Dade Freeman
Photographer & Trainer
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Oxjam 2010

Oxjam Music Event

I was invited to Leicester to photograph to photograph the huge OXJAM music event organised by the Oxfam charity.

Oxfam were hosting a live music festival on Braunstone Gate in Leicester. It involved 8 bars and nearly 80 artists of all kinds of music genres. I'm sure you're dying to know what Oxjam is. It's a music festival that is happening all over the UK - not only to promote Oxfam and raise money for charity but also as a platform for music artists - two key reasons I was keen to get involved.

Adam and I went to the Independent Arts Centre in Leicester for Friday nights gigs. It a nice sized art house, which has a stage set up at the back for musicians. The artists themselves were good, but sadly the turnout was poor. However, Saturday was the main event so it was a nice warm up.

Saturday arrived, the weather looked hmmmm - changeable. 1pm rolled around and kick off time! When I arrived at the O'Bar the place was packed and rocking as music filled the room, as some great musicians were giving so much energy to their performance, a fantastic start and set the tone. The challenge for me this time round was that I have never photographed music events before, and to make it even more challenging, the musicians were playing in eight very different venues, with a mix of lighting conditions and space. One thing I wanted to do where possible was catch the action and also the ambience, but still get nice crisp images, no easy task for a novice like me.

In order to see and hear the bands playing live, you bought a wristband to gain entry to The Looking Glass, Loaf, O' Bar, Sumo, Natterjacks, The Hub, Venus and The Bowstring bars. Not only were the bars full, but there was plenty more merriment to be had in the street, with Capoeira, a Caribbean Carnival, Fire Poi, Graffiti artists and even Vikings?!?! (Yeah, I didn't get that one either).

To top it all off, I also got to see an old friend playing and he blew me away with how well he has done - if you haven't heard of him yet, you will! Allow me to introduce THE JAMES LEWIS BAND, you heard it here first folks! One of my fav songs so far is Kathryn, go check it out or why not buy it from iTunes. One trait which drove me crazy was the fact that about 90% of the musicians sang with their eyes closed - it looked like I caught every one of them blinking - which is typically what I try to avoid, having said that, it does work well on some images.

It was a fantastic, tiring, ear popping, head banging, foot tapping day! I would like to thank Adam Breedon and Oxjam for getting us involved and a big shout out to all the musicians and performers who did themselves and Leicester proud by raising £1000s for charity ;)

I have several images I really liked from this event, but my fav is a shot of The James Lewis Band.


Dade Freeman is a Brighton photographer producing portraits and headshots for actors, musicians, corporate business and other professional industries.