An all-inclusive, fuzzy-hearted night of everyone embracing their inner freak on the dance floor to some sick techno, electro, house, dub, and ambient beats and mixes, while contributing to not one, but TWO fantastic charities? How can one ask for anything more? Come join Project Zeus and their resident DJ’s and friends whipping up a recipe for a great night on Monday, February 13th at The Cellar. The party begins at 11pm and doesn’t stop until 3 am. You’ll be dancing so hard you’ll forget that the price you payed for your night is supporting something greater than the self-liberation you’ll inevitably experience from hours of uninhibited limb-flailing enjoyment. The Oxford Student joined with Oxford student and event-runner Charlie La Fosse, to get to the heart ambitions of Project Zeus and their personal motive for hosting this event.
Who is involved in Project Zeus and how did you guys get started?
Project Zeus started out as just me and two friends – Fin Johnston and Dan Keane – sharing songs over messenger when we all joined here in 2014! It then expanded into a facebook group, now with just over 300 members – it’s just a pretty nice place to share, listen to and discuss a pretty wide variety of music, centring loosely around underground electronic music. It includes a lot of people from Oxford, but also from all round the world – it’s a pretty casual thing, but proved to be a great springboard for putting on a night in Cellar in 2016. We’ve also now set up a Soundcloud channel over the summer, which features ourselves’ and our friends’ mixes and even some productions.
What inspired you guys to keep the Project running as a non-profit?
When we put on our first night in 2016, the two charities we split our profits between – Mind and Help Refugees – just felt very pertinent at the time. The Cellar is a fantastic place to put on a night, and especially fundraisers: it’s manageable, affordable, and most importantly people just absolutely love turning it out there, so the money you can raise is actually pretty significant. There is also a great tradition here of DIY electronic and dance nights being either not-for-profit, or regularly donating a significant proportion of ticket sales to charity – Patchwork supporting charities such as IraQueer and Hand in Hand for Syria, Glue regularly donating to OxHop, Organised Fun supporting the White Helmets in Aleppo, amongst many other nights doing the same. Being able to go out and listen to music is both a privilege and luxury, so raising awareness and donating to good causes seems if anything like a small gesture – we hope it’s something that continues in Oxford!
These two charities are very close to home at the moment – two friends of ours were diagnosed with breast and testicular cancer respectively quite recently, so the night is for them! Orchid undertakes pioneering research in testicular, prostate and penile cancers, as well as promoting awareness and holding great campaigns such as ‘Check your Chaps’ and ‘Fathers and Sons’. Breast Cancer Care is an equally brilliant charity, offering invaluable care, support and information to anyone affected by breast cancer in any way – both of the charities focus on the importance of early detection, and this is something we’re hoping to raise awareness about too! We’re just very happy to be able to support them in some small way. Oxford Pink Week earlier in the term was just a massive success – we want to carry on some of that fun energy, and promote messages about early detection and self-care.
You’re also raising awareness for Feelin’ Yo’self. What does this mean for you guys at Project Zeus?
Feelin’ Yo’Self is what it’s all about! Regularly checking for symptoms of breast and testicular cancer is just so important, and whilst awareness is getting better and better, we thought putting on a night that encouraged people to check up on themselves was a fun way to do it. Feelin’ Yo’Self is also just about general self-care – it’s about feeling yourself, feeling your outfit and feeling your hairdo, letting loose to a wild variety of tasty jams and rhythms, and essentially having a good time with your friends – a good way to shake off some Oxford stress!
Feel Yo’Self with Project Zeus will be on Monday, February 13th from 11 pm-3 am. Tickets at the door are: £3 before 11.30 and £5 after