Wanted: Dozens of Norwich bands to take part in city’s Oxjam music festival

Robbie Powell who is one of the organisers of this years Norwich Oxjam. Photo: Steve Adams Robbie Powell who is one of the organisers of this years Norwich Oxjam. Photo: Steve Adams

Monday, May 19, 2014
3:11 PM

A Norwich music festival will take over four venues in The Lanes, bidding to make it the biggest Oxjam ever.

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The VagabandThe Vagaband

Bands will play at The Birdcage, the Hog In Armour, Karma Kafe and Bedfords for the all-dayer in October.

Planning is well under way and organiser Robbie Powell, 23, hopes the line-up will showcase the artistic talent of the Fine City.

The first act booked was Norfolk eight-piece The Vagaband, and the search is now on for a diverse line-up to make the festival unforgettable.

“The bands are what we’re looking for next,” explained Mr Powell. “We’re mainly looking for local acts.

“It’s to celebrate local music but we’re happy to take acts from further afield if they’re looking to get involved.”

The four venues will have loose themes, with rockier bands playing the Hog In Armour, acoustic acts gravitating towards Bedfords, dance music at Karma and alternative performances at The Birdcage.

An ambitious vision to give Pottergate and Bedford Street a festival vibe would see outdoor performances by The Birdcage, weather permitting, and roving circus performances by UEA students.

Entry to the different venues would be by wristband, with people able to venue-hop through the afternoon before the evening culminates in an after-party at Karma.

“We’re really excited,” said Mr Powell. “It’s hard work and taking over my life a little bit, but in a good way. Everything’s gone really smoothly and we’ve got an excellent team who are passionate about it. We wanted to keep it to four venues and make sure they’re packed rather than spreading our audience too thinly. We’ve a nice mixture of smaller and larger venues.”

He is organising the event together with friends Alice Spalding, Matt Colley, Dan Reynolds and Lucy Mowatt.

While Oxjam has been running in Norwich for several years, it is their first time at the helm.

He said it feels daunting to be “thrown in at the deep end”, but he has promoted events before.

“I’ve put on club nights back in the day called House of Dolls at what used to be Po Na Nas and Mustard near John Lewis,” he said. “But that was an informal thing and this is the biggest I’ve done, and it’s something I want to get into more.”

The team needs to raise at least £1,000 for Oxfam by September, and is planning a raft of fundraising events.

Norwich Oxjam 2014 will take place on Saturday, October 4 and there will be a launch gig on Thursday, October 2 at Open.

Mr Powell has hailed the venues involved for allowing Oxjam free use of their space.

He is appealing for local businesses to come forward to sponsor the event.

To sponsor the event or if you are a band interested in performing, email oxjamnorwich2014@gmail.com

Alternatively, Oxjam is on Twitter @norwichoxjam and www.facebook.com/norwichoxjam

Do you have an arts story? Email emma.knights@archant.co.uk

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