SEPTEMBER is fading into a dark and rainy October. The atmosphere of the city has changed with the return of students and some of the world's finest DJs, producers and musicians are casually milling around Trafford Park.
The Warehouse Project is upon us.
This weekend sweaty crowds will flood en masse into a disused warehouse in the shadow of Old Trafford for the opening weekend in the Project’s new home.
In July last year the team behind the Warehouse Project announced that its 2011 season would be the last beneath Piccadilly Station's Victorian arches. Following the announcement, many feared it was the end of an era, that the hypnotic underground late night/early morning party season was done and dusted. The five year high was on the verge of an almighty collective come down.
However, in the months that followed the news of the end through Warehouse whispers revealed it was a new beginning and a change of pace rather than its conclusion. A secret new venue was announced which would be its third incarnation, having started life in the now demolished Boddington’s Brewery, and intrigue was kindled among the clubbing community.
The idea of the Warehouse Project was born in 2005 when Sankeys closed for a refurbishment. Sacha Lord-Marchionne along with a few select others left to transform the brewery into a temporary club venue.
It was initially too big (larger than Store Street) and suffered from poor sound which leaked out to the surrounding apartments. But it was there that the fire was lit and there was no going back for anyone.
KryskoThe new venue signals big ambitions from the Warehouse boys and girls. The 2,000 capacity, three room ex-factory is a step up from the daunting Store Street venue. Old guard resident’s Matthew Krysko and Greg Lord believe people won’t be disappointed.
The pair have been DJing in clubs together for over ten years and have been Warehouse regulars from the start. After playing two trial nights in Easter they were in awe of the scale of the new venue. The team have tightened up the loose ends since then ready for its traditional autumn/winter season to get into full swing.
GL: “It’s on another level, it’s like a mini festival now it’s that big.”
MK: “They’ve done a lot of work on it like building the toilets that obviously weren’t there. At Easter I purposely didn’t go down beforehand because I didn’t want to see it 'til it was ready. So I just turned up with my bags on the night ready to play and we walked into that main room and, I just thought - fucking hell.
“The ceiling hanging speakers rather than the normal stacks remind you of being at a festival and it all looks amazing and then you walk into a little third room which is amazing but then there’s the second room...”
GL: “The second room is essentially a rave tunnel.”
MK: “It’s got a Store St vibe but it’s reduced the ceiling so its ten feet above your head with all these lasers down the side. From a DJs point of view playing a room like that will be amazing.”
Greg LordGL: “The beauty of this place is it’s got the production of the main room and the size to put on all these big artists but then with the other rooms as well it’s going to be a melting pot with a lot of the more underground artists in there. Plus its very sound orientated, it’s perfect for sound.”
The initial Easter trial was once again a sell-out, but the perfectionist team flagged up over 100 issues to be attended to and resolved. The past five months have been spent improving the venue, including altering the flow of the huge crowd around the vast space and finalising the line-ups.
The main draw for the Warehouse Project has always been the depth and variety of its programme and the acts it attracts. The cavernous car-park on Store Street offered line-ups that few others would contemplate let alone be able to pull off. On the back of the huge waves created by Warehouse, Manchester’s wider electronic and underground music scene has thrived.
This year’s line-up features more than 300 acts featuring the likes of Orbital, Flying Lotus, SBTRKT, Soulwax, Chemical Brothers, Nicholas Jaar, Animal Collective and Laurent Garnier - a list which barely scratches the surface of the strength and diversity of each night.
GL: “I’ve always said the programming is just exceptional, across the series it just pulls in the right types of artists and sometimes there’s a few surprises in there and manages to strike the right chords every time.”
MK: “A lot of the country travel to it, so it’s not just a Manchester thing, the average person that goes will choose two or three out of the season and that’s enough.”
The Warehouse Project’s brief uncertain period before the new venue was announced, was filled with wild rumours of plans to move the event to London, Bristol, Scotland and South Wales. But really there was never any doubt that this Mancunian establishment was here to stay. Its new home is appropriately located opposite Old Trafford, two iconic Manchester institutions now side-by-side.
MK: “It’s going to be a big test for Warehouse this year. I don’t think five years at the same place was ever intended but Store Street was so amazing and it got better and better every year. The final year was perfect and it could have carried on there and just petered out but the fact that we’ve gone and stepped it up a gear is a risk again but that’s the whole point of it. Anything that’s worth doing isn’t easy so hopefully this year will be a good one.”
The Warehouse motto plastered across their promotional material reads: “For twelve weeks, this city is ours...” For the next twelve weeks they’re more than welcome to it.
Warehouse Project, Trafford Wharf Road Manchester M17 1AB.
Tickets and details can be found here.
Follow Ben on Twitter @BenPRobinson.
link isn't working for some reason to play the musicRead more
don't be such a negative troll, post your face and name. There is absolutely such a thing where has…Read more
I managed to get tickets to this event and it was mesmeric. Never seen John before but it was a…Read more
Going to see John Grant at the Bridgewater Hall, cannot wait! Anyone unfamiliar with him have a…Read more