"Local music; global impact"

Local musicians have taken to the streets in a new initiative to raise money for global charity Oxfam.

Surrey residents took to Guildford High Street to watch Surrey musicians take part in the UK’s biggest music festival, Oxjam.  

With a target of between £4,000 and £8,000, the money raised from the event goes towards Oxfam: helping to fight poverty across the world whilst giving something back to the community in the form of musical entertainment. The ticketed event cost just £5 while all of the musicians and venues taking part volunteered their time.

Raising money: face painting for Oxfam

The all-day event began with a buskers performing along the high street, while volunteers collected donations around the town centre.

This is followed by a Takeover, hosted by five different venues surrounding the high street. Each venue displayed different genres of music playing through into the early hours of the morning. 


Richard Lee, who works for Oxfam and was volunteering at the event, tells me that Oxjam is a great way to combine music and charity.

“It’s great that we can appeal to people through music and it means people can go away with a love for music as well as Oxfam” Lee says.

Oxjam venue: The Star Inn, Guildford

Event organiser, Warwick James, says “We’re raising money for Oxfam by taking over the streets of Guildford…and five other venues.”

He has used his ability to play music to raise money for good causes and says he “thought it would be a good way to make the high street come alive”.

All of the performers are local musicians and James goes on to say: “It gives local musicians a chance to get out and play their music, raise money and make a difference.

Local musician entertains Saturday shoppers

“The line-up of this year’s festival is believed to be one of the biggest line-ups of any music festival to date which is very exciting.

He adds: “Probably a lot of the money raised this year will go to the flood relief in Pakistan and also to the food crisis that is happening in Africa at the moment.

“I hope that next year we can do the same thing in Guildford and next year it will be a more powerful festival/movement/pub crawl that will grow and become an annual event that the whole community can enjoy.”

Past success

Since its launch in 2006 Oxjam has helped Oxfam raise £1.2 million: the equivalent of over 10,000 emergency shelters, 48,000 goats or 705 classrooms. After four years it is now set to have the largest line-up of any music festival in the UK.

October is Oxjam’s month of music and hosts thousands of fundraising events across the nation from large-scale festivals to sponsored busks. The festival was launched by gigs in Dalston where the likes of Diana Vickers and The Charletons performed to audiences in local Oxfam shops. Over the month more than 950 venues, 2,000 volunteers, 6,000 entertainers, and 135,000 audience members’ nation-wide help Oxjam raise £500,000 in order to fight poverty.

About Daisy Bambridge

I am a student at Wesminster University studying a Masters in Broadcast Journalism. I recently graduated from Southampton University after studying Politics and International Relations. I have a strong interest in social issues such as crime,drugs, alcohol, eating disorders. I am also deeply fascinated by terrorism, after the disasters of 9/11, as can be seen in my unergraduate dissertation on anti-terror legislation and human rights.
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