This evening, Oxford Street officially kicked off Christmas in the capital as the iconic lights were illuminated along London’s world famous high street. Traffic was halted at its internationally renowned ‘circus’ for the first time ever, as part of a bold and exciting new format that celebrated home-grown musical talent, alongside high energy street entertainment and in-store shopping experiences.

In partnership with Capital XTRA – the UK’s leading national urban radio station – Oxford Street turned the traditional switch-on on its head with a night of in store performances from rising British grime and R&B stars plus DJ sets from Capital XTRA’s Yinka Bokinni and Robert Bruce.

  • Novelist: MOBO Awards and 2018 Mercury Prize nominee from South London, Novelist, performed with DJ Karlton Philips at JD Sports, treating a packed crowd to tracks from his critically acclaimed debut album ‘Novelist Guy.’
  •  Kara Marni: The 21-year-old R&B powerhouse, who’s cited Amy Winehouse and Lauryn Hill as musical influences, performed a four track set at Tezenis with hits from her EP ‘Love Just Aint Enough’ and her celebrated latest single, ‘Move.’
  • Ray BLK: ‘One to watch’ Ray BLK, performed tracks from her critically acclaimed new project, Empress, which is centered around female empowerment and taking a stand. Ray performed at Niketown, taking a detour from her current guest spot on the road with Rudimental, as part of their UK tour.
  • Isaac Waddington: Singer/songwriter Isaac Waddington, wowed at Uniqlo with a full band performance and jazz-inflected tracks, with a guest appearance from rapper, Piers James.

The night saw over 90 stores joining the celebrations making it the biggest Christmas shopping event London has ever seen with extended opening hours, offers and experiences showcasing the unrivalled festive offering available, across fashion, food, fitness, tech and more.

At 6pm, traffic was halted at the Circus treating shoppers, passers-by and local workers to a surprise pop up performance from the New York Brass Band and eye-catching LED poi dancers, as well as entertainment from the striking festive Joy Jesters. This marks the first of many ‘surprise’ moments to be expected across Oxford Street in the run up to Christmas.

The night kicks off the start of a seven week campaign at Oxford Street which will see its retailers delivering a series of seasonally themed in-store activations and shopping experiences, including 50 ‘surprise’ Christmas shopping treats. From exclusive products and enhanced shopping services, to experiences including John Lewis & Partners’ skyline skating with Sipsmith and an insta-famous Quality Street pop-up, beauty masterclasses in House of Fraser, weekly surprise appearances from the streets ‘Joy Jesters’ and personal shopping sessions up and down the street.

Luciana Magliocco, Oxford Street Associate Director at New West End Company says: “Oxford Street is synonymous with Christmas, and as a trend-leader famous for ‘firsts’, we reimagined the traditional switch on with a brand new format championing some of the UK’s emerging music talent. With tonnes of festive activity lined up over the next seven weeks, Christmas has officially begun in London!”

Capital XTRA’s Yinka Bokinni said: “Oxford Street’s Christmas lights are such an iconic part of the festive season in London and it was so much fun being part of the celebrations tonight!”

Capital XTRA’s Robert Bruce added: “The atmosphere on Oxford Street tonight was amazing. It was great to see so many people getting into party mode and celebrating the start of Christmas in the capital!”

Ray BLK, commented: “It’s been an honour to take part in such a big yearly tradition in London and I love that this year celebrated up and coming artists.”

Kara Marni, said: “It was great to be part of this amazing event for Oxford Street and to sit alongside a line-up of such brilliant, talented artists’