not a priority.
Whatever aspect of Tolkien that appeals to you most, come to Oxonmoot and meet with like–minded others. We predict that forever more your year will be Oxon–centric, counting the days till September and Oxford.