Red Bull Revolutions In Sound (The EDF London Eye) Q&A with…….. ‘Fac51 The Hacienda’
Promoters take note, always been searching for that unique spin to give your budding club night that unique twist, well Red Bull Revolutions in Sound have taken it to a whole new level by hiring the iconic ‘London Eye’ and hosting 30 simultaneous club nights, each with their own pod. This event is celebrating those innovators who have stepped out against the flow and forcible changed the course of electronic music and clubbing . Over the next few weeks we will be delving a little deeper into the philosophy, passions and motivations of clubbings game changers. So far we’ve had ‘London Warehouse Events‘ // ‘Jah Shaka Sound‘ // ‘Metalheadz‘ // ‘Cream‘ // ‘Sub Soul‘ // ‘Lost‘ and ‘Corsica Studios‘ under the spot light. Next up House royalty ‘FAC51 The Hacienda’ talk accidental DJ, not taking the piss, and underground snobbery…..
Between 1982 and the early 90s, “Madchester” was the mecca of British alternative culture, and at its centre was Fac51 The Haçienda. Run by Factory Records head honcho Tony Wilson and financed by post-punk heroes turned dancefloor denizens New Order, the club was designed as an antidote to the slick, suffocating aesthetic and stale music of other clubs in the city. With a down ’n’ dirty industrial look to match the steely sounds played within, it was also one of the first clubs to start playing house thanks to DJs Graeme Park and Mike Pickering, who helmed the hugely popular Friday-nighter, Nude. In 1988, Pickering pioneered the acid house night Hot with Jon DaSilva, and history was on its way to being made. A marker of The Haçienda’s soon global reputation, music stars like Madonna, The Smiths, Oasis and Blur all performed at the venue before it closed in the summer of 1997.
BBB: What was it that inspired you to enter the unpredictable world of putting on parties, and why do you think ‘FAC51 The Hacienda’ became such an iconic clubbing brand?
G I never planned on being a DJ. It just happened by accident. Turns out I enjoyed it and was quite good at it. However, I had no idea that 30 years later I’d still be doing it. The Haçienda was like nothing else and as a result, it took off big time. There’s been nothing like it since and I doubt there ever will be.
BBB: Many nights fail as quickly as they start; what do you believe are the biggest challenges for a night to become and remain successful (changing trends, competitors, an ageing audience etc.)?
G If you work hard to put on a quality night that stays fresh and you look after the punters and don’t take the piss, you’ll be fine.
BBB: If your party hadn’t been successful what do you think you would have done instead? Personally party organizing got me away from a career in insurance underwriting…
G I always planned on being either a journalist or being in a band. Ironically I gave up being in a band to become a DJ. Bizarrely I’ve also become a university lecturer in recent years. I also had a brief stint as a racing driver.
BBB: Clubbing & electronic music in general is very much in transition, with MP3’s, streaming, the global credit crunch and EDM all impacting the way we consume music both in a live and personal context. Traditionally clubbing and club music was an underground movement, a liberating escape for many, however it is fast becoming an exploitable global commodity. What would you like to see change in club culture (if anything), and how would you like to see it evolve over the next few decades?
G I think dance music and club culture has always evolved in ways that nobody could have predicted. It will continue to do so and always be adaptive and creative. “Underground” is such a subjective term that is mainly used by snobs.
BBB: If you could raise from the dead one piece of clubbing nostalgia, what would it be? For us it would be a late 80’s/early 90’s rave, as it was before our time
G The past is gone but lives on in peoples memories. I prefer to look forward with occasional glances over my shoulder. But I have to tell you that the late 80s and early 90s were an incredible time. You have no idea what you missed. Seriously. You don’t…….
Words by Graeme Park
Thanks for your time,
Jon E Cassell (Blah Blah Blah)