Oxjam bands all set to take centre stage

Oxjam organisers, from left, Emily Eldridge, Katie Herring and Caroline Corke pictured with, from left, Jack Olchawski and Gabriele Catalano from Toliesel, and James Pamphlion and Tom Hodges of Grudle Bay

Oxjam organisers, from left, Emily Eldridge, Katie Herring and Caroline Corke pictured with, from left, Jack Olchawski and Gabriele Catalano from Toliesel, and James Pamphlion and Tom Hodges of Grudle Bay Buy this photo

First published in News thisisoxfordshire: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering Abingdon and Wantage, South Oxford and Kennington. Call me on 01865 425431

WHAT better way to celebrate Oxfam’s 70th birthday this year, than with a music festival in its home town?

For the past six months, a team of six dedicated volunteers have given every spare second to organising a one-day musical takeover of Oxford’s city centre, in aid of Oxfam.

From 4.30pm until midnight on Saturday, four venues will host 28 bands showcasing the diversity of Oxford’s musical talent.

The venues are the Purple Turtle, Turl Street Kitchen, The Cellar and Modern Art Oxford.

Kevin Duggan is the lead singer with Empty White Circles, who are playing at the Turl Street Kitchen.

He said: “It is nice to give back, that is the big thing for us, plus it is such a great line-up, we are really happy to be playing with bands like Richard Walters and Fixers.”

The first Oxjam was organised in 2006, engaging a brand new audience with the charity. Since then 45,000 musicians have played to more than 900,000 people at around 3,500 Oxjam events across the country.

Over its six years, Oxjam nationally has raised more than £1.75m for Oxfam – enough to buy 15,000 emergency shelters or 70,000 goats, or build 1,050 classrooms.

Oxford team leader Katie Herring, 24, from Cowley Road, said: “We are so fortunate to have such a diverse music scene in Oxford, and so many people who want to give their time for a good cause.”

Nick Bryer, who manages the event nationally, said: “It is all about local music, global impact. Rather than doing big stadium gigs it is training volunteers to put on their own gigs.

“I feel it is very Oxfam, empowering people to work with others.”

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He added: “The Oxford team is great,. They seem to be popping up everywhere. My friends keep saying to me ‘we saw your volunteers at the castle’ or at G & D’s, or ‘outside my work’.”

So far this year, the team has raised £2,600.

Bands playing at the festival include Radio One favourites Fixers, disco punks Secret Rivals, folk troubadours We Aeronauts and comedy duo We Are Goose.

Visit oxjamoxford.co.uk for more details

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