Melvin Benn meets the next generation of promoters
Oxjam training session. Top tip: Never give up!If you’ve ever been to a Festival Republic Festival, then you’ll be familiar with the Oxfam Stewards in their orange tabards, doing everything from putting on your wristband to directing you in the campsite.
Providing stewards is not the only way Festival Republic helps Oxfam, though, and this week Melvin Benn visited the Oxjam training session in Birmingham to share his business wisdom with budding promoters from across the UK. Oxjam is a month-long fundraising event, held in October where anyone with the will to create a music happening can have a go – and so far more than 40,000 musicians have played at over 3,500 gigs – all organised and run by volunteers.
Melvin passed on his experiences of working in the music industry to the next generation of moguls, saying, "Oxjam has an important place now in the music calendar, and you’ve created that. Artists want to play it, want to be part of it, and want to feel that they can give something back through it.
"The good that the money raised from Oxjam does is obviously hugely important, and must continue. But the personal development for you as individuals is also massively important. It was that type of schooling that enabled me to create the events and the business that I’ve created now, and that opportunity’s there for you guys, because Oxjam gives you that."
Afterwards Melvin answered scores of questions from prospective entrepreneurs, all of whom were anxious to pick up advice for their future in the business. And his top tip? “Never give up. You can never give up. Today and tomorrow is everything. You’ve always got to look forward, and to try to keep making things just a little bit better".
If you’d like to learn more about how you can break into the music business and create your own Oxjam event in 2012, visit www.oxfam.org.uk/oxjam