Oxjam Takeover Festival 'absolutely brilliant'By Laura McCardle
August 02, 2012
The launch of Reading’s first Oxjam Takeover Festival hit all the right notes at the weekend.
The countdown to the charity music event, which attracts thousands of music-lovers around the country and raises thousands of pounds for some of the world’s poorest people, kicked off on Saturday night at The Jazz Café at Madjeski Stadium.
Reading’s own X Factor star Danyl Johnson headlined the evening, performing covers of songs including John Legend’s Ordinary People and Prince’s Purple Rain.
Local folk singer Megan Henwood also took the stage, as did Oxjam Reading Takeover manager Ben Smith.
Mr Smith said: “It was amazing. It was just absolutely brilliant.
“When you organise events like this, in the lead up to it you are normally very, very stressed and you worry about a number of things, but it was an absolutely overwhelming success.
“I want to say a massive thank you to Danyl and Megan – both those guys came and gave their time for free. Danyl is a good mate of mine anyway, but it’s just great for him to take time out for us and do things for free.
“A big thank you also to everyone who came down, because the money we’re making is really making a difference.”
The event, which raised more than £1,200 for the charity, was organised ahead of the national music festival, which will make its Reading debut on Saturday, October 20.
Around 60 bands will be rocking out in six Reading venues, with a mix of genres and styles to suit all tastes.
Music fans will be able to buy a wristband which will give them access to all of the day’s performances.
Speaking about the Takeover, Mr Smith said: “It’s all about community, and I think Reading as a town is really pulling together.
“I feel it’s a really great thing for local music. It’s going to be fantastic and we don’t really have a local festival for local bands.
“The overriding thing for this is that the money we make really makes a difference for people across the world. Oxjam is just amazing, it’s life-changing.”
As part of the Takeover, Mr Smith and his team of volunteers have organised a ‘busk-athon’ which will take place in Broad Street on Sunday, August 19.
For more information, or to buy tickets, visit www.facebook.com/OxjamReadingTakeover.