Cancellation of 2019 Leighton Buzzard Oxjam festival ‘gives opportunity for a rethink’

Leighton Buzzard’s Oxjam festival won’t be taking place in March, co-founder Edmuch Flach has confirmed.

The LBO reported last October that the popular festival, which has raised £55,000 for Oxfam since it started 10 years ago, was is in danger of collapsing due to the demands of running it and the desire of the regular organisers to take a break.

Oxjam celebration event on Saturday, October 27 at the Leighton Buzzard Brewery

Oxjam celebration event on Saturday, October 27 at the Leighton Buzzard Brewery

Mr Flach confirmed to the LBO this week: “We won’t be holding a festival in March, but we will be having a one-off folk/acoustic session [The LB Oxjam Jam] in the Black Lion on Saturday, March 2, 3pm-5.30pm. All welcome.”

A statement posted on the Oxjam Facebook page added: “Sadly, despite some interest in helping, no one has come forward to take over the running of the festival, so it won’t be taking place this March.

“Although this seems a shame, it does give an opportunity to re-think what Oxjam event(s) the town wants.

“The festival had got very large and required an enormous amount of planning and coordination.

“By taking a break we can maybe do a single-day or weekend event later in the year - possibly during October or November, when the national Oxjam festival occurs.

“Let’s all have a good think about what we’d like in the future, and what we’d be happy to organise and take part in.”

Of the Black Lion event, the statement added: “In the absence of an Oxjam Festival this year we are running a folk/acoustic session on the last Saturday of the Black Lion’s Beer Festival.

“ This free event will be an informal session to sing, play tunes, join in with others or just sit back and listen. LB Oxjam CDs will be available to buy on the day.”