Until last year putting on a festival had only been a distant dream for Annie Mac. She’d always had the idea sat in the back of her head, but assumed that when she eventually came around to curating a festival it would be in some muddy farmer’s field in Britain. In fact, when she was presented with the idea of throwing a weekend of parties across Saint Paul’s bay in Malta, she’d never even been to the tiny island that sits between Italy and North Africa. A self-confessed micro manager, Mac tested everything from the distance between the hotel to the shuttle bus to ensure that nobody would feel slighted by their experience, and visiting AMP Lost & Found, now in it’s second year, it’s clear that this is all paying off.
When we catch up with Annie in London a week after the festival, she's only just getting her life back in order. She's just dropped off a black sequinned cape, embroidered with the word ‘RAVING’, off at the dry cleaners – it was a gift from one of the 8,000 music fans in attendance at this year’s Lost & Found and feels quite symbolic to her. “It’s a very intense situation,” she admits. “But it’s a lot of fun.” From brief sightings of Annie over the Lost & Found weekend, it feels like this is a perfect summary of her time there. She somehow seems to have the ability to be everywhere at once, and no matter which party you’re at, she makes an appearance to give the DJs and artists some support. It’s no coincidence: “This year I wanted to make sure I went to every party,” she explains. “I wanted to make sure I saw all the DJs, make them feel welcome and see which parties were popping off.” And with two pool parties running simultaneously each afternoon as well as Castle Raves and boat parties, plus two stages running at the festival’s main site each night – that’s no mean feat, but it certainly gives a sense that Annie is fully involved in the creation of the festival rather than just being some figurehead that’s been stuck on once the real work has been done.
“It’s got to look and feel like it’s coming from me, otherwise it’s pointless putting my name to it,” says Annie. While her main roles surround the curation of the line-up and the aesthetic of the parties, she gets stuck into everything and initially struggled with the idea that a festival was too much of an undertaking for one person to have full control over. “I've calmed down a bit now,” she admits. “I was actually able to enjoy it (this year). I knew that I could trust everyone that was working on the festival to do a really good job.”