Review: Annie Mac @ Oxjam, Manchester

Superstar DJ Annie Mac is effortlessly cool as she turns up to the decks in the Oxfam Emporium in the Northern Quarter, coffee in hand.

She signals a friendly hello to onlookers, some of who have merely popped into the shop for a spot of afternoon bargain hunting – none the wiser that Mac has just entered the room to perform at the charity’s grassroots music festival: Oxjam.

But there’s something lingering in the air. Not everyone knows it yet, but one of the UK’s biggest DJs is about to drop an incredible set in the corner of the store, in what she describes as ‘one of the strangest gigs I’ve ever played.’

Mac has somehow made time for the rainy Saturday afternoon gig smack bang in the middle of two performances at The Warehouse Project this weekend.

Granted, the small charity shop isn’t the same kind of audience Mac is used to playing in front of. However, the energy in the room starts slipping towards escalation as she opens her set.

Within a matter of moments, the already large crowd grows so much so that people are spilling out of the doors and onto the streets trying to get a view of the DJ.

And with that, the goal had been achieved.



You see, Annie Mac hasn’t turned up to a random charity shop for the heck of it. Instead, she’s here to support Oxjam, the grassroots music festival put on every year by Oxfam.

Totally run by volunteers and now operating in 36 cities across the UK, Oxjam strives to bring people and communities together through great music, giving undiscovered talent the opportunity to showcase their work with all proceeds going to Oxfam.

Mac is a slightly bigger name than most of the other artists involved, but the star turned up on the day to support the cause as someone who is renowned for championing emerging artists on the music scene.

Serena Tramonto, Media Officer for Oxfam Manchester, spoke to MM about the importance of Oxjam and what it means to the charity to have someone like Mac on board.

She said: “It’s really great that Annie is supporting a festival like Oxjam, which is all about supporting small venues and local grassroots music, because this is the way in which we can build a bigger British music scene.

“It’s amazing that Annie has been able to come and support it with her presence and her amazing music.”

Hannah Thacker, the Oxjam Manchester Festival Manager, also spoke about how Manchester had the pleasure of kicking off the Oxjam season with various gigs and events around the Northern Quarter last weekend.

She explained: “Lots of the other Oxjam events start this weekend, so hopefully having Annie Mac here today will raise the profile of those events and get people going down to them.

“Oxjam Manchester was last weekend and a huge success. We had the pleasure of kicking of the nationwide festival and had artists from all different genres playing over four different venues in the Northern Quarter.”

All the money raised through Oxjam goes directly to Oxfam, the UK’s biggest charity that fights against global poverty.

As Mac’s set came to a close, there was no doubt that the atmosphere in the room was electric. As fans started to file out of the shop, it was clear that Mac’s music had produced the desired effect: an afternoon of bringing people together through the power of great music, all in the name of a fantastic cause.

*You can find out more about upcoming Oxjam events HERE.

Image courtesy of Danny Cleaton via Twitter, with thanks.

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