A well attended session by musicians, promoters, facilitators, Oxford City Council representatives, culture NGO representatives, communication consultants and music fans.

Selected quotes, points made and questions posed:


What does success look like?

What would such a group look like? Who would/ should be in the group to make it effective?

How do we get a group together that is not only passionate and has the time to get involved, but is also diverse, representative and doesn’t look from the outside like a closed clique?

Charity, CIC or loose affiliation?


Many people pledged their time and diverse skills to whatever group came out of the discussions.

OCM agreed to facilitate a follow-up event. Within 6 months and probably within 4 to keep up momentum.

Many contacts were made within the sessions. Conversations have already begun.

Oxford Music Guardians was formed on Facebook as an initial gathering point for those interested in forming a group (not necessarily OMG).


“Community is not just a building”.

“Music is a vehicle for community”

“If we’re not even talking to each other as a community, we’re not going to get anywhere”.

“A collective voice is a powerful way to influence policy” (Council worker).

“Lots of feet counts for something”.

We need a group that can interface with official bodies such as the Council so that they automatically consult us on matters such as planning etc.

We need to assemble a group that can work together and get things done.

As well as being the people who want to and have the time to get involved, the group should be diverse and representative of the scene.

“Challenging planning applications is a lonely process unless you have support (even if it’s only moral support)”.

Often, when music fans come into contact with the Council etc, it’s in an adversarial way. This would be less likely to be the case if the community was consulted at an earlier stage. An official group would help with this process.

The group should be solution based. That’s what official bodies want (not just listing the negatives).

“One of the biggest problems for the Council is deciding who to get in a room, so an organised music group to consult would be a dream come true for them”.

If we are an official organisation, we can apply for grant funding (many in the group are skilled at submitting proposals).

“We need a manifesto of solutions and realistic actions that we can put to public bodies and landlords”.

The group needs to meet face-to-face, not just be electronic based on social media (although that is also an important tool).

“We need a focus with an end-game”.

“There’s a huge creative drain on the city at the moment, as our brightest and best are leaving the city.”

Urged to join the residents panel, which the Council does listen to.

We were urged to get involved in the Council’s Local Plan which is intended to be a collaborative process.