A Raised Fist & A Helping Hand

Jason White (Organiser Barnsley) – WSO Interview #15

“We Barnsley folk do a damn good job of raising money for those who need it the most.  If there is a cause still worth fighting for, we’ll get up and fight.”

jason whiteWe talk to Jason White, organiser of ‘We Shall Overcome Barnsley’ which will take place on Friday 2nd to Sunday 4th October at the award winning Barnsley Rock & Blues Venue, over two stages.

Tell us about yourself

I’m known for running alternativebarnsley.com (and the facebook page of the same name), which is a blog that promotes local artists and events. I also organise my own monthly gigs under that name too. Personally, I like all kinds of music from folk to black metal, from electronica to punk. I’m a real ale connoisseur and for my real job, I work in a museum.

For We Shall Overcome I want as many people as possible coming to these shows, so I don’t want it restricted just to those musicians who are openly socialist or actively political.  Saturday will simply be the best of popular and local rock and indie, spread over a stage for big bands and a second/acoustic lounge type stage. Sunday’s music will have more of a message. We will have a main stage full of punk, ska, hardcore, spoke word and lots more good stuff. Second stage will be stripped back sets from local folk musicians singing songs of protest and revolution.
What made you want to get involved?

My good friend Tony Wright of The Hurriers told me about this. He approached me and local musician Chris Sammon to help put together an event. I said yes straight away and got on board a shit load of local promoters and musicians to help out.

Despite Barnsley being a town that has constantly had its nose rubbed in the dirt over the last thirty years, we’ve always got back up and fought. Not only that, we Barnsley folk do a damn good job of raising money for those who need it the most. If there is a cause still worth fighting for, we’ll get up and fight. This weekend will be no different.

What inspires you or makes you hopeful?

People. Simple as that. It’s what I tell the Jehovahs Witnesses when they come round knocking. When they ask what I believe in, I say people.

What are you most looking forward to about October 2-4?

It’s about people coming together right? Saturday, it’s going to be good to see new people coming out who’s seen what the event is about. Maybe people who don’t often go out to watch live music. That’s always great.

Sunday, hopefully some people will return for something a little harder. Listen to the lyrics. Sing along. Dance harder and donate harder. As much as some will be in it for the craic, and it will be a damn good craic, we got to remember why we’re doing it.

Find out more about Jason’s events on Facebook


Author: Matt Hill Songwriter

Storytelling singer-songwriter and community artist who offers a British take on folk and Americana. Formerly known by the stage name Quiet Loner. Recent projects include a songwriting residency in a museum, an album co-written with people at a homeless project and a stint as a resident musician in a prison.

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