● 16th March 2017 – Music

Born out of a desire to contribute to charities battling the biggest humanitarian crisis since the second world war, Refuge Boogie is a party with a difference. With approximately 65.3 million people now refugees, seeking asylum, or internally displaced we are living in an ever growing crisis that will never be resolved unless action is taken. Whilst world leaders sit back twiddling their thumbs, charities do vital work every day to ensure that everyone has access to the basic necessities. Our governments’ recent decision to allow only 350 out of an expected 3000 child refugees into the country is a clear indication that this crisis is not high on their agenda. It, therefore, falls to us to take matters into our own hands…

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better.”
– Dr. Suess

Refuge Boogie promises to give all proceeds from their events to the ‘Help Refugees’ charity and aims to raise awareness amongst the second city’s party goers. For the launch party tonight, Refuge Boogie will be hosting some of Birmingham’s best selectors at Spotlight where a fun evening fueled by disco, house, jazz and everything in between is guaranteed; this is a party that you won’t feel guilty for attending. We spoke to founder Jade Houlahan to find out more.

“We’re all aware of the refugee crisis. It’s often hot topic of conversation amongst me and my friends. With various news outlets reminding us about it every day, it’s pretty much everywhere. From stuff that I’ve read online and conversations that I’ve had with people, I’ve found it quite shocking how so many are completely heedless to the tragic circumstances these people face everyday. I’m not saying that doing this makes me super aware of everything by any feat. But people get so caught up in their everyday lives that the troubles these people are facing seem so distant and unfathomable: I suppose we’re all quite ignorant in a way.”

“An obvious example of this ignorance and detachment can be seen across the pond. Trump’s entire campaign and his ridiculous travel ban on Muslims entering the US is, has been, and will continute to be a theatrical debarkle of unparalleled ridiculousness. We should be ignoring Trump, not this crisis! I attended an anti-Trump rally in Victoria square a few months back. People were chanting ‘Refugees welcome’, there was a guest speaker recalling different Refugee stories that she had read or had been told first hand and it really gave me a sense of perspective; it really made me think about how lucky we all are to have the things we do; and moreover, it made me realise we have the power, and the opportunity, to do something to make a difference.”

The charity that Refuge Boogie is supporting is doing just that. Not just simply another aid organization, Help Refugees work where governmental and other non-governmental bodies can (or will) not. Filling the gaps and providing emergency aid and vital services to those affected by the global refugee crisis they act fast to get aid and services directly and immediately to the people who need it most. By identifying the most effective grassroots groups,  local people, individual volunteers and refugees themselves active in the crisis, and providing them with funding and support, Help Refugees is making the vital work that these people do every day possible.

“The woman who founded Help Refugees only intended to raise £1000 but within a week of starting the charity, they raised £55,000 just by raising awareness online. I thought that, that was amazing and goes to show that people are willing to donate as long as someone else takes the initiative so this is me taking the initiative.”

“I’ve always thought that there should be more charitable nights in Birmingham anyway. You look south and Dance for Refuge has been running for a while now so I guess I’m taking inspiration from them. Percolate also do a lot in aid of Mind, the mental health charity. So yeah, I saw that there was a place for it in Birmingham and thought this was a very worthy cause so here we are.”

Heading up the evening will be residents and promoters from Shadow City’s, aptly named, Shadow City Soundsystem. They’ve been causing a bit of a stir recently, their mix for Inverted Audio x Farr Festival’s mix series has graced the speakers at BabMag HQ a few times so we’re looking forward to seeing what they bring to the table. Alongside them George Jackson and Jack Dyche. George co-owns Birmingham minimal party re:cord and Jack’s vast DJing experience has earnt him sets at some of the best nights in Brum and further afield. Both tend to sway towards the darker, more thought-provoking, realms of electronic music but they might play a bit of disco… who knows. Kicking off proceedings are Moodfix’s Trav and Tucker. Residents for one of our favourite parties at the Hare and Hounds, we’re guessing the guys will be showcasing what Moodfix is all about… good vibes, jazz, and per-cush-ion.

Refuge Boogie is by no means a solution to the global humanitarian crisis that we are living through. But the launch of this event will hopefully encourage others from Birmingham and Beyond to do all that they can to support charities like @HelpRefugees. It’s certainly a great thing for us to see happening.

Online tickets are £4

Tip the writer, support creatives.

Donations go directly to the writer. Please specify their name in the PayPal note.