AN INDEPENDENT music venue, which successfully fought off plans to close it down, is celebrating by bringing back one of Oxford’s biggest bands.

Indie-rockers Foals played some of their earliest shows at The Cellar, in Frewin Court, off Cornmarket. Now the venue is inviting the band back for a special party to thank supporters for rallying around to save it.

The band will play a DJ set, alongside Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs – the stage name of Oxford DJ Orlando Higginbottom – and local band Low Island, on December 19.

Music-lovers rallied around the club, the last truly independent gig venue in the city centre, when its owners, St Michael’s and All Saints’ Charities, revealed plans to to convert the basement club to give potential tenants of the shop above more storage space.

The store had been occupied by cosmetics company Lush, but is now vacant following the trader’s move to the new Westgate.

A campaign to fight the plans attracted 14,000 signatures – with 5,000 people backing the campaign less than a day after the Oxford Mail broke the story about the threatened closure.

The charity withdrew a planning application to change the use of the site last month, and has now agreed to grant it a new lease – assuring the future of the club, and allowing much-needed refurbishment to go ahead.

Venue manager Tim Hopkins said: “Foals & TEED cut their teeth at The Cellar and are returning for a one-off event this Christmas to support the venue and raise money for local charities.

"The night will begin with a live set from exciting new Oxford talent, Low Island, followed by Foals & TEED DJ sets.

"This is an unmissable line up and the chance to celebrate the Cellar’s triumph against the threat of closure.”

All profits will go to The Highfield Adolescent Mental Health Unit and homelessness charity Crisis Skylight.

Tickets are available from