A Night of Cabaret

13 August 2017

We can't believe it's been a whole month since our Night of Cabaret at Duffy's Bar! For our first fundraiser this year we invited our audience to suit up and get their glam on for a night of debauchery, mystery and fun.

Our cheeky host Doug Deans ensured the crowd was roaring with laughter throughout the night. After a brilliant introduction, the Sergeant Jones Band kicked off the show and were followed by a night of tantalising burlesque performances by the beguiling Chicas Locas, Minnie Milk, Twinkel Pink, Luna Diosa and Violet Kiss, as well as more fun and laughs with failed children's performers Wayne Kerr, Simon and finger puppet Winky.

All in all, it was a fantastic, cheeky night in aid of raising funds that will help Oxfam eliminate poverty for good.

We'd like to warmly thank all performers for a great show, our volunteers for their efforts and hard work and Gareth Norman for the wonderful photography (check out photos from the night here). Special thanks go out to Duffy's Bar, Glitterbug Burlesque and Skytribe Dance Studio, without whom this night would not have been possible.

Lastly, a big thanks to our fabulous audience! We hope to see you all again at any of our upcoming events, and of course especially for Oxjam Leicester Takeover on 28 October. Don't forget to get your Takeover tickets here or via this link: See you soon!

Join the Team!

7 August 2017

We're looking for two fantastic, creative, dedicated music-lovers to join our team! Applications are now open for the roles of Production Coordinator and Volunteer Coordinator, to assist the Core Team with preparations for Oxjam Leicester Takeover 2017. 

If you think you are the right person for either of these roles (see role summaries below), then send an email with your application to:

As Production Coordinator you will be responsible for the coordination of all musical activities during Oxjam Leicester Takeover on 28 October. This will include managing and liaising with technical staff and artists, as well as ensuring that each music venue is kitted out appropriately. For this role you are required to have relevant experience in similar roles, as well as a strong knowledge of the live music scene and a solid understanding of the technical requirements of live music events.

Additionally, the Production Coordinator should have strong time management and problem-solving skills, be a team player and an effective communicator, who works to high standards and remains calm under pressure. Most importantly, you must be available for the evening of 27 October 2017 as well as the full day of 28 October 2017.

For the full role description or to apply for the role, please get in touch!

The Volunteer Coordinator recruits and manages volunteers for the Oxjam Leicester Takeover on 28 October. Your duties will include coordinating the promotion and advertising of volunteer posts, planning a suitable volunteer rota, managing volunteers on the day and liaising with volunteers throughout the entire process.

As Volunteer Coordinator, you need to be highly organised, have confidence annd excellent communications skills. In this role you will also need to have strong problem-solving skills and be able to think on your feet. Ideally, you have previous experience of managing teams in an events or volunteer environment.

If applying for this role, you must be available for regular evening meetings during the planning period, as well as a de-brief meeting, which is to take place one month after Takeover Day.

If this sounds like you and you're interested in seeing the full role description or to apply for the role, please get in touch!



16 June 2017

Oxjam Leicester Takeover is releasing special Super Early Bird tickets to their 2017 festival! The Super Early Bird tickets will be sold on a ‘Five For Five’ basis, with Oxjam giving their audiences five days to buy their tickets at the discounted rate of £5 (half the price of an on the door ticket). Tickets will gain audiences entry to the full 2017 Takeover Festival, taking place in Leicester’s Cultural Quarter on Saturday 28 October 2017.

The Super Early Bird sale will be released on Friday 16 June 2017 at 9:00 (GMT) and will run for five days until Tuesday 20 June. Fans can buy their tickets via the festival’s eventbrite page. Following the Super Early Bird sale, audiences can buy their Early Bird tickets to Oxjam Leicester Takeover for only £7 starting Wednesday 21 June 2017.

Oxjam Leicester Takeover is celebrating its 8th festival year in 2017. The festival is well-known for its rich history of showcasing the best of Leicester’s local music and being a vocal supporter of local art. In addition to promoting local music, the aim of the festival is to help Oxfam GB in their fight to eliminate poverty worldwide. In the run-up to October, the team of volunteers will run several more fundraising events in aid of this goal. The first of these events will take place on Thursday 13 July at Duffy’s Bar in Leicester.

Don’t miss out on the Super Early Bird sale and get your £5 tickets to the Takeover Festival in the next five days! Super Early Bird Tickets are on sale from 16 - 20 June. Get yours now! (Or follow this link:



Date announced for Oxjam Leicester Takeover 2017

10 April 2017

Local volunteers are bringing Oxjam Leicester Takeover back for it’s 8th year, in Leicester’s Cultural Quarter. This years festival will take place on the 28th October.

Oxjam Leicester Takeover is part of a national fundraising initiative for Oxfam GB, raising money to fight poverty. The festival, which is organised completely by volunteers, will be one of approximately 50 festivals taking place across the country.

In addition to the festival which will take place on Saturday 28th October, the team of volunteers will also aim to raise money through a series of warm up events throughout the summer, including their annual Art Auction.

Oxjam Leicester Takeover celebrates the best of Leicester’s independent music scene when they takeover popular bars, clubs and gig venues across Leicester’s Cultural Quarter for one day.  If you want to perform at the Oxjam Leicester Takeover, or volunteer, then please email, or  alternatively visit the volunteer or perform section of the website. 

The Big Oxjam Quiz

31 October 2016

Thank you to everyone who came along to our last fundraiser on the Oxjam Leicester 2016 events calendar. It was a wonderful evening, which exercised more than a few brain cells! Special thanks to the Exchange for hosting us, and very special thanks to Jake Waghorn for stepping up and taking on the role of Quizmaster for us. He did a truly superb job. The quiz had a mix of rounds including music, festivals, theatre, movies and of course Hallowe'en. Fellow Oxfam steward Colin Daffern, who you may have seen on the likes of Mastermind kindly compiled two rounds for us, which I think proved particularly tricky, so thanks to Colin as well!

We also took the opportunity to draw our raffle on the night, for which we had prizes including £100 cash, festival tickets, meals and a PT session. We'll be contacting winners over the next week!

Thank you to our very generous donors:

110 Above Festival, Rebekah Dyson at PureGym Leicester, Exchange Bar, Gelato Village, Belvor Fruit Farms, Megazone, Nando's Leicester, Dreaming in Colour Productions and Joules.

Written by Oxjam Leicester Takeover Manager, Beth Piggott

31st October 2016




Thank you: Volunteers Special!

22 October 2016

We’ve finally recovered from the Oxjam Leicester Takeover, which took place two weeks ago on Saturday 8th October! How time flies eh? A fortnight ago we were nervously preparing for it, wondering what the day would bring, certain that we’d all be nervous wrecks by the end of the day, picturing ourselves, or the shambling remains of them, under a table somewhere and refusing to come out. But what ensued was quite the contrary. For the day started, bands turned up, volunteers signed in, wristbands were purchased and the Oxjam Special started to flow….what more could we ask for?

The team settled into their roles, and as the day progressed so did our amazement at just how well things were going. Of course, we had the odd glitch, but it was nothing that our incredible team of volunteers weren’t able to handle. Our production team, who were lead by Beth Farrell and Miles Orton, did a wonderful job of making everyone sound great and fixing things when they didn’t. Our sound technicians worked tirelessly to make sure that each and every act had the best sound with support from our wonderful team of stage managers. Our stewards rocked up looking the very vision of Oxjam, donned in their pink t-shirts and sparkly pink glitter, and we loved them for it.

We were so blessed to have such an amazing team of volunteers on the day, and we hope that they all know how much their support means to us.

In particular, we’d like to give special thanks go to:

Miles Orton for being a savvy tech wizard, who can fix any problem with his eyes closed and hands tied behind his back. Woah. He comes every year and we’re so grateful to be able to call him a friend.

Lee Spencer for coming back year on year, and being a fabulous sound tech. This year he was in the Exchange bar where you may have noticed a snazzy PREMIER DRUM kit, well that was him too...

On hand to support Lee was first timer, Izzy Woolrych, the stage manager and other half of the dream team in charge of running the Exchange Bar. Keeping all the bands and artists in check is no easy feat, and she did it swimmingly!

David Ogley who travelled all the way from Northamptonshire to provide kit and sound support at Midas. We’d never met David, and yet he turned up, and stayed til the wee early hours to help our friends at House of Verse. It still brings a tear to our eyes.

Downstairs at Midas in the day, Joe Doyle, stepped in to do sound for us. If you didn’t see him behind the sound desk, then you may have caught him in his other hat, as a performer for on the House of Verse stage at night. A special thanks to Chris Quinn for stepping in at Midas and letting us borrow your PA- life saver.

You may remember that Jess Witthaus was the fundraising manager last year, and helped us raise loads of dosh for 2015. Well this year, she came back as the stage manager for Ale Wagon and kept EVERYONE in check. Even us.

Rob Miller, another returning volunteer who was on duty at our new dedicated comedy venue. And, thanks to Joao Ramalho for looking after things at our other new venue, Two Queens.

Matt Leeson & Ian Pinchess our balloon blowing and sign fixing tag team, who made sure that the Cultural Quarter was on brand and that we never ran out of cable ties.

Stephen Morris for travelling so far to be here (90 miles via boat, I believe?), and helping us out in many ways throughout the day!

Clare Gundry for doing whatever we needed you to, and sharing your wisdom with us. Everyone needs a tigger ;)

That’s an insane amount of hours, and work, not to mention the bands (who we will celebrate in one of our next posts), event stewards and of course us!

The next and final stop on the Oxjam Leicester train is the BIG Oxjam Quiz, which takes place this Thursday at the Exchange Bar at 7pm. We’ll be drawing our raffle on the night and it will your last chance to get tickets to be in with a chance of winning one of our many great prizes. Prizes include £100 cash, megazone vouchers, meal vouchers and 2 tickets to 110 above festival.

Written by Beth Piggott, Takeover Manager.

Edit made on 24th October 2016

A Peek behind The Scenes

7 October 2016

Over 100 performers, 12 hours, 8 venues, 1 city. Organizing a music festival is no small feat. Wondering how we pull it off? Take a look behind the scenes with the Oxjam Leicester Takeover Team in our countdown to Takeover Day!

THURSDAY (9 days to go)
Nicole Lissaman, Volunteer Manager

I attended an opening evening for DMU events students at The Phoenix in Leicester and had the chance to present Oxjam’s volunteering opportunities and explain what it is all about. There are so many great reasons to come and volunteer with Oxjam and it was fantastic to share this with the people of Leicester. It really is exciting!

SUNDAY (6 days to go)
Emma Carney, Assistant Takeover Manager

The last days before the big Takeover day... time to sit back, relax and wait for the day to come, right? Every year it's the dream! The reality couldn't be more different. Last minute line-up changes, bands whose bass players have broken their wrists, making a splat the rat game, confirming security for Saturday, briefing 50 volunteers, welcoming friends who have travelled 90 miles for WEEKS by canal boat just to come along and help out, finalising the schedule for the day... and writing lists. Lots of lists. So much to keep us busy, we'll get properly excited once we start blowing up the balloons (still to be collected) and hanging the bunting (ready to go!) on Saturday - can't wait to get the party started!

MONDAY (5 days to go)
Céline Silvius, Fundraising Manager

This evening I was invited to the first meeting of Leicester University’s Oxfam Society. Dropping in at the meeting, it was lovely to see how many members the society had. As I joined the group of about 30 people and told them of all the ways in which they could help us as volunteers this Saturday, it was great to see how many students want to join the cause of Oxfam and help eliminate poverty worldwide. Thank you so much for inviting me guys!

TUESDAY (4 days to go)
Raj Nagra, Marketing Co-ordinator

Designing a programme for an event is always a challenge and it is doubly so for a live, local festival. There are very last minute changes being made to line-ups and scheduling and who is playing where, so you need to be aware of all those things. None of those changes however, are particularly helpful when you’re trying to get information out to the public! You want to get the schedule out there ASAP to help your audience plan their day, but you also don’t want to put out the wrong information. The last thing we want is unhappy gig-goers who are supporting the cause we do all this for.

Even as I write this “behind the scenes”, I await the happy moment I can confirm a fixed lineup to the public! Oxjam Leicester Takeover are super fortunate to have a crowd eager to be there on the day and take part with us, so believe us when we say we appreciate your support, your enthusiasm and most of all, your patience! 

We have amazing musicians playing and on the actual day we all know that the stresses that make up the process will have all been worth it. How many people really get to experience this? I came into Oxjam looking for a challenge and boy did I get one, in the best possible way. No event is smooth sailing but the last minute dashes are part of the fun. They are the stories I will tell friends over drinks, of the insane things we had to do to help make it work! As the saying goes, the show must go on!


WEDNESDAY (3 days to go)
Céline Silvius, Fundraising Manager

This year we’re providing an additional fun activity for Takeover Day: the Treasure Trail! This trail will consist of puzzles, riddles and quiz questions which will lead you to discover all our awesome Oxjam venues. It fell to me to create the trail, first collecting as many fun facts about our venues as I could. From there, I needed to turn them into questions and puzzles, but most importantly, into a coherent trail, linking all clues together. I can tell you, it’s not at easy as it looks! However, we’re very happy with the end result and hope you will have fun solving the puzzles on Saturday!

THURSDAY (2 days to go)
Nicole Lissaman, Volunteer Manager

On Thursday 6th October myself and the takeover manager, Beth, delivered a briefing session to our volunteers in one of our venues, Manhattan34. Great turn out and fantastic enthusiasm! All roles and the day itself were explained, including the fancy dress options and of course the fantastic benefits of volunteering with us whilst giving something back. We all cannot wait until the big day arrives!

FRIDAY (1 day to go)
Beth Piggott, Takeover Manager

It's 4:32 am, on the day before Takeover and I am writing a blog post. And that's because every second counts when you're running a Takeover. This week I was lucky enough to be invited in to do a radio interview for Demon FM (pre-recorded, sorry if that ruins any illusions you may have). It was the first time that I've been to the studio to do an interview of any kind, and it was super exciting. The presenters Kevin and Jas were lovely and really put me at ease, they had lots of interesting questions - hopefully I did them justice, nerves usually get in the way with me. It was a great opportunity for on the day promotion, and it turns out that they'll also be getting one of our bands in on the day, so be sure to tune in to Demon FM this Saturday to hear all about it!


Hope you enjoyed the peek behind the scenes of our manic last days before Takeover Day! Despite the pressures, mild panics and short, short nights, we are all incredibly excited to see it all come together this Saturday. We’re sure it will be a day for everyone to enjoy and can’t wait to see you there tomorrow!

The Perks of Being a Volunteer

27 September 2016

I first learned of Oxjam only a year ago when the previous Fundraising Manager told me about the music festival. Wanting to get involved in Leicester’s cultural scene as well as gain experience working in festivals and events, I signed up as a volunteer. Talk about a great decision! Volunteering for Oxjam last year was one of the most fun experiences I’ve had in Leicester and boy did I learn a lot!

Volunteering roles at Oxjam can be incredibly varied. From working with the artists and helping out as Stage Manager, to assisting our customers, there is something for everyone. Last year I was assigned the role of Shift Manager which meant that it was my responsibility to make sure all volunteers were present and knew where they were supposed to be, as well as working with the team leaders to ensure that all volunteers were happy.

I can tell you that this job does not come without its challenges. As with any event or organisation relying on volunteers, people sign up to volunteer without considering that in doing so they have a responsibility to show up. Sometimes we had gaps in our rota due to volunteers we had counted on not being there. Thankfully we were able to solve most issues which arose thanks to some emergency planning, our stellar team of volunteers who didn’t mind staying a little longer and even some last-minute recruits!

As you might imagine, it was a crazy day but also one buzzing with the great atmosphere, fantastic music and bonds that we as volunteers built together.

Of course, after my shift I was able to enjoy some performances by the local artists performing at the festival (the Simpletones were my absolute favourite) which, for a volunteer is the reward. After helping out for a great cause a volunteer is able to enjoy a fantastic music festival for free. I enjoyed it so much, I even signed on to become this year’s Fundraising Manager!

As Fundraising Manager, working with the team is incredibly fun and I can’t wait for our big Takeover Day on the 8th of October.

I hope to see you there!

Céline Silvius
Fundraising Manager – Oxjam Leicester Takeover

Welcome to Oxjam 2016!

15 August 2016

Hello and welcome to Oxjam Leicester 2016! With only a couple of months left until the big day we thought it was time that we said hello to you all and started letting you in on what we've been upto. Since April, we have been working away, trying to come up with some new ideas for the Takeover, some good, some not so good, and some that we just can't wait to share with you.

I am really happy to be managing the Takeover team in the 10th anniversary year of Oxjam nationally. I have been part of the festival for several years and am thrilled to be in such a privileged position to really make a difference to people's lives. Not only is it privilege to be in a position to help raise life-saving funds for those who need our help, but also to work with my amazing team. I can't thank them enough for the dedication that they have shown, and the work that has already gone into making it a success.

The focus of Oxjam has always been local, grassroots and community and this year we are placing a lot of emphasis on those things. We've got some really exciting announcements coming up, but for now you can look forward to a return of the old, with our favourite venues joining us again and an introduction to some new elements which will truly showcase some of the brightest and best talent that Leicester has to offer.

I'm looking forward to sharing the fruits of our labour with you all, and seeing our plans unfold over the next few months. I look forward to seeing you there on the day, and to seeing the best of Leicester descend on the Cultural Quarter to give us one of the best parties of the year! I look forward to seeing how much money we raise for Oxfam, and seeing the look on my teams face, when it's all over and they realise the incredible things that we have achieved.

Until then, I hope that you can join us at one of our summer fundraising events. You can keep upto date with everything by following us on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram, or by checking out our website!

Beth Piggott
Oxjam Leicester Takeover Manager