DJ Gemma on track for festival frolics

Gemma Cairney
Gemma Cairney

Back on a wintry February night, Gemma Cairney was captured by the magic of Blackpool when she attended the resort’s annual Showzam Carnival Ball.

So when she got a call a few months later asking her to DJ an after party for the new Livewire festival taking place this weekend - she didn’t have to be asked twice... especially when the headline act was going to be Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff.

“How wonderful is that [to be asked]?,” the Radio 1, 6 Music and Radio 4 DJ, presenter and author said. “It’s such a beautiful and brilliant thing; I’m all for going to unexpected places for adventure.

“I’m having an early 30s crisis and booked a month interrailing round Europe, and my DJing agent called saying ‘Can you do the after party for Will Smith and Jazzy Jeff?’, I was like ‘Yes!’.

“It’s incredible; the best way to finish my holidays.

“I’ll be flying straight to Manchester and on to Blackpool for Livewire.

“I had a wonderful time when I came to Showzam at the Tower Ballroom, when a friend was DJing at the Carnival Ball.

“I live in Margate, which has that decadent, bespoke British seaside vibe, with Illunimations and things - but it was like 10-fold in Blackpool.

“I have a lot of love for the North of England. My friends come from various places across the North, and they have memories of their holidays in Blackpool.

“Funnily enough, a lot of them have been asking to come with me.”

But with Will Smith and Jazzy Jeff responsible for massive tracks such as Summertime, the pressure’s on for Gemma to bring it with her set for the afterparty, which is part of the night’s VIP package.

“I want to get sweaty, and party and wear Will Smith’s wardrobe from the Fresh Prince Of Bel Air,” she laughed. “It’s going to be an awesome night and I’m going to come up with a banging set. I’m not the most skilled DJ in the world but I love a party and hope I can put on a good one.”

* Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff headline Livewire on Sunday, with The Jacksons on Friday and The Hit Factory on Saturday.