October is here and that means Oxjam is on its way to Cardiff – 27th of October – Save the date! What is Oxjam? How can you get involved? Oxfam Cymru arranged this interview with Oxjam’s new Festival Manager Mathilda Manley – Lewis to find out everything you need to know!
First of all Mathilda, tell our readers what Oxjam is all about!
Oxjam is a series of multiple venue events taking place across the UK in October, making it the nation’s largest grassroots festival! This is not your ordinary music festival, it’s run entirely by volunteers and all proceeds go to Oxfam to help fight poverty in the UK and the world. Oxjam is also unique in the way that it helps to provide a platform for up and coming artists, prioritising local bands and supporting independent venues. Since its inception in 2006, more than 60,000 musicians have played to audiences of over 1.2 million people. Every Oxjam festival is unique and this year’s event is going to be hosted by venues across the iconic and much-loved music hub that is Womanby Street in Cardiff.
This is your first time as Festival Manager – How and why did you get involved?
After completing my degree in music in Cardiff, I was keen to build up experience in arts management. When I saw the advert for Oxjam’s Festival Manager in Cardiff I knew it was perfect for me. My role has been to recruit a core team of volunteers into marketing, fundraising and production coordinating roles to assist me in planning and delivering the festival. Oxjam relies on volunteers so I was more than happy to volunteer for this role, it offers a level of responsibility and autonomy that is rare to find when you’re just starting out in the working world.
If any of our readers are keen to volunteer how can they get involved?
We are always on the lookout for more volunteers! Those who want hands on experience can help us with stewarding, bucket collections and so on and if you aren’t available to work on the day, we’re also keen to have people to help us spread the word and sharing our @OxjamCardiff social media content. Helping us spread the word and sell tickets is so important. Volunteers who help out on the day will receive complementary wristbands and free time to go off and enjoy all the music on offer – we want everyone to have a good time!
So, tell us about this year’s venues in Cardiff …
First of all, a massive thank-you to the venues for allowing us to put Oxjam on free of charge, this is a massive help as we want to raise as much money as possible to help Oxfam’s work to tackle poverty in Wales and the world.
Bootlegger is a new venue for Oxjam Cardiff, and they have created an exclusive ‘Oxjam Cocktail’ especially for the event! 20% of the proceeds are being donated to the fundraiser so try them out! The festival kicks off there at 16:00 – 21:00 and its line-up there will be a range of jazz, funk, rock’n’roll and electro-swing music – definitely one for any dancers among you! Tiny Rebel will showcase a variety of indie, folk and rock bands between 16:00 – 21:00. The Moon will have a range of UKG and DnB DJ’s and MC’s from 20:00 – 01:00. Whatever your taste in music, you’ll be able to find something to enjoy at Oxjam Cardiff Festival this year!
Tell us a bit more about the line-up for this year…
We have over 20 acts and all of them are performing for free, this is vital to ensure that we don’t just break even, we want to raise as much money as possible for Oxfam. Since its inception, Oxjam has raised over £2.8 million for Oxfam which wouldn’t be possible without all the amazing musicians who have taken part, a massive thank-you to them all. Some acts in this years’ line up have taken part in many Oxjam’s like The People The Poet, other’s who are returning year’s after their first Oxjam like DJ Lubi J, and bands who some of you may remember from last year’s line-up like Yasmine and the Euphoria. We’re also excited to have many newcomer’s such as Point of View, Risorius, Jack Mac’s Funk Pack and Blossom Caldarone to name only a few.
We have tried to secure Welsh speaking bands, but we weren’t able to do so this year. If you are a Welsh musician or know any suitable Welsh language bands who would like to get involved in 2020 please get in touch with us via our social media pages or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org .
The final and most important question of all Mathilda – Where can we get tickets?!
Tickets are available online via WeGotTickets and people can also purchase tickets in Bootlegger, NosDa Hostel and Bar and in the Oxfam Boutique & Oxfam Bookshop Cardiff stores. They are a bargain at only £6 and all the proceeds go to Oxfam.
So there we have it, all the inside information you need to have a great day out in this years Oxjam Cardiff! Don’t forget to share the news & share all your photos with us @OxfamCymru. See you there!
By Heulwen Davies, Oxfam Cymru