This year’s Oxjam Beeston Music Festival is going ahead as planned. Members of the organising team were unanimous that they would carry on, in the belief that the Beeston community would support our aims.
These are quite simple: to mount a programme of varied musical events, provide a platform for local musicians, put on a great community event and raise money for Oxfam. Regarding the issues that the charity has had in the last couple of months, the local Oxjam Team is publishing a statement on its website.
Plans for this year’s Festival are in the early stages. Already we are looking at the following events:
a pub quiz (date and venue to be confirmed)
an ‘unplugged’ event (date and venue to be confirmed)
Takeover Day – Saturday 13th October, midday to the early hours, in various venues around the town, many familiar, some new
Classical Oxjam – Saturday 17th November, Beeston Parish Church
Oxjam Ceilidh – Saturday 1st December, Royal British Legion Social Club
We have already had enquiries, some asking us to confirm we are going ahead – which we are happy to do. We’ve also had messages from those who would like to perform and those who would like to volunteer.
Would-be performers should look out for ‘Registration’ when it opens in late May or early June. This will be available on-line. NB Artists for Unplugged and Classical are by invitation but we would be happy to hear from anyone who would like to perform at either.
This year, if we have another successful Oxjam Music Festival, we have every chance of reaching the magic £100,000 in total for the eight years that Oxjam Beeston has been running – that’s our target anyway!
Last year’s Team has already had their first informal get-together and we can announce that this year’s Takeover event will be on Saturday 13th October. Apart from the main Takeover event, there is likely to be a Pub Quiz, an Unplugged/Acoustic night (possibly September), a Classical concert (17th Novelber confirmed) and a Ceilidh, probably also in November.
Now is not too early to be starting the process of planning such a large and complex set of events – and it’s not too early for you to volunteer to get involved. Firstly, if you want to perform, look out for ‘Registration’ round about June time; during August we’ll be calling for volunteers to help on Takeover day.
If, however, you think you have a bit more time and would like to make a bigger commitment, we are looking for people to join our Team to help plan and organise the Festival. Here’s what we are looking for:
people with project management skills
people with good local knowledge of bands, artists, Beeston venues
people with knowledge of sound production, PAs and so forth
people with IT and/or design skills
anyone who is just willing and enthusiastic
Apart from any ‘specialism’ you might be able to offer, you need to be flexible and adaptable and prepared to help out in ways you hadn’t thought of! In terms of your time commitment, it is less important how much time you have available, than that you deliver what you promise!
Finally, I’m sure you know this anyway, but all members of the team are voluntary and unpaid.
If you think you have something to offer, please email me – email@example.com. I’ll arrange for you to meet with me or another member of the Team.
By the time you read this, the Oxjam Beeston Music Festival will be over for another year and you will know that we have raised a record-smashing £22,000.
Just to put that in context, last year we raised a creditable £14000 and the previous year, a brilliant £17400, which was our previous best and the highest raised at any Oxjam Festival in the country that year. This year, unsurprisingly, we have raised by far the most money of any Oxjam Festival in the UK.
Oxjam Festivals take place in over forty different locations around the country, often large provincial cities and towns such as Bristol, Bournemouth and Glasgow, as well as different areas of London. So how come little old Beeston tops the lot?
Maybe it’s something about the place: nice and compact, so for ‘Takeover’ you can walk between the furthest venues in less than a quarter of an hour; maybe it’s the fact that the folks round here are good-hearted and like their music in all the different forms that Oxjam offers; maybe it’s because we have some brilliant venues or the fact that, over seven years, now, we have established a format and a recognisable ‘brand’ that people love; and maybe it’s the Team!
This year it all began way back in January when, amidst rumblings that it might not happen this year, a group of about twenty people met in the upstairs room at The White Lion and started making plans. In that group there was special expertise – in marketing, music production and local music – specialist local knowledge, experience of running the Festival before, and a mixture of ages and backgrounds. From there we gradually evolved a structure, with a team devoted just to the Takeover day, others handling individual fund-raising events, a sponsorship and marketing team and individuals looking after finance and IT.
We are also especially proud of the breadth of music offered: on Takeover day itself we had a very well attended Operatic Arias concert, as well as DJs, Americana, blues, choirs, covers, punk, indie, rock, barbershop, folk, singer-songwriters, jazz and a silent disco! Our other events have included a rock night featuring Madeleine Rust (who organised it for us since they couldn’t make 14 October), an ‘Unplugged’ event back in July, a ceilidh and our regular classical concert. We are struggling to think of a musical genre or style that we missed!
Oxjam Beeston has grown into a true community event. Lots of venues love being involved: our sponsors this year included Nottingham University (stage sponsors at Bartons), NET ‘the tram people’ (sponsoring the stage in The Square), local estate agents CP Walker (stage sponsors at The Crown), Foster Industrial (sponsors of The Hop Pole stage), The Breeze magazine and PN Design who did all our design work for flyers, posters and the programme. Of course, this year we had a special ‘headline sponsor’, The Star, who celebrated their CAMRA LocAle award. Apart from the Uni, other community or public organisations involved were Beeston Library (venue), Beeston Methodist Church, Chilwell Road (venue and rehearsal space for the Operatic concert), Beeston Parish Church (venue), Middle Street Resource Centre (venue and loan of equipment), Royal British Legion Social Club (venue), local councillor, Kate Foale (grant from NCC Divisional Fund), local folk club Second Time Around (‘Friend of Oxjam’ sponsor) and several schools (distribution of flyers).
Overall we calculate more than two thousand people have been involved as either paying customers, non-paying (but ‘donating’) customers on Takeover afternoon, artists and volunteers. There were over 100 ‘acts’ on Takeover day, appearing on twenty stages across 18 venues over 13 hours.
Have you got a hankering to help? If you’ve got some time and skills you think would enhance our team, look out for a ‘call’ in January. We need people with design, PR and IT skills, or who know about local music or ‘project management’. If you want to perform, registration will begin about May/June and if you just want to help ‘on the day’ visit our website in August to ‘sign up’. Because, remember, you CANNOT assume people who have done it before will have the time and energy to do it all over again – they are all volunteers and most have full time jobs to do as well! It’s hard work – but very rewarding. Help keep Beeston at the top of the Oxjam pile and contribute to raising astonishing amounts of money for the fantastic work of OXFAM. Look out for notice of a meeting in January 2018 and come along if you want to join our team.
We’re just a couple of weeks away now from arguably the biggest cultural event in Beeston: the seventh Takeover, part of the Oxjam Beeston Music Festival 2017, in aid of OXFAM.
THE VENUES: this year Bartons is back IN (three stages!) and our headline sponsor is the award-winning ‘Star’. We’ve got some new venues too: The Berliner,Totally Tapped, Beeston Library and Rudyards, along with many familiar Oxjam spaces such as Rye, Malt Shovel, Bean, Greenhoods, Pottle o’ Blues, The Crown, The White Lion, The Hop Pole, Middle Street Resource Centre, Chilwell Methodist Church and Beeston Parish Church – 20 in all!
THE MUSIC: as ever, the great mix of styles and genres you have come to expect – and then some! Everything from nice, gentle acoustic folk, singer-songwriters, blues, Americana and ‘covers’, to Indie, folk-rock, DJs, rock and punk plus choirs and ‘Operatic Arias’.
THE COST: this has got to be the best value anywhere in the area: you pay NOTHING to wander into a coffee shop or bar in the afternoon (but please make a generous donation: you won’t miss our volunteer collectors). For the evening (after 6pm) we’ve kept it to £8 if you buy in advance of the day (£10 on the day). Buy your advance tickets at Oxfam Books and Music on Beeston High Road or The Guitar Spot on Chilwell High Road. The ‘Operatic Arias’ event in the evening at the Parish Church, is separately ticketed – pick these up from Oxfam Books and Music or John Kirk Hi-fi (for a tenner or less if you qualify for a concession). Tickets for both, along with the Classical Oxjam concert (11 November) and the Oxjam Ceilidh (24 November) can also be bought on line at wegottickets.com (there is a 10% booking fee).
THE SPONSORS: We are delighted to have some excellent sponsorship support this year, especially our headline sponsor, CAMRA LocaAle pub of the year The Star’, and ‘stage sponsors’ C P Walker, Estate Agents, NET (Nottingham Express Transport), the University of Nottingham and Foster Industrial. Others include PN Design and The Breeze. We also have a sponsorship grant from Cllr. Kate Foale (Nottinghamshire County Council ‘Divisional Fund’). Small local businesses and organisations, or individuals, might consider becoming a ‘Friend of Oxjam’ for a donation of £50 or more. You get one free wristband for the Takeover so you COULD decide to ‘spend’ a generous fifty quid for your ticket and earn a ‘Friend of Oxjam’ sticker or certificate to display on your social media or premises. We’ll also credit you on our website.
THE MONEY: the volunteers and all artists, plus many sound engineers, take part for nothing; sponsorship covers our publicity, some unavoidable admin costs and some hire of equipment, so you can be sure that EVERY pound you spend on tickets or put in our collecting tins goes straight to support the magnificent work of Oxfam. You can have a great day and know you are helping a fantastic charity. That’s ‘win-win!’
For more details, to contact us and get up-to-the-minute news of the programme, go to oxambeeston.org or our Facebook page.
Why, you may very well ask, is someone still going on about ‘Oxjam’ in January? Wasn’t that all done and dusted months ago?
Certainly the highest profile event – the ‘Takeover’ – was in mid-October but there was another event – quite a lucrative one – in November (‘Classical Oxjam’) and then it has taken ages to gather in all donations and sponsorships, the last one not appearing in our account until 23 December. It was therefore not ’til early January that we could say with certainty that we’d accounted for everything and paid over a nice big chunk of dosh to Oxfam.
You probably already know that our final total in 2016 was a not-to-be-sniffed-at £14 thousand (£14,020 to be precise) which we were able to announce in early December because we knew of money coming our way even though it hadn’t been paid in. To set it in a national context, that was the second highest amount raised in the whole of the country – in fact, in the last three years, Oxjam Beeston has been in the ‘top three’ every year (2014: 3rd, 2015: 1st, 2016: 2nd). Not that it’s about competing but it does indicate that Oxjam Beeston is just about the biggest Oxjam Festival, consistently, in the UK.
After six years – and more than £60,000 raised for Oxfam – Beeston has become used to the Festival – and ‘Takeover’ in particular – as a unique and much-anticipated community event. But like the Carnival. ‘Party in the Park’, Christmas lights switch-on and, most topically, The Chinese New Year Celebration, it can’t be taken for granted. As we all know, and as we have seen, the Borough Council has no funds to pay for these kinds of events – who knows how the arms-length company, Liberty Leisure, will handle anything like this going forward?
‘The Party in the Park’ 2016 was heavily sponsored to make it feasible and happily the weather was kind to the Council and all of us. As for the others, they are either run by volunteers or at the mercy of empty coffers at the Council and in neither case can they be taken for granted. This is very sad, of course, and extremely short-sighted of whoever is responsible, be they local or national politicians. It isn’t just about giving people a great time, the Oxjam Takeover, for one, clearly brings in people to the town who are in celebratory and generous mood. Local venues and traders are keen to be involved and happy to welcome paying customers, whether they are buying drinks or food, even if they are not directly involved.
So what of Oxjam Beeston 2017? I have made it clear that I will NOT be the so-called ‘Takeover Manager’ this year, although I do hope to run one or two of the ancillary fund-raising events. Perhaps others of you out there might also consider getting involved as ‘gig makers’ (as Oxjam calls them) that is organisers of one-off fund-raising events. However, if there is going to be the ‘jewel-in-the-crown’ Takeover event, someone with the time, skills and energy to commit to the project needs to step forward.
Otherwise, folks, it ain’t gonna happen! And then, we will sadly be able to complete the phrase “They think it’s all over – it is now!” Let’s hope not.
Anybody wishing to know more is welcome to contact Colin by email – firstname.lastname@example.org
One of the biggest highlights of the Beeston calendar is just weeks away…
The Oxjam Beeston Takeover will happen again on Saturday 15 October, with tickets already on sale at Oxfam Books and Music (Beeston High Road) and The Guitar Spot (Chilwell High Road) at an ‘early-bird’ price of £8. You can also get them online from wegottickets.com (80p booking fee). On the day, a limited number of tickets will be available from £10 so get in early to be sure and save a bit of cash! We will also have ‘Takeover’ early-bird tickets for sale at our Saturday morning busking stall.
Leading up to the Takeover, the Oxjam Beeston Music Festival has two events: The ‘Oxjam Introducing…’ night at The Beeston Youth and Community Centre (‘West End’) on Friday 16 September, when we’ll have a programme of under-19 artists and bands – just £3 on the door.
The ‘Oxjam Ceilidh’ happens on Saturday 24 September at Christ Church Hall – tickets are £10 apiece from Oxfam Books and Music, online at wegottickets.com (£1 booking fee) or from our Saturday stall. Music and ‘calling’ will be provided by the ever-popular Beeston Ceilidh Collective. Oh, and there’s a bar for you thirsty hoofers to slake your thirsts!
The Festival finishes with ‘Classical Oxjam’ at Beeston Parish Church on Saturday 12 November. Tickets already available for £8 (concessions £6) from Oxfam Books and Music, The Guitar Spot, online at wegottickets.com and from our Saturday stall.
Look out for us at the Heritage Weekend opening on Saturday 10 September, 10 am at Bartons where we’ll be providing some music – we’ll also be at The Boat and Horses later in the day for a folk music session.
Saturday mornings, 11am to 1pm: we’ll be busking, selling tickets, collecting your pennies and giving you goodies and info.
17 September – outside Sainsbury’s, by ‘the bell’ – featuring ‘Stringummyjig’
24 September – The Podium, in The Square – artists from Second Time Around Folk Club
1 October – The Podium in The Square – artists to be confirmed
8 October – The Podium in The Square (with Arts and Crafts Market) – artists tbc
For up-to-the-minute information about artists and venues for ‘Takeover’ and ‘buskers’ visit www.oxjambeeston.org
Broxtowe Women’s Project [BWP] is a vital support and information service for women and their families who are experiencing or have experienced domestic abuse.
Recent changes to BWP’s funding model imperils the essential work it does, which is why we are delighted to support a fundraiser at the White Lion on the 23 September (more info on the event below).
We know that in times of drastic reductions in government funding to local councils, that less money is available to spend on public services, and that cuts disproportionately affect women. As Lisa Clarke, Women’s Officer for Broxtowe Labour, tells me, ‘We are currently witnessing an epidemic of violence against women and girls. Two women a week are murdered at the hands of a current or former partner; and yet as local authorities struggle to cope with cuts to central funding “women’s services” experience real time cuts’. BWP offers support and advice to women living in the Nottinghamshire borough of Broxtowe through the delivery of a range of services. This is achieved through a mixture of outreach, one-to-one support, and group support. Examples of support include resilience building, safety planning, and assistance in accessing a range of other essential services such as housing, legal and financial support.
Funding is essential to ensure project development to meet the ever increasing complex needs of our services users
BWP has supported thousands of women and children since it was launched in 2001. It plays a crucial role in our community. Sarah Dagley, Business and Fundraising Manager at BWP, informs me: “The greatest risk for BWP is lack of funding in order to maintain current service provision”. Current levels of support are at risk. As the number of women and their families needing support increases, Sarah is also concerned that alterations to funding structures means that BWP will struggle “funding is essential to ensure project development to meet the ever increasing complex needs of our services users. It is also extremely important to the women and their families with whom we work that they have access to local services.”
I’m sure we can all agree that this is a shocking state of affairs.
The fundraising event at the White Lion in Beeston has been organised to raise much needed money for BWP. It aims also to help raise awareness. A BWP representative will be present to give a short talk. Music starts at 7.30 prompt. We are delighted that former Eastwood local, Matt Hill (stage name of Quiet Loner) will return to the area to play us a gig. Matt is the musician-in-residence at the People’s History Museum and will be performing his show ‘Battle for the Ballot’ as part of a national tour. Later in the evening, entertainment is provided by two local bands – Dear Victor and Cherry Hex and the Dream Church. More information can be found on the facebook event page. If you cannot make the event, but want to donate, you can visit BWP’s webpage for more information.
This event is part of the ‘We Shall Overcome’ nationwide series of events, all of which are locally organised to support local services helping those affected by austerity cuts. Elsewhere in the Nottingham area, events have been put together supporting homeless support centres and organisations, mental health support groups, and food bank providers.
There was a flying start for this year’s Oxjam in an utterly packed White Lion for the Launch and Music Quiz on June 8th.
There were ninety people plus spectators in nearly 20 teams, including the 30 members and supporters of the Nottingham University OXFAM society. They answered (or tried to answer!) questions ranging from what “what was the name of both a lute-playing contemporary of Shakespeare and a legendary blues singer?” to “who had the first billion times viewed Youtube video?” It’s Robert Johnson and Psy respectively, since you ask. In fact the scoring was pretty high despite the occasional furrowed brow and sigh of despair, and the winning team managed 42 out of 50. They promptly donated their cash prize to Sergio’s “Calais” fund (which was nice).
So a decent fund-raiser – and a great curtain raiser – for a festival that culminates in The Takeover on October 15th. Next up is Oxjam Unplugged on Saturday July 2nd. The venue is Middle Street Resource Centre, which you might think is somewhat unlikely, but it’s actually a lovely setting for the small scale event, catering for about 80 people seated cabaret style. There’ll be a licensed bar plus soft drinks, coffee and snacks. Plus it’s only a 5 minute walk from the Interchange or buses (Indigo, 36, Y36) and the tram stop.
On the bill is folk punker Paul Carbuncle who was a great hit at last year’s Takeover where he played3 sets in as many venues. Unfortunately Paul is otherwise engaged on October 15th so this will be his only Oxjam appearance this year. Also performing will be local favourite and Oxjam totem Emma Bladon-Jones – such a fabulous singer-songwriter, as if you didn’t know!
We’ll also be introducing two young singer-songwriters, Matt Humphries and Andrew Tucker (who is lead singer and songwriter for Ivoryserfs). Listen out for their unusual covers. Finally, completing the line-up is Dave Mooney, who combines his own songs about his travels in the east with covers from the skiffle and tea dance eras. He may (or may not) appear with Nancy, a puppet he employs when working as a street performer, so keep your eyes peeled.
Tickets are £6 from Oxfam Books & Music, The Middle Street Resource Centre, or on-line at www.wegottickets.com/event/363566 (+ 10% booking fee). Hurry while stocks last!
Jade Moore tells us why our abundance of charity shops is a good thing
It is a truth universally acknowledged that Christmas is a time for giving, and it is a truth locally acknowledged that Beeston has an abundance of charity shops. So, why not make the most of them? They are treasure troves when it comes to looking for gifts and you never know, you might find exactly what you set out to buy, and you’ll be helping a charity, too. It’s a fool proof Christmas plan (especially if you’re on a budget, as I always seem to be!) Whether they know it or not, my friends and family have received charity shop bought items and loved them. I take pleasure from finding a pristine copy of a book in a charity shop, removing the 99p sticker and having my friend believe that they are worth the £8.99 they think I paid.
There are plenty of chances to do your bit and I think here in Beeston we are lucky to have a wide range of charity shops along the High Road.
Saving money, helping a good cause, pleasing a friend – I can’t think of a better solution, and this is something we can implement in our lives at any point during the year. If, like me, you don’t give to a charity on a monthly basis, there are plenty of chances to do your bit and I think here in Beeston we are lucky to have a wide range of charity shops along the High Road. We can dip in and out of them as we please, pick up a bargain and help charities that range from Scouts, to The British Heart Foundation, to Cancer Research, to helping fight poverty with Oxfam.
If you happen to be perusing the shops of a Saturday afternoon, pop into Oxfam Books and Music and you’ll find me there filling the shelves with more books, or standing behind the counter mentally urging you to find and buy a book. I’ve volunteered for Oxfam for just over four years and I can’t emphasise enough how much I enjoy it and appreciate the work that Oxfam does for poverty.
This time of year, you can buy extra Christmassy things. We have traditionally festive cards as well as funny ones. Our Unwrapped Gifts are more popular at Christmas too: if you don’t know what to buy someone, why not buy them a goat (or two)?
If you give to charity regularly already, then keep up the good work! If not, then now is the time to start. Treat yourself, treat others, and take comfort from being able to help many brilliant causes.