The Silk Road Panel, an event initially scheduled to take place at the Oxford Union in early November, has relocated to a college venue following concerns over “anticipated anti-free speech protests” incited by another event being hosted at the Oxford Union on the same day. The Panel, organised by the Oxford Silk Road Society, will represent the first time senior diplomatic leaders from all five Central Asian states – the Republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan – sit on the same panel at a British university. The panel discussion coincides with Alice Weidel’s visit to the Union, which is also scheduled for Wednesday 7th November. Weidel’s visit has attracted a flurry of negative attention in recent weeks, with Stand Up to Racism Oxford and Unite Against Fascism coming together to organise a protest against the Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) party leader’s visit on grounds that her party “built up its following by stoking up racism against migrants, Muslims, and refugees.” Protestors plan to gather on St Michael’s Street from 6pm on the day of Weidel’s speaker event – at the same time diplomats speaking on the Silk Road Panel were scheduled to dine at the Union, their panel having taken place in that afternoon. Oxford Union President Stephen Horvath told Cherwell: “We regret that the Silk Road Society have chosen to move their exciting panel out of our premises, but we respect their decision.“There were some constraints on our end [to host the Panel on Union premises] due to the anticipated anti-free speech protests that evening (e.g. the inability to host an enjoyable post-event dinner in the Macmillan Room if there are megaphones being used in St Michael’s Street, difficulty for the exit of speakers by car). “There were also points from the Silk Road Society (e.g. the sensitivity of diplomats in thinking the protest might be about them, the request that there must be a dinner). “In light of this, our two societies explored a number of avenues for rescheduling the event, including cancelling the dinner, or changing to one of two possible dates in a seven day window surrounding the scheduled event. “The Silk Road Society then unilaterally (and I don’t mean this in a pejorative way – it is of course their right) decided to move the event off premises and cease any logistical co-operation with the Union in this event.” Silk Road Society President Marcello Fantoni told Cherwell: “Due to the expected protests at the Union on the day that the panel was to be held, we decided to relocate the event to ensure that everything goes smoothly for all parties. “We are confident that we will still be able to host a very productive discussion at our new location, but we regret that it seems preference is being given to controversial speakers.”Fantoni also cited concerns about “forced association through proximity” with the Weidel event. Horvath confirmed that the Union also asked Weidel if she might reschedule so the the Silk Road event could go ahead. However, the far-right politician was “unable to amend her intended travel schedule” to accommodate for a date change. The Silk Road Panel is will now take place in the Nissan Lecture Theatre at St Antony’s College, at the same time as previously scheduled. Oxford Union members will still be able to enjoy free entry for the event.The UK embassies of all five Central Asian Republics have been contacted for comment.
Travis Book – Tennessee Side Of ThingsAnimal Parts – Where The Heart IsBreathe Owl Breathe – Silent Movie ReelBrian Wright – We Don’t Live ThereBurning Bridget Cleary – Oh My Little Darling_Fire on the MountainCharlie Robison – Look Out ClevelandChristopher Paul Stelling – You Can Make ItDinosaur Bones – SleepsickElephant Revival – Grace Of A WomanHa Ha Tonka – Colorful KidsHave Gun, Will Travel – Standing at the End of the WorldJ. Roddy Walston & The Business – Heavy BellsMelody Walker & Jacob Groopman – We Made it HomeNoam Pikelny – Road to ColumbusSteep Canyon Rangers – Stand And DeliverSWF – Let It Be ToldThe Bankesters – Cups (When I’m Gone)The Darcys – The RiverThe Devil Makes Three – StrangerThe Gospel Whiskey Runners – Shake It OffThe High Jump Heart – Signal FiresThe Howlin’ Brothers – Dixie FriedThe Rigneys – Double or NothingThe Royal Concept – RadioVikesh Kapoor – I Dreamt BluesWatermelon Slim – Blue FreightlinerWild Ponies – Trigger October is upon us. That means many things: the leaves are changing, mountain views across the Blue Ridge are spectacular, the temperatures are a little crispier in the morning, and Trail Mix is back at it with another tasty set of tunes.We kick Trail Mix October off with a brand new track from Travis Book, bass player for The Infamous Stringdusters. Travis wrote “Tennessee Side Of Things” with Burle Galloway, noted songwriter who has recorded with Yonder Mountain String Band and the ‘Dusters, among others. Travis and his mates are gearing up for the fourth annual Festy Experience, which takes place October 10th thru 13th in Nelson County, Virginia. Stay tuned to the Trail Mix blog next week, when we chat with Travis about the new tune, the Festy, and his new side projects.On the heels of my recent trip to IBMA, Trail Mix is featuring some top notch bluegrass this month. Check out new tunes from Noam Pikelny, Steep Canyon Rangers, The Bankesters, Melody Walker & Jacob Groopman, and The Rigneys.Trail Mix is happy to welcome back some fantastic artists – Elephant Revival, Brian Wright, The Devil Makes Three, The Howlin’ Brothers, and Ha Ha Tonka all return with outstanding new tracks.There are some great Trail Mix first timers this month, too – take a listen to the offerings from J. Roddy Walston & The Business, The Gospel Whiskey Runners, Watermelon Slim, The High Jump Heart, Burning Bridget Cleary, Breathe Owl Breathe, The Royal Concept, and Have Gun, Will Travel.And there’s still more! At 27 tracks, October’s Trail Mix is almost too good to believe. But believe. Download it. Stream it. Share it with an old friend or a new buddy you meet on some bald summit while you revel in autumn’s glory. And, of course, get out and buy some of these great albums. Support these great artists that support Trail Mix.