By Laura Ferreiro
As Coldplay gear up to embark on a massive North American tour later this month, they are also busy recruiting volunteers to staff their shows across the U.S. Why? Because they’re working with Oxfam America, the international relief and development organization that creates lasting solutions to poverty, hunger and injustice.
The chart-topping band is seeking volunteers at each of their “Mylo Xyloto” tour stops including Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles, Miami and Chicago to talk to concertgoers about Oxfam’s GROW campaign, which promotes food justice and aims to eliminate hunger around the world.
“The GROW campaign is one of those rare campaigns where we can talk about something everyone can identify with,” says Bob Ferguson, Oxfam’s Manager of Creative Alliances and Outreach who works directly with Coldplay. “Everybody knows what it’s like to feel at least a little hungry. The GROW campaign is very much about conversations – people engaging with their peers and family members, talking about food and its place in society.”
Coldplay have been active supporters of Oxfam for several years, advocating for issues including making trade fair to end injustices against poor farmers, and Oxfam’s Hope for Haiti Appeal, calling for funds to help those affected by the country’s severe 2010 earthquake. Frontman Chris Martin traveled to Ghana with Oxfam to learn more about how trade injustices affect poor farmers, and to Haiti to see the devastating effects of the earthquake first-hand.
“Coldplay understand exactly who we are and what we do,” says Ferguson. “Chris has seen our work in the field. They don’t take us lightly. We’ve worked with them for so many years it’s an actual partnership.”
Coldplay and Oxfam are currently looking for volunteers in each city who are passionate about social justice and talking to others about it. Volunteers will arrive at the venue for training a few hours before the show begins, and will receive free tickets to the concert. “They often get stellar seats …sometimes they end up right in the pit in front of the stage,” says Ferguson.
Also, check out Bob Ferguson’s top 5 bands of the moment!
Coldplay U.S. tour dates below:
Apr. 24 – Portland, OR @ Rose Garden Arena
Apr. 25 – Seattle, WA @ KeyArena
Apr. 27 – San Jose, CA @ HP Pavilion At San Jose
May 1 – Los Angeles, CA @ Hollywood Bowl
May 2 – Los Angeles, CA @ Hollywood Bowl
June 22 – Dallas, TX @ American Airlines Center
June 25 – Houston, TX @ Toyota Center
June 28 – Tampa, FL @ St. Pete Times Forum
June 29 – Miami, FL @ American Airlines Arena
July 2 – Atlanta, GA @ Philips Arena
July 5 – Philadelphia, PA @ Wells Fargo Center
July 8 – Washington, DC @ Verizon Center
July 29 – Boston, MA @ TD Garden
Aug. 3 – East Rutherford, NJ @ Izod Center
Aug. 7 – Chicago, IL @ United Center
Aug. 11 – St. Paul, MN @ Xcel Energy Center