Optimo's Foodbank Fundraiser aims to help Glasgow's hungry

JD Twitch and JG Wilkes to raise money for city foodbanks at Art School event

Optimo's Foodbank Fundraiser aims to help Glasgow's hungry

Torsten Lauschmann, from Startle Reaction at Dundee Contemporary Arts, 2011

Glasgow's Art School is being taken over for a fundraising event supporting Glasgow foodbanks on Fri 13 Mar. The line-up includes Optimo (organisers, along with Autonomous Glasgow), Nightwave, Harri & Domenic, MWX and many more, as well as visual art from Torsten Lauschmann, Luke Fowler and Diane Edwards.

We spoke to JD Twitch and JG Wilkes (Optimo) about who's taking part, why the event is necessary and why other club nights don't get involved.

All funds raised go to Glasgow foodbanks, although guests are asked not to bring food donations on the night.

Why did you decide to hold another Foodbank Fundraiser?

JD: We wish we didn't have to do one but as long as a situation persists where people in Glasgow are unable to feed themselves properly, we'll feel compelled to do something to help. Ultimately the fact that in one of the richest countries in the world we even need to have foodbanks is a sign of a sickness in our society engendered by successive governments who persist in persecuting and scapegoating those most in need. Ultimately, that is what we need to change.

Did the robbery at the Greater Maryhill foodbank in February motivate this latest fundraiser?

JD: We were shocked to hear that. We actually already had this one planned before hearing that news. Our first fundraiser was for Maryhill foodbank but it is important to be aware that there are a large number of foodbanks around the city. Today we learned that Castlemilk foodbank may be forced to close due to a supply shortage, so this time round we aim to donate to a few different foodbanks.

How did you choose the acts appearing?

JG: We put together the line-up out of friends really, and kept it to Glasgow based performers. It's important that we didn't begin to incur costs of any kind by laying out for travel and accommodation for artists based further afield. This way we don't touch the funds we manage to gather from tickets sales and donations, and every penny generated goes to Glasgow Foodbanks to buy provisions. That's been the model for doing these fundraisers and everyone involved has stepped up so generously to work this way with us. Apart from maximising the funds by comprising the line-up of entirely Glasgow-based performers, we feel there is such a plethora of talent here and no need to look further afield.

Can you tell us more about the non-musical performances – the video art and talks – that are taking place?

JG: So far we've invited Torsten Lauschmann (artist, experimental filmmaker and motorcycle mechanic), Luke Fowler (Turner Prize nominated artist, filmmaker and musician) and Diane Edwards (experimental video-artist and VJ). We'll be utilising some of the less-known spaces in the building as well as the main rooms for installations and interventions by these artists.

Where do you think the club scene stands in terms of backing causes like this? Musicians and comedians often put their names to specific causes or hold benefits and fundraisers but it seems those in the clubbing industry don't so much - why do you think this is?

JD: I have no idea why more clubs don't do it. Saying that, I have seen plenty of club based fundraising nights happen in Glasgow over the years but as an industry in general, I don't see why it couldn't happen more. However, one problem is that club nights tend to be busiest at weekends. I make a large part of my living dj'ing at weekends and simply couldn't afford to give up as many weekend nights as I might like to to play fundraising events.

If you could sum up your message into a few words, what would it be?

JD: All we hope to get out of it is a big pile of money to donate. Everybody from those performing to the printers to the people who put up posters to those collecting tickets are giving their time and services for free. Beyond that, our message would simply be that we think it is important to try to make our local communities the kind of communities we want to live in. Individually, we may be powerless but collectively we have all the power to do that.

Foodbank Fundraiser

The Art School is being taken over for a fundraiser in support of Glasgow foodbanks. The line-up includes Optimo (Espacio), Nightwave, Harri & Domenic, MWX, Laetitia Pleiades, Dixon Avenue Basement Jams, Afrodeesia DJs, Charlie McCann and Dick 50. There's also a treat for the eyes as well as the ears, with visual…


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