Oxjam Beeston: it’s coming! / Tramageddon!


Autumn rolls in, or rather, judging by today’s weather, gushes in. Yet this Autumn could be the most interesting for Beeston in some time.

I’m talking about The Beeston Oxjam Takeover. I declare an interest straight off: I’ve been involved with it for three years now, volunteering as it’s marketing co-ordinator. My partner is the volunteer co-ordinator. There are pink metal badges lying around on every surface of our house.

If you’ve been to Oxjam before, you’ll know how it works. If not, here’s a precis: on a mid-October Saturday (this year it’s the 19th) we take over Beeston from midday, putting on music in venues right across Beeston. Then for 12 hours, we give you the top-notch tunes from the cream of local – and further afield talent. The first few hours are free and open air, with acts in the Square, The Crown , Belle and Jerome, Bean and other places over Beeston. We’ll shake a tin under your noses, mind, so bring along some change to top them up with. Or notes. We really like notes.

Later in the day, we move the acts indoors and you’ll need a wristband to get in. These are a ridiculously cheap £5 in advance, and get you into every venue in town. So for a mere 100 shillings you can see corking acts at The Greyhound, Relish, The Hop Pole, The White Lion, The Bar (upstairs and downstairs this year, each with a different type of music), and Bartons. Yep, Bartons are reopening this Autumn, more on that later.

And who have we playing? Well, the best blogs respect brevity, so I’m not going to detail everyone of the 50+ acts we have confirmed, but here’s a few treats:

Seven Little Sisters: They may be veterans of the live scene, but as their recent four-day stint attests to, are a must-see. Imagine The Levellers, if The Levellers weren’t nobby dross. Their gigs are manic, vital, and could cause you to break sweat even if they played a set at a festival on the South Pole (ScottFest?).


Playing EVERY venue is the rising star of the Beeston music scene, Emma Bladon Jones. She’s had a corking year, winning the Hop Pole songwriting competition, headlining Beestival, playing the Carnival and, earlier this week, receiving an out of date tin of pink salmon while busking in Beeston. She’ll be running to each venue, yes, running, and giving you a short set in each. True fans will want to see each one, especially the last one, which she’ll probably perform lying down:



Last year we kicked off in the Square with a storming set from the Jar Family, who were on a tour of Oxjam festivals. They were a revelation, a fantastic bunch who drew shoppers to drop their groceries and shake an ankle. This year they’ve gone on to get on TV, get loads of radio play, get a glowing report from The Guardian, release a critically acclaimed album, Jarmalade and charm the socks off anyone luckily enought to see them. They’ve supported The Charlatans, Babyshambles, Alabama 3 and this lad from Clifton, Jake Somethingorother. I interviewed them for The Beestonian a few months ago and asked them if they’d consider playing Oxjam again. They were non-committal but did mention how much they enjoyed Beeston in 2012.

A bit of pressure via Twitter, emails to their manager and a healthy dose of emotional blackmail and I’m delighted to say they’re coming back to play again. All the way from Hartlepool. That is how much they love Beeston.

You’ll love them back too, I guarantee. Here is a taster:


We’ll be giving you more previews of our acts on our official site: http://www.oxjambeestontakeover.org/

Here you can buy advance tickets; we expect this year to sell out so save some dough and worry and purchase early. If you fancy volunteering for the day, we’d be delighted to have you. Simultaneously juggling several venues and 50+ acts is a colossal feat, so the more hands the better. You’ll get a free wristband as well, and a warm charitable glow.

If you can’t make it, or simply hate music (hiya Simon Cowell, hiya!) , but still want to help us raise a record amount, then feel very free to slip us some readies on out Just Giving site: http://www.justgiving.com/OxjamBeestonMusicFestival


We’re also dead happy to announce we’re bringing back the Beeston Ceilidh, at Barton House. The heroic Beeston Ceilidh Collective will be providing the tunes and calling, and we’ll have beer from a fully licensed bar courtesy of Magpie Brewery. Last year we had a fantastic turnout and a wonderful night, so we expect this to sell out fast. Some tickets do remain, however, so get yours now here: https://www.wegottickets.com/event/235109 or from The Guitar Spot or Oxfam Books and Music, Beeston.


Bartons, which closed indefinitely earlier this year, is back. And back with more vim and verve than ever before. Throughout the next few months they will be hosting Tramageddon, a two finger salute to the bleeding tramworks that are strangling Chilwell Road. We’re delighted to have them back; after all, this is the largest venue / art space in Beeston by a long stretch, and Simon Barton is the type of maverick a town needs.

More details can be found here: