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2011 Oxfam tour Blog (@Oxfamontour )


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An intimate gig at La Cigale in Paris

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.



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Oxfam on tour with Coldplay 2011

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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  • 1 month later...

2am in Paris

Posted by Pete Lusby on 16 December 2011


At the time of writing: 2.10am. Been in Paris for less than 24 hours. But we’re off soon. Just waiting for a couple of the guys still loading their gear out at Bercy. It’s been a long ‘day’ but a good one. The reception the band got when they went on stage was phenomenal.


Anticipation, excitement and happiness just seemed to flood the arena in a twinkling mass of waving arms and wide eyes. What a sight that is, when the wristbands light up and the whole arena, full to the rafters, raise its voice to welcome the 4 guys from England, on stage.

This evening I watched a woman’s face as she went through what looked like a real mix of emotions. She looked amazed, stunned, overwhelmed, and completely happy, and then she couldn’t control her tears. Tears of joy. That’s quite an impact for a band to have.


Can Oxfam’s work have the same impact? Well, perhaps not in the same way, but maybe it can. If someone hasn’t eaten for days, and is given a first meal, or is helped to get a new small scale farming deal to sell their farming products and secure the future of their family, maybe it can.

I’ll leave the emotional stuff to the band; after all, they’re pretty good at it. But we will do what we can, to help all the Coldplay fans who are hungry for change, to see a positive outlook for the future of our global food system. The GROW campaign is really growing.

We will do what we can, to help all the Coldplay fans who are hungry for change, to see a positive outlook for the future of our global food system. The GROW campaign is really growing. Loads more fans got involved with our campaign this evening, having their photos taken to be added on the Oxfamontour wall of fans faces, following us on twitter, tweeting the hashtag #lovefoodhateinjustice and following us on this tour blog. You may have even seen a certain hot dog pop up on Coldplay’s live blog.


Paris Bercy fans have been great to us. The Oxfam France agir-ici volunteers have been fantastic. Turning up to give their time to help us to spread the word on GROW. All smiles and full of energy and enthusiasm. They were a great bunch and I have really enjoyed my brief experience working with them. So thank you to all of them. Thank you to all the fans too, who came and made it what is was.






p.s. Today’s surprising story is of when I saw a slightly unusual ‘cloak room’. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen one like it, full of motorbike helmets and not a cloak in sight. I guess scooters are a popular way to get around in Paris…



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The tour rolls on


Posted by Pete Lusby on 16 December 2011


It’s been an exciting, fun, strange, tiring and memorable experience, getting back on this tour. I’m remembering now just how fast things move. Tuesday: Sheffield-London-Dover-Calais. Wednesday: Paris. Thursday: Cologne. And now: Rotterdam. Plus all the places that the train/tube/tour bus/ferry passed through on the way.


Now I have most of a day to catch my breath, and the fans have a day to get excited about the concert at the Ahoy tomorrow. Let’s recap, for those at the back…

Hotdog is hungry for change in Cologne

Perhaps that should be bratwurst is hungry for change, as we were in Germany. Last night our volunteers worked their socks off. They covered the whole arena (a huge ice hockey venue) trying to find as many of you lot as they could. I never cease to be impressed by their energy and commitment to Oxfam and to GROW.

It’s inspiring to work with new groups of people every night in different cities, all who want to make a difference in the world. It’s also fantastic to work on such a massive tour with one of the world biggest rock bands, knowing that Oxfam is an important part of the tour and that the band want us to be there talking to people about how they can be involved in the GROW campaign.

After making their way in and stopping to chat with Oxfam, the Cologne crowd – joined by our fabulous volunteers – were suitably rowdy when Coldplay treated them to another incredible show. The best part about all this is that everyone involved seemed to be really enjoying it. Volunteers, fans, band, crew. I haven’t seen anyone leaving in a mood, arguing or having a bad time. When 16,000 people leave happy, that tells a story.

The crew on this tour works very hard to make it all happen. Each morning a rig, stage, sound, light, video, dressing rooms, catering, production and more, is all set up and swung into action to make it all come together. Then each night, as soon as the band take a bow and rush off the stage, all that is removed piece by piece and like a gigantic jigsaw is loaded into its rightful place and shifted off by the truck drivers to the next place. Then last of all, when the crew hit the hay in the tour bus bunks, the bus drivers quietly and expertly go about their jobs driving through the night. It’s an almighty machine. An incredibly well organised and well-oiled one. I have huge respect for what my colleagues at Oxfam and at Coldplay do. The tour is a great place to be right now and it’s great to be back.

Last night, Germany. Tomorrow night, The Netherlands. It’s a whistle stop tour of Europe. The touring machine will spring into action and the crew will complete the jigsaw again. The volunteers will arrive, the fans will flood into another packed out show and this fantastic band will come and entertain thousands of fans. I’ll need some sleep first, but I’m looking forward to it already.


If you’re hungry for change, come and find the @oxfamnovib volunteers at the Ahoy tomorrow in Rotterdam and join GROW. Show your support on the fan wall, follow us on twitter at @oxfamontour, tweet #lovefoodhateinjustice and talk to your friends about it. Let’s make change happen.



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Hungry for a change

Posted by Pete Lusby on 17 December 2011




My unusual food story from today, is that I haven’t been eating much of it. I decided this morning that I would try just having one meal. There are millions of people in the world who may only get one meal every day. I just wanted to get an idea of what that might be like.


So my food for the day was breakfast on the tour bus. A bowl of cereal with milk. 1 banana and 2 slices of wholemeal toast with peanut butter. In the words of Samuel L. Jackson: ‘breakfast of champions’. Breakfast was 14 hours ago. I’m hungry. I’ve been drinking a lot of tea. It’s a strange thing. Without food being a part of my day, it became the biggest part of my day, the main thing. Totally dominant. I have felt concious of it the whole time. Aware that I hadn’t eaten much. An odd feeling.


I was surprised by how well my body coped. But then, I’m also aware that I’m likely to get breakfast in the morning, when I wake up feeling peckish.. It has helped me just in a very small way, to understand what it is like to go to bed hungry. I can’t pretend to all of a sudden know what its like though. I don’t mean to say that I do.


I love food. I hate injustice. I’m hungry for change. It has made me more determined to help our volunteers tomorrow, to talk to as many people as possible about the problems with the global food system. If millions of us still go without enough food due to problems with production, finances, access, crop survival, climate change… we need to do something about that. #lovefoodhateinjustice


…and I need to make sure I get some lunch tomorrow.






Raving Rotterdam

Posted by Pete Lusby on 17 December 2011



The humble English roastie


There is nothing like the sight of thousands of people jumping to the same beat in unison, with loads of different coloured twinkling lights thrown in too. Seeing the Rotterdam Rave just now has confirmed Charlie Brown as my favourite song of this tour. Brilliant. It’s kind of like the set builds up to that moment, but what a moment for the crowd to remember. I’m sure it’s not only me that likes that one, but everyone has their own favourite. The volunteers told us tonight, their favourite song, and favourite food: The Scientist, Pizza, Pasta and Paradise came out well.


Sadly none of them seemed to love English food… I ask you, what is wrong with roast potatoes?!


Anyway, I’m getting distracted from what’s happening now. Lots. The band are finishing an amazing set with ‘Fix You’ and ‘Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall’ right now. It’s really rocked tonight. The crowd seemed to be lapping it up when I went to have a peek at stage left. The crew I talked about yesterday have done a cracking job too. Lights look great. Video amazing. Sound is booming. Flapjack in catering was ‘immense’ (to quote myself..). My pocket is flashing. I’ve got a wristband in there. I finally got my hands on one.


A very important mention must go to our incredible Oxfam Novib volunteers. You have been an absolute pleasure to work with – thank you. What a team. So much energy. They were just brilliant today and deserve the applause which Coldplay are receiving on stage right now. Take a bow Coldplay (you are already). Take a bow Oxfam volunteers.


Oxfam were set up in the concourse as people entered, running past at first. Our peanut, hot-dog and sweetcorn then made their way around the whole Ahoy, accompanied by the other 17 volunteers. The band have just run out of the back of the venue. Our volunteers will be leaving, I hope with big smiles on their faces, after they campaigned on GROW and then went to enjoy the amazing MyloXyloto show.


There are a couple more thank you’s I have. This won’t become an award ceremony speech, though. The audience were great tonight, running to meet our Oxfam volunteers outside in the rain before the doors opened, to get their photos taken for the fan wall of faces and sign up to support our GROW campaign for a fairer food system. It was exciting to see and made me very happy. The venue have been great to us too.


Apart from almost losing my phone (don’t worry, Esme, I got it back!), it’s been a brilliant day.


Looking forward to the next place we’ll see Coldplay and the next place we’ll get the Oxfam food costumes out, Antwerp, Belgium. It should be another great day in what is turning out to be a really fun tour. I had better go. I need to go and finish off my days work and get a shower before I climb in my bunk for a short ride across the border.


One last thing.


Funny isn’t it. Do you ever think about how many people are doing something completely different at any one time? Earlier on in the same 10 square meter space, there were fans jumping up and down, having the time of their lives… There was a roadie lying down next to his monitor, taking a rest underneath the stage, a security guard standing firm, as if there was not even a concert happening, and Will Champion smashing the timpany drums during Viva La Vida. We want to make sure that all of those people, no matter what their day brings, have enough to eat, not to go hungry. That’s all. Hope you will help us. It’ll be a lot easier if you do. See you in Antwerp.






Extraordinary concrete steps

Posted by Pete Lusby on 18 December 2011




Hello. I’m sitting on some concrete steps. Ordinary. Concrete. Steps. However, these are steps with quite an EXTRAordinary view (I’ll post a picture from the laptop camera which I doubt can do it justice). I’m hidden underneath some of the seating above, stage right. I just glanced up at Coldplay leaving the stage at the end of the set in Antwerp…or is it the end of the set..?! The noise is deafening as the thousands of fans scream and stamp their feet on the arena floor, hoping for more. The sound of the VIVA chant is echoing round, and now, a different kind of roar as the fans get their wish – more!


Dim lights flicker on, then lazers.. the piano strikes up… and Will hits the drums as Coldplay launch into ‘Clocks’. Red lights flash from above and thousands of faces stare in this direction (not at me), arms wave and camera flashes in the crowd compete with the lighting stacks (it’s not really a fair contest). Now Chris is singing of his dreams of a white Christmas. His dreams may come true if the news I saw from back home is true.


The light contest between crowd cameras and crew lights is completely over now. ‘Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall’ has started. Each time Will hits the bass drum, a blinding flash briefly illuminates the arena and lights up every face inside these four walls, like the largest wedding photo you’ve ever seen.


It’s packed out again tonight. This tour is rolling along very well. It has been another great day for Oxfam too. Our volunteers were from Oxfam Solidarité. They spoke to hundreds of fans who entered the venue tonight and some whilst they waited patiently outside in the rain and snow, for the doors to open. The volunteers were giving the fans the chance to be involved in the GROW campaign. All of them arrived ready to spread the word about Oxfam’s work and this campaign, because of their passion for the organisation and for changing the global food system.


It’s really important - when 1 in 7 people are not eating enough food to survive, when food markets are unstable, when the climate is unstable – affecting crop security, when people are still given little chance of survival by droughts, and when food crises still affect millions of people as they have this year and still are now, forcing people to move to find food and to depend on food delivered to them in bags. It is not a sustainable way for our food system to keep going. Prices keep rising in all of our markets, supermarkets, shops, small grocery stores. Local food is sometimes harder to get hold of. These are ALL things which we can change. I admit, we will need a lot of people calling for change, and we will need world leaders and large corporations, and us as consumers, to change, but it can be done. I’m convinced. I hope those people who signed up to support the campaign will support us along the way, and I hope you will too. And why not talk to your friends about it too?


One last enormous roar, and then the house lights come on. Coldplay have just left the building. The fans are streaming out onto the streets, just like they streamed in a few hours ago. I’m always amazed at how quickly places like this become empty afterwards. Like football stadiums. Within minutes, all the thousands of fans who were crammed in here will be gone. There is a leaf-blower on the stage clearing the confetti (with a machine). People in black t-shirts and fluorescent tabards are swarming over the hundreds of road cases piled up behind the stage. Trucks are reversing into the venue to whisk all the gear off to the next city.


..And now here comes the broom army! About 30 people with brooms just walked down the steps past me. One of them was banging his broom on the floor as if to say, “SWEEP FASTER!” A few fans are still standing in awe and chatting, looking for things being thrown off the stage; last souvenirs of the presence of their favourite band only a few minutes ago. Occasionally a puff of confetti flies up into the air, thrown by those same groups of fans.


..Now the broom army appear to be trying to sweep away not only confetti, but those fans, marching in one long line of brooms. I guess that’s their way of saying, “show’s over, you can go home now”. The first aid crew are carrying their (empty) stretchers away up the steps too. Everyone is heading home. After these cases have all been filled, we will be too. Home for tonight is our bunks.


I’m going to head backstage, pack up the Oxfam road case and get it ready for load out before I get spotted by the broom army and swept away.


See you in Frankfurt.



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Donderdag Veggiedag: Belgians go veggie for the day

Posted by Rosie Cowling on 19 December 2011




Here’s a lovely little idea that Oxfam-Solidariteit and Oxfam-in-België have got behind. Donderdag Veggiedag (Veggie Thursdays). A simple, fun challenge that could potentially do wonderful things for our little planet.


In a resource constrained world, meat is a pretty inefficient way of feeding people. It’s expensive, takes a lot of energy to produce (livestock production is responsible for around half of the world’s carbon emissions) and a pretty hefty load of crops have to be grown just to feed the animals we eat. It takes 8 kg of grain, for instance, to produce 1kg of beef. Growing crops to feed animals means there is less land on which to grow crops for humans.


Believe it or not, 65% of the methane that is emitted as a result of dairy farming comes from the cows themselves. Yep! Cow farts. Methane is a greenhouse gas which contributes to global warming. It really isn’t good for our planet.


Three-quarters of the world’s agricultural land is used to raise livestock, either for grazing or for growing feed. Imagine if we started using that land to grow crops, just to feed people. It would go so much further. And by giving small-scale farmers the right tools and the right help to grow those crops, we’d be able to go some way to feeding a billion hungry mouths.

Let’s imagine we’ve been set a task. Feed as many people as you can, with just this field, all this corn and this one cow. So you use the field to grow corn to feed the cow, then from the cow, you make hamburgers. You make 50 burgers and feed 50 people.


But what if you grow the corn and then feed the people with that? For those 50 burgers, you could feed 1000 people. Seems much more economical. And the cow? Well we could just use it to make milkshakes.


We’re not saying we should all give up meat altogether. That’s never going to happen. But making a choice to have one meat-free day a week is a positive choice for change. With one day a week without meat, you’ll save 170 kg of CO 2 every year. So why not go veggie this Thursday?


Read about Donderdag Veggiedag (Veggie Thursdays) on ikgroeimee.be.


Look! Oxfam on telly in Belgium!

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Remarkable removals and a talking peanut

Posted by Pete Lusby on 21 December 2011




Remarkable. That’s what it is. Remarkable. How on earth do you get all this crew, with all it’s gear (including a stage, speaker stacks, lighting, lazers, video?!) from Frankfurt to Berlin in a matter of a few hours? The only way of doing that is with a whole lot of hardworking people doing what they do best, keeping the tour going. It’s quite something.


Watching the wheels spin into action after the band have left the stage to rapturous applause, to know that a different kind of spectacle is about to begin – so that the Coldplay show can go on the next day in a city hundreds of miles away. In amongst all that movement and activity, I’m in there packing away our Oxfam gear and getting our case ready to go on the trucks.


Once we’re loaded I get on the buses, climb in my bunk, get some rest, wake up.. and hey presto! There’s my case, in Berlin. Ready to start again. One more to go. One more until all the crew and the band can go home for Christmas.


There is a ‘last day of term’ feeling about the place today. There are Christmas songs playing on the production office radio (which by coincidence Chris Martin is on the radio selecting). There is a Christmas tree in catering. I’m wondering if I’ll see any santa hats over hard-hats today? That may be a long shot, but I’ll let you know if I do.


The message of the day in Frankfurt yesterday, was Oxfam’s GROW campaign. One phrase that will stay in my head for a while, was ‘Ich bin eine erdnuss’ (I am a peanut). That was said by our very own Oxfam peanut. Yep. I guess if you’re dressed as a peanut to raise awareness of the GROW campaign to fix the food system, it is worth reiterating what type of food you are. Make it known! Be proud of being a peanut.


Here’s a bit more about what GROW is all about..


Already, almost a billion of us go to bed hungry every night. Not because there isn’t enough, but because of injustice in the way the system works. Too many of the ways we grow things are using up and destroying the natural resources which we all need. We know we can grow in a better way – a way that contributes much more to human wellbeing, and ensures that everyone on the planet will always have enough to eat.


A broken system


Food and oil prices. Flat-lining yields. Climate change. Unfair trade. Failing markets. Inequality between men and women. Land grabs. All of these issues are connected. And all of them are contributing to a global food system that is dominated by a few powerful governments and companies. A system that is failing the rest of us.


We need a new way of thinking, and ideas that hold a promise of a better future for the many, not just the few.


It’s time to GROW


We can grow more food more fairly and more sustainably. We can press governments and companies to take urgent action to reform bad policies, to preserve scarce resources and share them fairly. Join GROW today.


Right, I’m about to get set for the last show tonight. Set our our tables and prepare for meeting our volunteers. I wonder who will be the ‘erdnuss’ tonight? Come and find us if you’ll be here.

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Too much waste

Posted by Pete Lusby on 21 December 2011




Food. We all need it. We love it too. It brings us together. It strengthens communities. It can be a source of pride, for example in a community that produces a specific cheese.


In Madagascar, Zebu is not only cattle, but a national symbol. They are valued very highly and duly respected. Zebu can be transport, pride, wealth, farming resources, fertilizer providers and food. I’m sure much more too. It seemed to me that Zebu have replaced the dog as ‘a man/woman’s best friend’.


Food is a hugely important part of our lives. In a few days millions of us will sit down to have a Christmas meal. Millions of others will share food for different festivals and celebrations all year around. We hope that you will join our GROW campaign, to push to ensure that everyone always has enough to eat.


Here are a couple of stories from our volunteers tonight. One which is particularly striking in relation to our GROW campaign. Edwin is a chef. Tonight he was an Oxfam volunteer at a Coldplay show. When I asked him about what he thought about food, he said this:


“Es tut ihm in der Seele weh, wenn so viele úbriggesliebenen Geridte weggeschmissen werden, besonders bei beireits bezahlten Buffets. Er versucht die Reste aufuhesen und vestecht sie wandmal um etwan fúr eine weitere Party oder Buffet zu benutzen, einfad etwan Neuer daraus zu machen lu Berlin ist es redt komplizeit lebensmittel zu spenden, weistens schmeizen die leute es lieber wegm als durch die komplizierte prozedur zu zehen. Es ist eben der leidtere weg.


(Here is the translation with some further words from Edwin’s partner, Britta. I apologise for any mistakes which I have made in writing this out).


“It hurts me when we throw so much away, especially from the buffet, which has already been paid for so they just don’t care and throw it away. So I try to keep the leftovers. I hide them so that I can try to make something else with them later, for the next event. There is no organisation here in Berlin where you can donate leftovers. It’s very complicated here. People would rather throw it away because they won’t just take anything. So the chef would rather throw it away so they don’t get into trouble”.


This is an example, here in Germany, of how we routinely waste huge amounts of food. It is something that we have got used to. In restaurants, cafes, markets, shops, kitchens all over the place. Where there is food, there is usually waste disposal, not just used for onion peelings. We throw good food away every day. If we are used to doing this, we need to change. We need to get used to a different way of eating and preparing food. If some people cannot put a meal on a plate, how can we scrape it off another?


There are examples like this everywhere. It is not right to suggest that if we never threw any food away where there is food available, that suddenly that food could be eaten by somebody who has less. That would be too simple a solution for too deep a problem. While this isn’t a problem that is quick or easy to solve, it is time that we tried to work together to change some of this injustice. To make a system more fair. To be hungry for change.


Max volunteered with Oxfam tonight. He works for Oxfam Germany. He wanted to say this:


“Normalerweise schreibe ich für Oxfam im Social Web, bei Facebook und Twitter. Auch dort zeigen die Menschen großes Interesse und twittern fleißig unter dem Motto #lovefoodhateinjustice. Das Schöne bei Konzerten ist aber, direkt zu sehen, wie die Menschen reagieren, dass sie offen und interessiert sind. Die Fotos mit dem Maiskolben sind auf jeden Fall sehr beliebt”.


(Translation) “Normally, I write messages on Facebook and Twitter. People there are very interested and using the hashtag #lovefoodhateinjustice. The nice thing about concerts is to see directly how people react – that they are open-minded and interested. The photos with the corn costume guy are popular too”.


I agree with Max. It has been good to see you all on this tour. It has been great to know that so many people are open to joining GROW, that Coldplay fans want to know more and show support for this cause. It’s come to an end now. It’s been a real whirlwind. Great to be back and now great to be heading home for Christmas. I hope that you have all enjoyed both the concerts and meeting Oxfam along the way. Keep an eye out for more GROW actions coming up, because we need to take you with us.


A couple of other snippets from my day:


Just watched head of security, Dave, shaking handfuls of lanyards to make a sleigh bells noise.


Production assistant, Lizzie, is wearing a santa hat with her pink wristband tied around it (which looked fun during ‘Paradise’ when it was flashing pink – very festive.


Coldplay played an incredible set tonight. The crowd was totally wrapped up in the performance and the roar which went up and up after they had left the stage before the encore was phenomenal. Thousands of people screaming and shouting for more. I wonder what it would sound like if all those people screamed and shouted for more food for people without enough. You definitely couldn’t ignore that…


We’re packing up the road cases now. The Oxfam case will be going back to Oxfam for a little while.


We’ll see you soon.



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Love food hate injustice

Posted by Rosie Cowling on 22 December 2011




So it’s time for the Coldplay boys to have a bit of a breather, enjoy the season to be jolly and all that. Well deserved, i’m sure you will agree.


And Pete! Not only has he been running around making sure all our volunteers are happy and everything is ticking along nicely tech-wise, he’s found the time to write some pretty great blogs, too. Usually at 2am with matchsticks holding his eyelids open. After all his hard work, here’s hoping he makes it back up to Yorkshire in time for a pint of Horlicks and a Bakewell tart in front of the Christmas tree.


It’s been a wild ride, taking GROW all over Europe. But what a thrill to see and hear people connect with a campaign so much! GROW is all about issues which affect everyone. It’s too easy these days to watch terrible things happening worldwide on the news and say “oh dear”. And while those things matter a great deal, we’re a lot more likely to sit up and take notice when things like food prices and climate change affect each and every one of us every day. Hopefully that adds up to more people willing to make a change.


So far we’ve had an amazing response to our Twitter hashtag, #lovefoodhateinjustice. As you probably know by now, every time someone tweets #lovefoodhateinjustice, their face appears on our GROW fan wall. We wanted to create an organic digital tree of people hungry for change. And you’ve been tweeting in your thousands! Over 3000 and still growing.


It was a no-brainer when coming to chose the hashtag because the words relate to nearly all of us. Everyone loves food, it’s a huge part of all our lives. We use it to celebrate birthdays and holidays, we cook it for friends and loved ones and we seek it out when we want a little comfort. And when we stop to think about the food system, we all can see the injustices. From the mum in Yemen who goes hungry herself and can only feed her children bread and tea, to the woman farmer in Malawi whose crops are failing because of an unexpected drought. So by tweeting those four little words, you’re part of a growing movement of people that is saying enough is enough. Let’s make the system fairer for everyone.


Last night in Berlin was the final show of the European tour. But don’t think we part ways here. In the new year, we’re going to be revving up for Coldplay’s world tour in April. And tomorrow we’ve got a very special treat in store for you…


Look at all your lovely faces! Here are some of our favourites. Are any of them you? If so, Tweet us: @Oxfamontour. If you’ve had your picture taken at one of the shows, go and tag yourself in the Facebook album.

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Exclusive video! Coldplay’s dreaming of a White Chris-mas

Posted by Rosie Cowling on 23 December 2011






You might have noticed us getting a little bit excited on Twitter about Coldplay’s thank you gift to you guys for your support of the GROW campaign since we took it on the road with the band at the start of December. Finally, we can share it with you!


For every one of you wonderful people who stopped to talk to our volunteers and sign-up at Coldplay’s shows, for every tweet, comment, hoot and holler, we promised Coldplay would bring you something very special…


Coldplay have been so impressed with the GROWing numbers on our fan wall that they decided to reward fans and supporters of the GROW campaign by gifting Oxfam an exclusive video if we could reach 3000 by today (Friday). And thanks to you guys, we hit the 3000 mark early Thursday!


So, are promised, the boys delivered. Coldplay recorded an exclusive version of White Christmas at their Berlin concert this week and have given it to us.



[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3KDBF0sX5QE]Oxfam on Tour presents Coldplay's White Christmas - YouTube[/ame]


The system by which we produce and consume food is not working. And the reasons are many and complex. But the solution is born of a simple thing. Find the people that want things to change and make their voices heard.


So we asked you to tweet. A simple little tweet, to show just how many people want change to happen. And boy did you guys tweet! In your thousands. Because we all love food but we HATE injustice.


During the Mylo Xyloto tour, Oxfam will be asking fans from London to Los Angeles to join the GROW movement to make our system of producing and consuming food fairer for everyone. This is the first of more videos that Coldplay will release throughout next year’s tour, as our movement grows and grows. So if you want to see more of the band, get your mum, your dad, your great aunt and your next door neighbour tweeting #lovefoodhateinjustice so that we can show the people who have the power to change the food system that we are hungry for change.


Merry Christmas!

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Boxing Day Bubble and Squeak

Posted by Rosie Cowling on 26 December 2011




Stuffed from all that turkey? Are you laying on your back, trying to fit one more chocolate toffee into your mouth? Good for you! Christmas is all about indulgence. Letting go a little bit (especially our waistlines) is what it’s all about. ‘Tis the season to gorge and scoff!


But Christmas is also a time to make plans for the year ahead. Why not make your New Year’s resolution one to waste less food?


The average person chows down on 6,000 calories on Christmas Day. That’s 3 times more than we should normally eat (slightly less if you’re a man). With all that food on the table, it’s no wonder so much gets thrown away. The United States produces so much food that 40% is wasted — about $100 billion worth a year.


Choosing not to waste food doesn’t have to be a big lifestyle change. Small statements make a lot of difference. For example, next time you go food shopping, why not make a list of the essential things you need and stick to it. Or, the next time your salad tray is full of odds and end cuts, make soup instead of throwing them in the compost.


Leftovers don’t have to be dull. In fact, some things taste even better for breakfast. Foods that have dried out a bit stand up better to cooking. This Oregon live blog on the dinner-for-breakfast revolution is pretty convincing.


The food system is full of problems. There’s plenty of food to go around, just look in skips outside your local supermarket. Now it’s not quite as simple as moving that food around so hungry people get to eat, though that would be nice. It’s about changing the system from its very foundations. And that starts with normal people like you and I saying “NO!” to food injustice. If we can all say it loud, it will get through to the organisations and governments that can make the changes.


This lovely, simple Boxing Day recipe will get you on your way to saying haste to waste:


Boxing Day Bubble and Squeak


The great thing about this recipe is you can just throw in whatever you have. Don’t worry about measurements. This meal comes out different every time!




- 800g leftover veg. Whatever you have left over from Christmas dinner, but brussell sprouts, carrots and greens are all good!


- a generous portion of potatoes (mashed)


- an onion (finely chopped)


- 4 rashers of streaky bacon (unless you’re veggie of course!)


- a handful of mushrooms


- 4 tomatoes, halved


- 3 large eggs, preferably free-range or organic


- sea salt a freshly ground black pepper


- a handful of grated cheddar (or whatever is left lingering on your cheese board)


- plain flour


- olive oil


To cook


1) Heat the oil in a frying pan and once hot, fry the onion for 4-5 minutes, until it starts to turn brown. Add the bacon and fry for a further 3-4 minutes.


2) Transfer the onion and bacon to a bowl. Add the mashed potatoes, cheese and the leftover veg and mash together. Season well.


3) Using your hands, shape each portion into a patty. Put a little flour on a plate and coat each cake in flour on both sides.


4) Take the pan you used to fry the onion and bacon and add one patty at a time. Fry until golden brown on both sides.


5) Serve with pigs in blankets if you have any leftover!

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