Arts & Culture

Thousands Flock to Common People Festival

By Richard Chidwick at

Common People festival proved to be a great success for emerging and established talent, from local bands to international names, as thousands of people flocked to South Park in Oxford.

Both days had some big names on the main stage including Sean Paul, the Cuban Brothers, Rag n Bone Man and Pete Tong’s Ibiza Classics performed by The Heritage Orchestra conducted by Jules Buckley aka Judge Jules.

The festival is curated by DJ and Producer Rob da Bank who has a wealth of experience organising big festivals such as Bestival on the Isle of White. It was no surprise that this festival proved equally successful on a blazing hot and sunny weekend.

A multitude of bands, DJs and performing arts groups showed their talent, and one act who got people really moving and shaking on Saturday night was Groove Armada whose members Andy Cato and Tom Findley gave an exclusive post performance interview.

Andy said: “It’s a beautiful summers’ evening and lovely to play here.” Tom added: “We played Superstlying twice. We have a residency in Ibiza and that is more chunky house music , whereas this is a lot more white noise, playing to the expectation of the crowd, you go for moments like these and its quite a nice easy crowd to play to, I mainly enjoyed Arsenal playing and winning the FA Cup Final!”

Andy said: “If the young emerging DJ’s and producers have had as much fun as we’ve had then you can’t go wrong!”

The Uncommon stage is smaller and was constantly packed with people included DJ sets from Goldie, hip hop performances by the P45s and rock music by the band Shapes.

Anthony Kelly from the band Shapes said: “We play a song called Passing. I grew up on the Cow-ley Road in Oxford and I spent many of the years in the early 80s where I met my partner in that area, so this song is a reflection of the times I spent in the area. I’d say our style of music is pop rock and I guess the song Shapes is kind of bitter sweet, it’s pop melodic rock.”

One of the first acts to open the festival was Rodney P who curates for the Oxford Youth Ambition Project. Following the performance, some of the female singers from the youth ambition project were also keen to talk about how the project has helped them.
One of them said: “Music is quite close to my heart and I have always been close to that, I have been through quite a lot in my life so it’s really good to perform here and be part of the project. I really like Valerie by Amy Winehouse, the song we sang she’s someone I really enjoy listening to, the music project really helped me.”

Rodney P said: “There is so much untapped talent here in Oxford, these young people who per-formed here today have so much talent and young people here have the chance here to tap into their true potential, Common People is a great event, it is all about feeding the people. It’s a fantastic event.”