Oxjam Clapham takeover: Local music, global impact
Since its birth in 2006 Oxjam has been host to over 3,500 events, with more than 45,000 musicians and over 900,000 attendees. This Saturday, Oxjam dominated Clapham Highstreet for the first time. An impressive sixty acts spread over six venues performed from midday through to the early hours, and all for £10. The Clapham takeover was a chance to see a massive variety of artists chime together for a wonderful cause. Oxjam is a festival that has raised more the £1.75 million for Oxfam’s work – that’s a staggering 15,000 emergency shelters, 70,000 goats or 1050 classrooms. So this is a festival with a difference. The Clapham takeover was just one day of the Oxjam festival which runs for the duration of October.
Everyone has heard of Oxfam – the vibrant global movement dedicated to fighting poverty, and the same should stand for Oxjam, whose aim is to become one of the country’s biggest and most popular festivals. They are well on their way. Oxfam saves lives and develops projects that put poor people in charge of their lives and livelihoods; they aim to campaign for change that lasts. The money raised by the festival is diligently used to aid emergency response, development work and for their huge global campaigns.
It takes a lot of time, passion and dedication to organise such a huge event. What’s more, Oxjam is organised solely by the work of dedicated volunteers. It was touching to see how many artists were willing to showcase their talents for a good cause, and how many individuals took part in the organising.
Most of the acts were local to London, however a few had travelled to London especially for the event. It’s amazing to witness the amount of local talent London has. Oxjam was a perfect opportunity for artists to get some exposure, raise some money for charity, and most importantly, to have fun. All of the artists were established in their own rights; most had at least a small following, and all the talents that we saw played quality music, and performed good, rehearsed material.
The event was well organised in the sense that all the venues were a few minutes walk from one another. Each venue had been assigned a genre – whilst one venue focused on rock, indie, pop and alternative music, another was dedicated to theatre, dance and comedy. There was even some live installation art courtesy of TOMS shoes, and for every pair bought, TOMS donated a pair to a child who needs them.
As the skies darkened the party really began to take off – around 15 DJs played from 9pm-5am, ranging from electro and house, to hip hop and R&B. The White House venue was where most of the crowds wound up to see the day through into the next.
There really was something for everybody at the Clapham Takeover yesterday, whether you were looking for a quiet afternoon of acoustic and jazz, rock n roll and hip hop, or perhaps just to dance until dawn.
Oxfam says: “Poverty isn’t just about lack of resources.” In a wealthy world it’s about bad decisions made by powerful people. Oxfam campaigns hard, putting pressure on leaders for real lasting change. Well, An A for effort Oxfam and Oxjam. Clapham Takeover was a very enojoyable day, organised by volunteers who know and love their local music scene, all raising money to save lives around the world.
Buying a round at the pub tonight? Count Oxjam in! Text PINT to 70103 to donate £3.
For further information about Oxjam visit the Oxfam website here.