I recently met up with my good friend and esteemed colleague, Michael McGarry to talk all things charity, fundraising and clubbing in Manchester. For those of you who don’t know, he is the founder of Disco Inferno UK. Their nights originally hail from Bristol, and has seen great success come out of their sick parties. It’s sure to say there is a solid following back in our hometown for their take on a disco-house infused clubbing experience.
But now Disco Inferno are making an exciting move into Manchester for their Northern debut at Cubo, Fallowfield for a very special charity fundraising night. An added touch to the night is that the DJs have specially chosen the charities they are fundraising for. Steamboat and Corduroy have chosen Manchester Mind the mental health charity, and Corduroy tells me that their choice came about because ‘many people close to us struggle with mental health, so we went to them and asked which charities they know that have helped people in similar circumstances’, with Mind clearly standing out as the obvious one. Whereas the Off the Record DJs have decided to fundraise for Guide Dogs for the Blind, who do important work to help raise awareness and support those with visual impairment.
Here’s what went down when I caught up with Michael:
So this isn’t the first Disco Inferno, how did the run of nights go back in Bristol?
I started the night in Bristol back in the Summer of 2016. The first night went far better than expected and managed to sell out The Small Horse Social Club which is now unfortunately closed. The crowd absolutely loved it, so we were invited back and squeezed in another two sell out nights before the closure in early 2017. The resident DJ’s, a trio who now go by French Kiss, were incredible selectors and really elevated everyone’s mood making each night better than the one before.
Tell me about the feeling you had in the lead up to the debut night?
I was absolutely bricking it which is completely normal. I was worrying continuously that no one was going to turn up but thankfully the nightmare didn’t come true. The first people to arrive were secondary school teachers having their end of year party which was a welcome surprise. This gave me a bit of confidence that more people would arrive as they were queueing up before the venue had opened.
What made you decide to bring Disco Inferno to more Northern pastures, right into the heart of Manchester?
Well I’m an Events Management student studying in Manchester, so it would have been foolish not to at some point. I wanted to bring it up during my second year but unfortunately never got around to it. Manchester has such a thriving and diverse clubbing scene that I was very excited to be a part of.
This is the first charity fundraiser in Disco Inferno’s name, what made you decide on that?
I’ve always wanted to give my events a charitable aspect but never really had the funding to be able to give all profits to the charities involved. I applied for funding through my University to try and get enough to execute the process. They loved my pitch and awarded me with the money I required. I wanted the DJs to choose the charities as it means we will be working with, and supporting, many charities in future events. We have another night coming at the end of the term with another two brilliant charities involved that we’re very excited about.
People have expressed what a great touch it was to get the DJs playing on the night to decide on the charities to raise for. What do you think of the ones they chose?
I’m very pleased with the chosen charities as they’re both brilliant causes. With one in four students in the UK suffering from mental health issues I feel Manchester Mind is extremely relevant for target audience. They have been extremely generous and helpful with the organising of the event, we are very thankful for what they have done. The Off the Record boys chose The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association. I have had friends work for this charity in the past who always rave about how wonderful they are and how effective their work is. We couldn’t be happier with the charities chosen for the northern debut.
At Funraising we’re all about having a ‘creative focus on charity and a social focus on creativity’. What does this mission statement mean to you?
I strongly agree with this statement. A lot of the time it’s the creativity or the unique aspects that makes events/brands stand out from the norm and encourage people to attend, take part or engage. I feel that combining the traction of engagement that creativity offers with charitable aspects encourages people to give more, therefore generating more money for the charities. Funraising have inspiringly nailed this by incorporating art and creativity into their practices to generate more for charity.
Cubo is right in the epicentre of the student hub. Where do you think the student conscience sits at the moment, especially here in Manchester regarding charity, social responsibility and just generally doing good and feeling good for it?
There has been an undeniable increase in student involvement with charities in Manchester. So many student charity organisations have started this academic year: Funrasing & Artbox, Pollen8, Love for the Streets. All offering pure enjoyment and the chance to support various charities close to the hearts of many. All of these events and companie are active and growing which indicates that student support is strong. I admire how socially and politically active the Manchester student body is and I’m glad to be a part of it with Disco Inferno UK.
For those yet to experience Disco Inferno, what kind of vibe can they expect on the night?
An uplifting, cheerful experience with continuous banging tunes being provided by some extremely talented individuals. Food donations will be accepted on the door and donated to a Manchester homeless shelter so be sure to bring down any unwanted/spare imperishable food. See you all there!
Disco Inferno takes places on Monday 5th Feb, with entry just a small £3 and don’t forget there will also be a collection on the door for any unwanted imperishable food that’ll be taken to an emergency food project called ‘Food for All’ which is accessed by many homeless people in Manchester.
And if you simply can’t wait till then, here is a tasty mix to whet your appetite from Corduroy: