Tonight at Proud Larry’s, you can help improve youth literacy in Oxford and Lafayette county all while catching some of Oxford’s favorite artists perform.

LOU Reads: A Benefit Concert for Youth Literacy, is an event being put on by The United Way of Oxford-Lafayette County and being hosted at Proud Larry’s, with all ticket proceeds going towards the area’s youth literacy programs.

The concept for the event came from Ben Strassman, who is an AmeriCorps VISTA stationed at the United Way of Oxford and Lafayette County. The idea sprung after he saw a poster for The L.O.U. Reads Coalition around when rock icon Lou Reed died and noticed the similarities in the name. Later when Strassman saw that the coalition received funding from United Way, he began to start putting things in motion for a benefit show.

“It’s a lot of Oxford area musicians covering Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground songs because of the pun, because that’s how this whole thing spawned,” Strassman said.

Performing tonight will be musically diverse lineup of Kate Teague, Kit Thorn, Reid Haynie and Alex Thiel, formerly of Carlos Danger, and Ben Ricketts.

“We tried to get bands that would hit a whole bunch of different markets,” Strassman said.

The event came to fruition after Proud Larry’s owner Scott Caradine agreed to host the event and help raise the money. In addition to the ticket proceeds, there’s also a book drive to aid the literacy program, and anyone who donates a book will be entered to win a $50 gift card for Proud Larry’s.

Currently, The United Way of Oxford-Lafayette County is in the process of choosing who they will fund for the next cycle, but in the past their literacy program has helped benefit The Lafayette Literacy Council, Leap Frog, Excel by 5, LOU Reads, helping to provide books and free tutoring to the youth in Oxford and Lafayette County.

Tickets for the event are $10, with doors opening at 8 p.m. and music starting at 9 p.m.

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