Oxford’s last independent music venue has begun an £80,000 crowdfunding campaign to stop it from closing in early December.Music icons, including members of Radiohead and Foals, have supported the campaign to stop the closure one of oldest venues of its kind in Europe.Radiohead drummer Philip Selway donated a drum worth £5,000 towards the campaign, according to the Oxford Mail.He said: “The Cellar is an important part of the musical and cultural life of Oxford. It is venues like this that are actually the life blood of music; they support and nurture new and emerging talent […] Let’s not loose it.”In June, Cellar was forced to cut the maximum capacity from 150 people to 60, as the fire escape was 30cm too narrow for Oxfordshire County Council requirements. Cellar is set to close on the 3rd of December unless it can raise enough money to widen the fire escape and to make up for financial losses.This is not the first time Cellar has been faced with imminent closure. A year ago, over 13,000 people signed a petition to save the club from being developed into storage space for the shop above.Yannis Philippakis from Foals said: “Oxford’s best small venue is under threat. It’s also my childhood bar and the place Foals first learned to rock out.”Gaz Coombes from Supergrass, who played at Cellar, said: “We wouldn’t have got anywhere without these small venues, they’re really important for building up the vibe of a band when they’re first starting out. It would be just disastrous if it wasn’t able to continue.”You can donate to the crowdfunding campaign here.
Which elections are taking place on the 6th of May? You can apply for a postal vote, and have the voting papers sent to a different address to that of your Oxford residence. The deadline for applying for postal vote is 19 April. If you live at a different UK address during the holidays than during term, you are allowed to vote in elections in both council areas, as long as you are registered at both. This rule applies only to local elections, and not to national ones. Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash Why does it matter? Voter turnout is often lower amongst young people, but issues in local elections also affect young people. Oxford City Council can regulate housing policy and prices, make decisions regarding parks and leisure facilities, and take environmental action. Can I vote in elections at home and in Oxford? How do I register? I won’t be in Oxford on May 6th. How can I vote? If you are a qualifying Commonwealth, Irish or EU citizen you are also eligible to vote, given you are not excluded from voting for legal reasons. You can also apply for a proxy vote, allowing someone else to vote on your behalf. The deadline for applying for proxy votes is 29 April 27. You will be asked for your national insurance number for registration. If you can’t remember it, you can look at past payslips or fill out a form requesting it. Alternatively, you can also register without entering a national insurance number. In this case, you will be sent an email asking to provide alternative documentation, such as a picture of a passport, ID card or residence permit. On the 6th of May, local elections will be taking place across the UK. In Oxford, you can cast your vote for the Oxford City Council, for Oxfordshire County Council, and for the Police and Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley. I’m not a UK citizen. Can I vote in these elections? I don’t have a national insurance number. What do I do? You can register online in under 5 minutes. The deadline for registration is Monday 19 April.