Like in the previous years, Beeston Oxjam Festival turned the town on Saturday, October 15 into a big musical scene full of bands and fans of live music from different genres.
The Beeston Oxjam Takeover is a part of Oxjam Music Festival organised by Oxfam that takes place across the UK throughout October. The name Takeover refers to the multi-venue character of the event which, as the organizers emphasize, literally takes over the place.
The takeovers are usually organised in big cities like Manchester, Birmingham, Edinburgh or Cardiff. But Beeston with plenty of cosy pubs, coffee shops and restaurants seems to have what it takes to become one of the festival scenes.
Colin Tucker, the Takeover manager said: ”The event works so well in Beeston because it is very compact. On a relatively small area we have so many different venues and it takes around three minutes to go from one place to another.”
This year there were seventeen different venues which offered life music throughout the day. The doors of the most coffee shops, pubs and bars were open until late night hours. Many events took place also in Middle Street Resource Centre, Royal British Legion Social Club or Beeston Methodist Church.
With the opening at midday and last concerts finishing just after midnight the festival provided 12 hours of life music performed by 80 different artists.
Mr Tucker said: “We have almost everything from post punk, folk, jazz to gospel, so those who are with us the whole day, can definitely find something suitable.”
When asked for the most catchy band names Mr Tucker pointed out the Dirty Scrouging’ Bastards from Long Eaton playing punk, the trio Zootz combining different music genres and the Hungarian folk band Foreign Accent.
But Oxjam Takeover is not only about fun and music, it is about fundraising for Oxfam.
Mr Tucker highlighted: “I like Oxfam because it does so many different things but also because it has a kind of political angle, it campaigns against poverty, and I think we have to campaign to change the way the governments are operating.”
The tickets could have been purchased in advance for £8 at Oxfam Books & Music shop in Beeston, or online for an extra 80p booking charge. The tickets purchased on the day costed £10. Unlike in the previous years, this time the number of tickets was limited.
Mr Tucker said: “We have to limit the number of tickets to 1000, so that we can be confident that everyone will have a safe and comfortable evening. I don’t think it is fair, if someone has a ticket but cannot go in anywhere, because the venues are too crowded.”
Last year during Oxjam Beeston Takeover £17,050 were raised for the charity, which was the biggest amount collected among the other Takeovers. This year, despite the ticket restriction there was a hope to raise even more.
Raphael Velt, the festival IT coordinator and a PhD Student at the UoN, introduced a new fundraising opportunity. Working for Mixed Reality Lab Mr Velt invited all participants to take part in his research project on building a mobile-friendly app for festivals, which would enable people in different venues to share their pictures, videos and comments in a real time.
Any action on the website resulted in a donation to the charity.
Beeston Oxjam has also a positive impact on the local community. Mr Tucker summed up: “I think that the festival is really a great idea in the local and global scale. It is almost a fixed date in the calendar of our community and everyone is rather very positive about it.”
He also added: “The only one complaint I have heard by far, is that people are going to be away on that day and they will miss it.”
For the ones who missed it, and the ones who enjoyed, there is still a chance to attend the last event organised within Oxjam Beeston Festival.
The fans of classical music can enjoy two hours of performance and at the same time support the charity to fight poverty around the world.
For further information please visit the website: https://oxjambeeston.org/home/