Oxjam festival in Leighton Buzzard will go ahead despite Oxfam sex scandal

Oxjam, Leighton Buzzard
Oxjam, Leighton Buzzard

Leighton Buzzard’s Oxjam music festival is to go ahead as planned despite the sex scandal Oxfam finds itself embroiled in.

The Oxjam Leighton Buzzard 2018 team says it has been extremely concerned about recent national media coverage of the sexual misconduct of former Oxfam employees in Chad from 2006 and Haiti in 2011, and sexual misconduct in its UK shops dating from before 2014-15.

Faced with such worrying reports, organisers say there has been much discussion locally about whether it was right for the festival to take place.

However, the team says it is convinced that it should go ahead.

In an open letter on the Oxfam UK website, Chief Executive Mark Goldring reminds the public of the essential work that the charity is doing right now, most notably in tackling the Rohingya crisis in Bangladesh, the unfolding disaster in DR Congo and the ongoing conflict in Yemen.

Mr Goldring expresses his sorrow at what happened in the name of the charity, and affirms that it is working to rebuild the trust of its supporters, shoppers, staff and volunteers.

One of the Oxjam Leighton Buzzard 2018 organisers, Edmund Flach, said: “We believe that 99.9% of Oxfam staff work tirelessly for the people they serve – not just in emergency situations, but also in the hundreds of long-term projects that are striving to raise people out of poverty and give them the resilience to help themselves and their communities – and we hope that most people will agree with us!

The Oxjam Leighton Buzzard 2018 team are now working to get everything ready for the launch concert at Brooklands Club, Garden Leys, on Friday, March 2 at 8pm.

MrFlach said: “We hope local people will continue to be generous in their support for the indispensable work Oxfam do.”