After a year mainly spent indoors, we’ve all come to appreciate how important the things are that bring us together – and for many of us, that’s live music.
Unfortunately, this is an aspect of Oxford life that’s being threatened by developers, often aided and abetted by friends on the City Council.
The latest venue in the firing line is the Wheatsheaf, which hosts the internationally renowned jazz club, The Spin, among many other performances. The Wheatsheaf is a much loved venue that has hosted live music for decades, with Oxford bands such as Foals and Stornoway making their debut there.
For the sake of creating nine student rooms, The Wheatsheaf music venue will be gone forever, and Oxford will lose yet another space for live music. This comes months after The Cellar in Oxford suffered a similar fate. If this pattern continues, we risk losing the spaces that will foster the next generations of artists, and that form an integral part of our city’s character.
Greens are proud to be supporting the efforts to save the venue. Councillor Dick Wolff has initiated a public call-in of the proposal, meaning that it will have to be debated in public.
Candidates standing in the upcoming city council elections have also voiced their support. Chris Jarvis, candidate for Iffley Fields & St Mary's, called the news ‘a devastating loss for Oxford's music scene.’
Dianne Regisford, Green Party Candidate for University Parks, said, “The Spin is an important gathering place for people from all over the world. The Spin forms part of Oxford’s historic cultural landscape. To wipe out 100 years of musical heritage for the sake of 9 student flats shows a deep lack of respect for the many students and visitors from all over the world, who contribute to Oxford’s cultural reputation and local economy. I stand with activists and music lovers to support the Save The ‘Sheaf campaign."
Greens are encouraging supporters to comment on the public application here:
You can keep up with the campaign to Save the Sheaf on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/266494848332434