Stars and musicians mark Oxfam's 70th birthday

thisisoxfordshire: Family Machine play at the Turl Street Kitchen for Oxjam Buy this photo Family Machine play at the Turl Street Kitchen for Oxjam

ACOUSTIC, metal and rock music staged an Oxford “takeover” to raise money for Oxfam.

The Oxjam music festival saw 28 diverse bands perform at four venues – the Turl Street Kitchen, The Cellar, Purple Turtle and Modern Art Oxford on Saturday.

Hundreds of revellers weaved between the venues to listen to the best of Oxford’s music scene and raise cash for the Oxford-based charity.

Oxfam celebrates its 70th birthday this year and Oxjam, which has held 3,500 events around the country since 2006, has raised more than £1.75m in total.

Scott Garcia, 34, and Ellie Clarke, 32, travelled from Northampton to enjoy the festivities and began their night watching Cat Matador perform in The Cellar.

Mr Garcia said: “We have had a great night so far. It is a fantastic excuse to come over when there are 28 bands playing on one night.”

Miss Clarke said: “It’s brilliant to see all these performances and raise money for Oxfam at the same time.

“We feel more inclined to travel further and buy tickets when it is in support of Oxfam.”

Fellow reveller Michael Ochieng, 36, visiting Oxford from Kenya, said: “I am enjoying everything – the music, the people and the cause.

“They should do more of this. It is lovely.”

Liam Martin, lead singer of Cat Matador, said: “There are so many good local bands in Oxford, so anything like this where they all play on the same night all over town is great – and it’s in aid of Oxfam, so it’s a double whammy.”

Meanwhile, over at Turl Street Kitchen, audiences sat down and mellowed out to an acoustic set by three-piece band We Are Goose.

Lead singer Jamie Hyatt said: “It is really exciting. It’s a nice night out and it’s good to raise money and awareness for Oxfam. It’s also brilliant to watch loads and loads of bands on the same night.”

Headington residents Dan Jones, 22, James Parfett, 23, and Daniel Fuller, 21, spent the night enjoying the festivities.

Mr Jones said: “The night has been absolutely delightful. The music has been interesting and at times provocative.”

At Modern Art Oxford later in the night, King of Cats entertained and perplexed audiences with their ironic brand of screaming metal.

Oxjam organiser Katie Herring, 25, said: “It has been a fantastic night and now that everything is up and running it has been great to go around and see all the bands.

“I was in Purple Turtle earlier watching Grudle Bay and they had a big crowd and lots going on and I realised we had just created a festival. It was pretty emotional.”

  • SEVEN decades of pioneering charity work by Oxfam were celebrated last night as celebrities and supporters packed the Oxford Playhouse.

An evening of speeches, films and performances was attended by star supporters of the Oxford-based charity.

Sex and the City star and Oxfam ambassador Kristin Davis topped the bill for the night, which featured speeches from Ian and Victoria Hislop, Harry Potter actress Bonnie Wright and a host of others.

Speaking before the Eight Stories High gala event, Miss Davis said her involvement with Oxfam had made a huge impact on her.

She said: “I don’t think anybody could go on those trips and not have them change their lives. I feel proud just to be a part of it, whatever small part I am.”

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