Oxjam team photo – left to right – Luke, Michael, Becca and Sian

Everything you need to know about Oxjam 2017

Each year Oxjam Music Festival unites various local music scenes across the UK in raising money for some of the poorest communities on the planet. Exposed spoke to Becca Linnard, Marketing Co-ordinator at Oxjam Sheffield, to see what we can expect when the event arrives in the Steel City next month.

Hi Becca, how did the first Oxjam come about?
Oxjam is the UK’s largest grassroots music festival and takes place across a number of different cities throughout October. It started a decade ago, is totally volunteer-lead and aims to raise as much money as possible for Oxfam whilst supporting local music. Generally, each Oxjam will have a series of fundraising events leading up to the main festival, which will be run across various venues within the city. 21st October is the big day for Sheffield this year! If you want to get to know your local music scene a bit better, discover your new favourite band or just meet some friendly folk, it’s a great way to do it. There’s no fixed structure or recipe to Oxjam, so you get to explore genres and venues that you wouldn’t otherwise know about.

Tell us a bit about the Oxfam cause you’ll be supporting.
One of Oxfam’s major aims is to end world poverty in the next 15 years, which might sound like a huge challenge but the reality is that in the last 15 years we’ve seen world poverty half, so it’s a target within our reach. It’s a really exciting and motivating prospect if you think about it. One of the ways Oxfam works towards this is by educating women in developing countries which then allows them to improve their communities from the inside out. 42 pence out of each £1 donated goes towards doing this. Another 37 pence goes towards disaster relief and helps towards tackling climate change, which in turns ensures everyone has access to the basics such as clean water and food.

Who can we expect to see this year and when will the final line-up be announced?
We can’t give too much away at this point, but in previous years we’ve had some amazing artists including Drenge, Bison and The Sherlocks performing at popular local venues such as Queens Social Club, The Rocking Chair, Yellow Arch and more. This year Oxjam will be taking place at venues within Sheffield’s cultural quarter, and will be hosting some fantastic local bands including Patawawa, The Vellas, Captain Avery & the Cosmic Triceratops of Intergalactic Peace, LIO and more. Details will be released on our Facebook page in the coming weeks.

You mentioned that the whole event is run by volunteers. How can local people get involved and what types of volunteering roles are there?
We’re always looking for volunteers! Whether it’s for a one-off fundraising event beforehand, stewarding on the door, promoting, taking tickets on the night or simply helping us get the message out there on social media. (@OxjamSheffieldFestival) – we’d love to hear from you! If people are looking to get experience in some charity work, drop our volunteering coordinator, Luke, a message at oxjam.sheffield@gmail.com to find out what opportunities we have available.

And how can people specifically get involved with the fundraising side of things?
If you have any ideas, just get in touch! Also, if you’re part of a band or venue who would like to be part of Oxjam then we’d also be keen to hear from you.

It has been mentioned that there will be a number of smaller-scale events happening this summer leading up to Oxjam as the headline event. Can you tell us a little bit about what these events are and where they will be held?
We’ll be holding some exciting fundraising events at venues such as The Harley and Yellow Arch Studios in the next few weeks, so keep your eyes peeled! As ever, the best way to check what’s going on is by following our Facebook page for regular updates.

Oxjam Sheffield takes place on October 21st. Tickets are available on partyforthepeople.org with Super Early Bird just £4 at the moment.

More info and line-up announcements at facebook.com/OxjamSheffieldFestival

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