Artist Interviews

Off Tracks Charity Zoom – ‘Lockdown All Stars’

Photograph of the blog post author, Heather Froude

Heather Froude

19.1.2021

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We recently had the pleasure of chatting to Alice Kettle, one of 10 DJ’s who form the group ‘Lockdown Off Tracks DJ’s’ who have created a virtual zoom music marathon where proceeds are donated to various charities. The pandemic has been a really tough time for the arts and many people have had to adapt the way they do things, this is a prime example. 

Guests are invited to join with video so that we create a total online nightclub experience, all dancing together and allowing social interaction during these isolating times. Keeping spirits high with virtual parties, getting people to boogie and perhaps feeling a little less lonely! 

How did the 10 of you connect with each other? Did you know each other previously?

Yes, Off Tracks was founded by a crew of friends and most of us live in London and surrounding areas, so we love going out and making the most of what London has to offer in terms of music events, as well as sharing our own music. Many of the crew have been playing out at festivals, bars, clubs for some time now.

How did the Music Marathons come about? Where did the idea come from?

The first Music Marathon back in May, came about because we wanted to use our expertise to do what we can to raise money for Covid Appeal charities, at the same time as sharing our music to help people have a good time over lockdown. The first event was just with friends and fellow music lovers and it was such a success that we decided to keep going with the marathons and they’ve grown and grown in popularity ever since. It’s a great way to still enjoy music, in the comfort of our own homes and filling the gap with the lack of clubs.

What was the thought behind your creation of these amazing music marathons? How did the idea come about?

We decided to put our expertise to good use over lockdown, to put on a banging party online and raise as much money for charity as possible. The idea really stemmed from the fact that so many people have been frustrated with not being able to go out and enjoy music in ways they normally would. With clubs, gigs and festivals all being cancelled, it’s been a really hard time and we wanted to provide a way for music lovers to be able to dance and let off some steam, it’s like one big house party!

You mentioned you’ve raised money for charities such as Alzheimer’s UK, Age UK and now of course NHS Covid Appeal. How do you choose the charities you’re raising money for?

We chose Covid Appeal charities, because we all realise the current crisis that these charities are facing as a direct result of the pandemic. We want to help the most vulnerable people affected by the virus, so the choices have been simple. We also have a number of friends who work for the NHS and elderly family members who’ve suffered from Covid, which has been tragic in some cases, so it’s become close to our hearts to do what we can for these charities.

The pandemic has had a real effect on the music and party industry, how has it changed work life for you?

DJ’s have been unable to work, like so many other performers due to the pandemic and the enforced closures of venues during lockdown. It’s a really worrying time for the music industry as a whole and for Off Tracks, we’ve been looking to open our own unique venue for our music events, which is of course on hold. Saying this, we feel so lucky that we’ve been able to use the wonders of technology and the internet to be able to run our music streams and parties to raise money for these very worthy causes, that so urgently need our help. Musicians can still produce music thanks to technology without going to the studio, so this has been a massive positive to take away from the pandemic.

Do you think more could be done to support the arts in this tough time?

It’s so sad to see the closure of much loved clubs and iconic venues that have had to reluctantly close their doors, many for good, due to the massive financial impact of the pandemic making it impossible for them to survive. The arts have once again been undervalued and overlooked in terms of funding and put to the bottom of the list for help, which needs to change. London and other UK cities, are our creative hubs of culture, music, art and entertainment and without these, not only would it have an enormous impact on the economy, but cities like London would be a shadow of the places they once were, prior to Covid.

How do you think the music marathons are benefiting the general public in these uncertain times?

These lockdowns are isolating times and are having an enormous effect on people’s mental health, without social interaction and the ability to enjoy the things that we used to take for granted. Feedback from our party goers has been, that the music marathons have given people the opportunity to once again have this social interaction, see friends and make new ones at the same time as enjoying music, having fun and enjoying positive vibes in the comfort of their own homes!

Do you think you’ll carry on the marathons throughout this year?

We certainly plan to! The marathons are a great way to raise money for these charities that really need it and the Off Tracks crew love throwing these parties and seeing everyone have a great time. It’s massively worth it. Support has been so overwhelmingly positive and we’ve been so thankful for the generosity of those who’ve joined us to dance and donate, it’s beyond heartwarming that people have been loving our parties this much that we’ve been able to raise so much money so far. When we’re able to, we’re going to launch our exciting new Off Tracks venue so that we can all party together in person and we can’t wait to meet everyone and celebrate!

What has been your experience with Music Gateway so far?

Really helpful, friendly and supportive!

Where can people find the Music Marathons and how can they get involved?

Go to the Off Tracks website and on our events page follow the link to our Just Giving donations page and once you’ve made your donation, the Zoom code will be sent to you so you can come and go as you like for the full 12 hours! Keep up to date on our website, Facebook and Instagram as well!

We really hope you enjoyed reading all about Off Tracks and all the amazing work they’re doing and plans to do in the future! Music Gateway is also here to help you. Find people to collaborate and work within our global community, promote your music, get your music featured in film, tv, games, adverts and more! The best part is that you can try Music Gateway for free, no strings attached, just sign up below.

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