Well, the rock/metal scene in Oxford is like a desert sand, constantly changing and shifting. but always hiding a lot underneath it's surface. I can tell you of at least 5 nights I used to go to which have dissolved in the last three and a half years!
Regardless of that, whenever a night dies a new reincarnation almost always pops up in its place. So when our (my committee) transferred over in 2009 the night we had started was called Alchemy, which did pretty well considering we were independent and didn't accept any outside help (we wanted to keep it very underground -- and it was held in a cellar so it was, quite literally, underground
). In fact there's still a link to the Alchemy page on the RockSoc website. But in late 2009 the new committee changed the name to Discord because of a burgeoning night in Bristol/Bath (can't remember) which offered to help us with finances; plus they had a fairly well-known name and sleeker design. So at the moment RockSoc offers Discord as it's members night, which is once a month. They do play a fair amount of classic rock -- Dan who was Pres before me was obsessed with his classics, and used to DJ pretty well nothing else!
Other nights off the top of my head: Intrusion is an AWESOME goth/industrial night and for me probably the
best night out in Oxford, though I haven't been in a long time. That happens every second Tuesday of the month. Room 101 happens every Saturday night at the Academy and is a pretty standard night out; they play punk ska, metal and some classic rock thrown in.
Hmm, I've been out of the loop recently so those are the only regular nights I can think of, though there are always gigs happening at the Wheatsheaf (a rock pub). The Gloucester Arms is another rock pub which actually shut down temporarily sparking riots, looting and gang rape among the rock community (okay not really, but people were very sad about it
). The Gloc (as it's called) is usually where RockSoc will go for committee stuff or pre-drinks before going out. They have a pretty awesome jukebox selection. Someone mentioned the Purple Turtle on this thread; there is Mutiny which happens every Wednesday there, and I know people go to that. Again, a standard night out, but I don't really go just because the PT is kind of grimey..
If you want to find out more I suggest you join the RockSoc maillist, they have weekly updates about what's going on, though recently the committee have been lagging, so it's more like bi-monthly... But you'll never get more than one email per week!
I'm not so involved anymore because of final exams, but I usually try go to nights when I can.
Oh, about that indie sh*t!
There's another society which RockSoc was originally attached to called IMSoc (Indie Music Society). I don't know the first thing about them but they do have regular nights just like us and probably slightly higher turnout if I'm honest (damn them..). I think that's changing though, since we're a fairly new society (the first year of this particular incarnation was 2007-2008, and even then it only kicked off in early 2008).
Is it easy to organise events? I'd say so; if you join RockSoc or IMSoc and put the idea forth then yeah it's really easy. Is it easy to get good turnout? Hmm, well that's where the luck and research and offering a genuinely different night come in. It depends on what you're after.. If you just want to book out a free room and have a few drinks on hand, then you can probably get away with charging nothing for entry, and have a smaller more intimate party thing. Unfortunately it usually cost us £150 to get the Cellar for one night (the bar where we held our nights), about £125 for the bands, and that meant about £3-5 entry and a projected turnout of 55-90 people just to break even!
What an essay! Hope it helps