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The Hacienda must be built for the third time

Alex Kirkley gets his mood enhanced at <i>Hacienda 25 – the Exhibition</i> at Urbis

Published on July 19th 2007.


The Hacienda must be built for the third time

The famous Fac 51 doors re-opened last night for Hacienda 25 - The Exhibition at Urbis. For those who don’t know (and in Manchester that would be recent immigrants and the great legion of the dead), the Hacienda is the most notorious club the city ever had, one that defined a generation of clubbing. Not least in its portfolio of achievement was that it launched the ‘house’ scene of ‘Madchester’ in the late 1980s across the Western world.

The opening night saw the collective rubbing of shoulders of a who’s who of Manchester music from back in the day. Graeme Park, Dave Haslam, Peter Hook and Ian Brown were all spotted looking slightly bewildered at the apparent relocation of the former Whitworth Street club.

It was Graeme Park, acting as the eager host at the front door of a ‘house’ party, who ushered me in: “This is the stuff of legends. People, who are too young to have gone can come and see it and see that it’s not a myth. I think this exhibition proves, if proof be needed, that this was the greatest club there has ever been.”

The exhibition itself is designed as the club looked. This is the second time this has happened what with Michael Winterbottom’s film 24hour Party People which is probably a record for any nightspot. Plenty of nostalgia has been crammed into the Exhibition which occupies the first floor of the museum: the fashions of the times are well documented, the Hacienda as the blueprint of modern day club branding and decoration is also underlined and Madonna’s humble appearance on the Tube in 1984 even gets its own viewing room.

Unashamedly, the exhibition not only deals with the good times at the Hac but also the problems that ultimately brought about its demise – drugs, violence, guns and knives.

If there’s a failing then it’s in the size of the exhibition: there could be more of it. Such is the history of the era, it could easily have spanned another floor within Urbis. Yet why the Hacienda has become so revered is proven here. For those who never experienced the club this is a good introduction, for those who did and loved the place, they’ll be in ecstasy – so to speak. The Exhibition runs until 17 February.

Do we need another Hacienda exhibition? Do we go on to much about Madchester? Is it time to move on or is it right to celebrate the 25th anniversary of this world-beating club? What do you think?

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25 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

CyanJuly 19th 2007.

I love Mcr and came back to live here after being in London for a few years, but Mcr HAS to move with the times if it wants to be respected by its other cities. I used to go to the Hac and had some amazing times and a 25yr celebration isn't a bad thing, its just when every month there's something Hacienda related going on it in the city it all gets a bit tiresome. Mcr needs to be able to show it's a city at the cutting edge of things and not living in the past.

BertieJuly 19th 2007.

Don't you just lurrrve embittered ex-employees? Most amusing comment. Urbis in 'exhibition about Manchester' shock, yup, sooooo appalling.

HJuly 19th 2007.

I was there last night, it was kickin... A real blast from the past, some of the old flyers an posters that they dug out (most of em apparently from Hookys personal collection), the video footage etc, really took you back. But the past is the past I dont think Urbis have laboured the Madchester point much more than anyone else in the city limits. See it for what it is.

AnonymousJuly 19th 2007.

What about Greg Wilson !

AnonymousJuly 19th 2007.

Peter Hook we've got a lot to thank you for - so "thankyou".

AnonymousJuly 19th 2007.

Where was Mike pickering -

HJuly 19th 2007.

George I hear what you are saying, MIFs mandate should concentrate on new/original material. It was a shame that Micah P. Hinson let us down: http://www.micahphinson.com

R TINY BLACKPOOLJuly 19th 2007.

I can't wait to go to the Urbis exhibition. The best clubbing nights of my life were spent in the Hac. I met people who were like-minded and danced with other clubbers from all over the world - people who I would never have met if I hadn't travelled to Manchester just to go to the Hac every week. I agree with the comments about Tony Wilson and I hope he gets well soon and starts coming up with more great ideas for Manchester.

Philip of DidsburyJuly 19th 2007.

I went to the Hacienda and it was crap!

Sarah Louise JonesJuly 19th 2007.

Best club in the World! not just Manchester! Spent my best clubbing years here and loved every minute-you can never get back that atmosphere, those days, THAT PLACE!- those vibrations of those big silver doors! Circle is ace, but a different vibe, circle is intimate, Hacienda was indescribable! Lived it, loved it! Course we should be celebrating it-FOREVER! XXX

PJuly 19th 2007.

Urbis really is a white elephant and it needs to get over itself. I used to work there, I should know - the people running the "creative" team know nothing about art and live on a desperate Manc cloud. I think this is the 4th exhibition at least that associates itseld with the Hacienda in some way - not to mention the the peter saville exhibition and the D:troit exhibition, which attempted to drae comparisons between Manchester's musical heritage(pah!) and Detroits.It is a drain on the city's resources and the people that run it are extremely clueless - they are going to run out of ideas very fast..oh no, they already have obviuosly.

AnonymousJuly 19th 2007.

phillip of didsbury - when did u go to hac?

Jonathan Schofield - editorJuly 19th 2007.

Wilbar too right. Wilson is pure Manchester, he is Ann Lee, Samuel Bamford, he is Cobden and Bright, he is a Pankhurst brother (not sure they would have appreciated that) and a Burgess wit. Wilson should be honoured offically in the city and nationally. The reason he hasn't been is that is remains vital not a fossil.

WilbarJuly 19th 2007.

The Hacienda was the cornerstone for many faces of Manchester culture and it's legacy lives on in varied shapes and forms today.As a regular before the drug rot set in,it was a meeting place for likeminded people,as well as a club.It was way ahead of it's time-fantastic sound system,ingenious interior,great location,well marketed and just in a league of it's own.It should be celebrated in style as the Hacienda was a legend of it's time....and stylish it certainly was.I was there in the early days and there by sheer fluke,on the very last night and am glad that I witnessed it.Live fast die young is the motto for every legend-RIP FAC51.Some are jumping on the money spinning concept of the Hac-it makes a DJ's job real easy for the night.This exhibition is in a well chosen venue and I can't wait to go see it....will also be taking my teenage daughter who had heard many tales from within it's walls and is interested.P.S Best wishes to that other Manchester legend and godfather,Tony Wilson-Without Mr Wilson,Manchester culture as a whole would not be as it is today and the city would be a poorer place.I thank you for it and get well very soon xx

John OJuly 19th 2007.

I was there for the launch also, really good night and great to see some of my idols all in one room!As for the legacy of the hac, it was much more than a 'moment' it sent shockwaves through the music industry and more importantly the design industry. Peter Saville started his career with the Hac and the design community is much richer now because of his efforts and influences, that alone is much more than a 'moment'As for the MIF not being original? i went to Ill tempo del Postino... try telling anyone that wasnt original!!

AnonymousJuly 19th 2007.

Where was Michael Pickering?

greg fentonJuly 19th 2007.

good exhibition. great to see all the different musical periods covered too. an exhibition on all the other great Mcr clubs of the 60's, 70's & 80's would be nice some day too !

GFozJuly 19th 2007.

The HAC was fantastic! No other club came close to it. The exhibition is a great place to take a "Trip" down memory lane...

BertieJuly 19th 2007.

Don't you just lurrrve embittered ex-employees? Most amusing comment. Urbis in 'exhibition about Manchester' shock, yup, sooooo appalling.

GeorgeJuly 19th 2007.

I'm sure it was a lovely event but the fact of the matter is that we don't need to keep celebrating the Hacienda. It was a moment nothing more. Let's move on. The sad thing about the International Festival is that put on Mark E Smith and Happy Mondays. I mean - you what? Original modern city? My arse. Manchester doesn't need to show itself up with this sort back-in-the-day nostalgia trip either in the Festival or in the Channel M studio building.

HugoJuly 19th 2007.

to people under 30 Cream in liverpool means more in terms of music & culture. if it was not for the beatles getting the the way, liverpool would not stop banging on about that either. Hac deserves to be recognised, i was far to young to go but it still affects the music i listen to know - thats a legacy.

shiveringgoatJuly 19th 2007.

What about the brilliant dj Tom Wainwright? - he was the best dj there for the last 5 years and took the sound to a different place...he always gets sadly neglected...he played in the main room every Saturday for 5 years +Goat:)

BenfordJuly 19th 2007.

Of course we should remember The Hacienda! Not all the time admittedly, but we it should never be forgotten.And about Mr Anthony H Wilson.....although we can say he is pure Manchester, I'm sure he'd be the first to tell you he's from Salford, not Manchester. Just thought it was worth a mention.

Manabu FanJuly 19th 2007.

Mmmmm - as long as people accept it as a bit of nostalgia then there's not much wrong with having an exhibition. But people need to move on as the Manchester music scene is dyin on it's arse and focusing on the past won't help.

AnonymousJuly 19th 2007.

I mean without Mike Pickering there was no Hac - I'd like to read his thoughts about it - cos he was the heart and soul of it - and the only one who cared about the movement on the "D.F.!"

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