Now on tour with Coldplay in 2012

April 18th, 2012 / No Comments » / by admin2

Please visit http://oxfamontour.org/coldplay for the latest or explore here for older posts from previous tours.

An intimate gig at La Cigale in Paris

November 2nd, 2011 / No Comments » / by giuliab

Last night I was at La Cigale in Paris to see Coldplay perform to an intimate audience. What a night!

La Cigale is a small venue, holding only about a thousand people: quite different from the football stadiums and Glastonbury’s Pyramid Stage that Coldplay have got us used to. To make it even more unusual, the concert was private, organised by a French radio station and a mobile phone company for competition winners.

After the success of the Viva la Vida tour, Oxfam is following Coldplay on tour again, and it was Oxfam France’s turn last night to bring five lovely volunteers to talk to people about Oxfam’s new campaign, GROW, as they entered the venue. With no support band, the gig started on time and Coldplay squeezed in on the small stage, alternating old classics like ‘Yellow’ and ‘The Scientist’ with new songs from their new album, ‘Mylo Xyloto’.

Among the multicoloured neon lights and bright lasers that crossed the venue, the stage background - inspired by the artwork of their new album - reserved a surprise: a graffiti-style Oxfam logo featured right at the centre, among scribbles and words such as ‘chaos’. If anyone had any doubts about Coldplay’s support of Oxfam, here’s the evidence. And a smaller version of our logo was also on Chris’s t-shirt.

Coldplay were in top form and Chris, apologising for his French, invited the audience to sing along and launched his guitar up in the air at the end of ‘God Put A Smile Upon My Face’. The new single ‘Paradise’ went down a storm, although I think I’m not the only one that had hoped to see them wearing the elephant costumes from the official video! Thankfully one elephant head came out for the final greetings courtesy of Jonny.

The encore featured two old favourites; ‘Clocks’ and ‘Fix You’ and then the grand finale that made everyone dance: ‘Every Tear Is A Waterfall’. It’s been great to see them again and it’s even more exciting to know that Oxfam will accompany them on their adventures around the world.

Many thanks to Clemence and her team at Oxfam France for coming along to help spread the word for a better world in which everyone has enough to eat.

Giulia

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Watch Coldplay performing in Madrid (October 26, 2011). Directed by Anton Corbijn as part of UNSTAGED from American Express

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Preparing for Paris

October 31st, 2011 / No Comments » / by admin

This year, Oxfam is taking the GROW campaign on tour with Coldplay.

As you read this, our blogger Giulia is gearing up to watch the exclusive, intimate gig at La Cigale in the French capital ahead of their 2011 tour.

In 2009/2010 Coldplay’s Viva la Vida tour was mammoth, with visually explosive shows all over Europe, Asia, the Americas and Australasia.  Throughout that tour, our dedicated blogger Pete tagged along on the tour bus to bring you all the news from backstage, starting and ending in London. Guilia took over for the final leg, joining in São Paulo, Brazil. Oxfam campaigners were stationed at every venue throughout the tour and the Oxfam logo was featured on one of the light ball fixtures that hung high above the stage at every show.

Coldplay and Oxfam

Coldplay have supported Oxfam for nearly a decade - famously backing the Make Trade Fair campaign - and their success has helped us campaign in over 50 countries. We’ve accompanied them on tour all over the world.

Coldplay have campaigned and lobbied all over the world with Oxfam, meeting farmers in Haiti, trade ministers in Cancun and tribal chiefs in Ghana, to find out first hand how corrupt trade affects poor local producers. In 2003, they delivered three million signatures calling on governments to make trade fair. Last year, the band backed Oxfam’s Hope for Haiti appeal, calling for funds to help those affected by the devastating earthquake in January 2010 and performed at the benefit concert in the US.

GROWing a better future

GROW is a campaign for the billions of us who eat food and over a billion men and women who grow it, to share solutions for a more hopeful future in which everyone always has enough to eat. You can find out more about GROW on this blog very soon.

Share your stories

So we anticipate an exciting year ahead! There’s bound to be some adventures. Come back tomorrow for Guilia’s review of tonight’s show.

Were you at any of the shows last year and 2009? We’d love to hear your stories and see your pictures. Which song gave you goosebumps? Was a roadtrip involved? Did anyone propose during a show? These are the types of tales we love. Tweet them to @oxfamontour for a shout out!

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Find out more about the GROW campaign
Join the 11,246 people that have signed-up to the GROW campaign

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Oxfam on tour with Coldplay 2011

October 26th, 2011 / No Comments » / by admin

Hello to everyone at the Madrid show!  Thank you for visiting us.

After the success of our 2010 tour, Oxfam is going back on the road with the band.  We’ll be taking our GROW campaign for better ways to live and share food to Coldplay fans all over the world.

This will be the place to catch up with all the titbits of Coldplay news from backstage and on the road.

We’re still making final preparations.  Over the next few days the best way to hear about our plans is to follow @Oxfamontour on Twitter.

Our first blog from this tour will be posted just ahead of the Paris gig on Monday 31 October.  Older posts from previous tours are available below.

Thanks again and see you soon!

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Walk on the wild side

March 11th, 2010 / No Comments » / by giuliab

This morning I’ve arrived in the Estadio Universitario in Monterrey quite early to enjoy the last day from the start. The sun is shining, someone has put Lou Reed on to test the sound so here comes the title of the post (I haven’t slept enough last night so I’m short of ideas). The Oxfam stand is not set up yet, so I’ve got time for an update about Guadalajara’s concert.
The show was fantastic: my confetti shot was the best one since I’ve been using the ‘advanced’ machines. Butterflies came out smoothly until the last seconds of ‘Lovers In Japan’. I think I’ve mastered the art now! And the ola before ‘Don Quixote/Spanish Rain’ was the fastest I’ve seen up to now, so well done Guadalajara! However, today someone told me that the real home of the Mexican Wave is Monterrey’s Estadio Universitario, which is exactly where I am sitting right now, so we shall see tonight what El Volcàno has prepared for us…
Guadalajara has been a success for Oxfam too, twenty splendid volunteers have filled in sheets and sheets of sign-ups. I’ve done a rough count by flicking through the pile of paper for the evening, and I think they come to about one thousand. And that’s only for one of the four concerts in Mexico: it’s great!
So thanks to Oscar from Oxfam México who will also be here in Monterrey tonight and thanks to Jimena and Gabriela for all their work in Mexico City.
Keep signing up: if you’re in Monterrey tonight come and see us at the Oxfam stand just past the entrance, have a chat with one of the volunteers or click here www.oxfammexico.org  We are putting all our efforts together for Vamos Al Grano campaign in support  of local farmers. It’s a really important issue for Mexico and we need your help.

I’m really looking forward to this evening, there’s a feeling in the air that this is going to be a special night and it’s also the last chance to see this show ever. People are already queueing under the sunshine. I might go and see if there’s a bootleg market selling one of these

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One hundred sixty-five

March 9th, 2010 / No Comments » / by giuliab

The second show in Mexico City’s Foro Sol was the one-hundred-sixty-fifth show of Viva tour. Almost two years. Mexico is the last stop: four shows and then it will be over. Can you believe it?

For all of the Mexican shows Oxfam México will be campaigning on trade issues, The campaign is called “Vamos al grano”: if you’re coming to one of the shows, come and see us or look out for the Oxfam t-shirts walking around collecting sign-ups.
Did you know that 19 million people in Mexico haven’t got enough food? I didn’t.
Land is being bought off small farmers by big companies that produce biofuels. This means that local farmers can’t produce enough to support themselves and their families: that’s poverty.
Oxfam México is trying to cut the chain of production and support small farmers so that they can get better prices for their produce and improve their quality of life, which in most cases means simply giving them the basic right to food.

We’ve collected loads of sign ups and there’s still two shows to go in Mexico.

Have a look at this website www.oxfammexico.org for more information on how to sign up to the campaign.

And as you might have noticed, I’m a language geek, so Oxfam México’s tag-line is ‘Sumando rostros, uniendo voces’ which translates more or less like ‘Putting faces together, joining voices’. As true for Oxfam as it is for Coldplay: the two gigs in Mexico City saw a total of over 80,000 fans.
On the second day, I watched the band play Viva La Vida from the left side of the stage: it was AMAZING, it gave me a totally different perspective which is more similar to what the band feels: tens of thousands of people singing almost covering the music with their voices. I felt my knees were going weak. I wonder if Chris & co. still feel at least a quarter of the feeling I had after one hundred sixty-five shows, but I bet they do because the audience in Latin America is wonderful.

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Fingerprints needed

March 6th, 2010 / No Comments » / by giuliab

[Notepad-typed notes on the flight to Mexico City]

Two days since my last post from Brazil and we’ve already been to Colombia and gone.
So here we are, on a plane to Mexico right now and Mexico City is in some way what everyone in the crew has been looking forward to: we’re half-way through the tour and also this is the only place where Coldplay will play twice in the same venue so it means a bit more time for everyone.

Last night show in Bogotà was in the huge (how many times will I use this word again? Place your bet) Simon Bolivar park from where you could see the green mountains surrounding the capital. We’ve also been blessed with sunshine all day long, except some drizzle just when Coldplay went on stage. As usual.
It was the first time in Colombia for Coldplay. 32,000 people made it to the show despite a quite impressive public transport strike; they were all there, screaming their lungs out when Chris successfully attempted some local slang in Spanish!

Maybe some of them are still wearing one of the three wristbands that Oxfam volunteers have been giving out yesterday. Three wristbands - three messages, because Oxfam Colombia is full of energy and wants to involve as much young people as possible with initiatives that they can feel close to:

DIGNA: a collective movement for recovering dignity in the Colombian society affected by years of conflict. Leave your fingerprint here: www.vozdigna.org  (English and Spanish version)

Violence against women: Colombian women have suffered and still suffer sexual abuse and violence in the conflict.

Mercados Campesinos (farmers’ markets): a great community project that helps small farmers to connect directly with Bogotà’s consumers. I’ve never been good with numbers, but apparently only by cutting the chain of intermediaries, local farmers can get up to 65% more profit and consumers get a price that is 30% cheaper than standard (thanks Paul for explaining!). It’s a win-win: less poverty in farmers communities and more food security for consumers.

Thanks Damaris and thanks to all of you lovely Colombian volunteers, you’ve been working so hard: I was panting most of the time since Bogotà is quite high-up. I had such a good time!

Besides my Oxfam-duty, I’ve also been upgraded to advanced confetti-shooter: I now sit all on my own below one of the delay towers and even have to use a radio. Amazing progress eh? Who knows what I could be doing next.

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Happy birthday Chris!

March 3rd, 2010 / 4 Comments » / by giuliab

Morumbi means ‘green hill’. Had it meant ‘Violet Hill’ it would have been perfection. Still, it’s a word of indigenous origin and I love the sound of it: doesn’t it make you think of a crescendo of noise? Appropriate for tonight indeed. It’s Chris’s birthday today and Will sang ‘Happy Birthday’ in Portuguese, reading out some scribbled notes on his guitar, and São Paulo’s people joined in. Feliz aniversário!

Our twenty Oxfam volunteers have done a marvellous job, tiredlessly handing over thousands of bookmarks to the public. Visit this website www.tictactictac.org.br and make your voice heard for the next fundamental step on the negotiations on climate change. After Copenhagen, Mexico’s COP16 is the place where the world leaders will gather to decide the planet’s future in December 2010.

Thanks Carlos and Mirella, and all of you, volunteers in Rio and São Paulo. You have been wonderful.

Now time to get ready for Colombia.

Giulia

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Mad traffic

March 2nd, 2010 / No Comments » / by giuliab

Two words that perfectly sum up my first impression of São Paulo. Okay: we arrived just at rush hour and the city is huge, but the journey from the airport took us absolutely ages, despite the driver trying his best to find as many shortcuts as one can possibly imagine.

Anyway, we’re finally here, the crew is already loading in for tomorrow’s gig. I haven’t seen the Morumbi Stadium yet, but it’s supposed to be MASSIVE: with a capacity of over 60,000 people, I can only imagine how much noise Coldplay fans will make when they recognize the first few notes of their favourite songs. And from my short experience, that usually happens with every single song!

Oxfam will be at the venue with 20 volunteers led by the amazing Carlos: you’ll see them distributing bookmarks and if you ask they’ll be more than happy to have a chat about how you can take action against climate change.

Last night’s gig in Rio was amazing, despite the Coldplay Cloud (yes, the crew has officially named it) struck again just before the band went on stage, but Rio de Janeiro’s people kept on singing out loud under their colourful plastic macs.

The grand finale here:

That reminds me that I haven’t mentioned the supporting band on tour yet: Bat for Lashes. When they go on stage with their moon and stars backdrop it’s like being projected into a dream PLUS Natasha wears amazing outfits (sorry… little girly note).

Time to go now. See you tomorrow, amigos paulistas!

Giulia

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Boa noite, Rio de Janeiro!

February 28th, 2010 / 1 Comment » / by giuliab

Hello from Rio de Janeiro.

Coldplay are just about to play tonight in the famous sambodromo Apoteose and Oxfam is here, as the band have asked us again if we wanted to come along.
This time it’s me, Giulia, trying to make the most of this opportunity for Oxfam to be heard and to involve as many fans as possible. And I will be reporting for you on the fabulous life of the ‘Oxfam Rep’ on tour.

The tour started last Friday in Buenos Aires, with about 50,000 people in the River Plate stadium singing along to their songs. I was there, free from Oxfam duty for the first concert and suddenly recruited for helping out with firing butterfly-shaped confetti during Lovers in Japan: an exciting task that is likely to continue for the rest of the tour. So that’s just one of the magic moments of the show, and the Argentinian fans replied with an amazing blue ola made of cell phones (that’s how it goes these days, no more old-style lighters).

Now we’re in Brazil for two concerts (Rio and Sao Paulo) and it’s been a long day for the tour crew because of delays after the earthquake in Chile. Oxfam is sending staff to Santiago to assess the situation (just thought it’d be nice to point that out in an Oxfam blog).

Right now twenty-one great volunteers from Oxfam Brasil are campaigning on the issues of climate change, asking people to sign up to Tic Tac - you can do it here:

www.tictactictac.org.br

The Apoteose is a strange venue: it’s the place where the carnival parade is held, so it’s a long, long corridor among two huge stands. Oxfam’s tent is opposite the stage, near the entrance, so if you get a moment, come and say hello!

Giulia

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