Hacienda ticketholders ‘fuming’ as 40th anniversary rave night is SPLIT in half in last minute chaos

Ravers who had secured tickets to the huge Hacienda 40th anniversary party in Manchester tonight have been left “fuming” after a last minute change to the event. Organizers have said it needs to be split into two time slots – an early and a late – to accommodate the numbers of guests at the site where the iconic club once stood.

Ticketholders have been contacted with just hours to go before the “epic” six hour rave had been due to take place in the basement car park of what is now the Hacienda apartments. The last minute change means half of ticketholders will get to party from 6pm to 10.30pm before a 30 minute break, before resuming for a second set of revellers between 11pm and 2am.

But that has left many who had purchased £42 fuming tickets – particularly those given the early time slot who say they aren’t able to attend until the later part of the night. Organizers say refunds will be available to anyone now unable to attend the charity event, which will also be streamed live across the world.

Read more: Hacienda at 40 – the highs, lows and £6m losses behind “the greatest club on Earth”

One raver, who asked not to be named, told the MEN: “I’m pretty angry that I have arranged a baby sitter from 8pm to be told I have a slot from 6-10pm!

“I’d get there for 1 hour and then be asked to leave …. All for a £42 price tag. I think it’s really atrocious planning but the irony of a Haçienda night being completely disorganized has not been lost on me.”

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In a statement released on the official Fac51 Hacienda social media pages, organizers said all ticketholders would be contacted with their new time slot. They did not say why the changes had to be made, although added it came after a “lot of discussions” and working through the night to allow the party to go on.

The statement said: “Unfortunately we have had to make last minute changes to the Hacienda 40th Birthday Part 1, sadly the event cannot run as we had originally planned, however after a lot of discussion, and in keeping with the spirit of The Hacienda, we have worked through the night to ensure the party will go on – and most importantly, in the Whitworth St carpark where it all began, 40 years ago today.

Hacienda 30th anniversary party took place in the car park at the Hacienda apartments – the plan is to do it again for the 40th

“The only way we can make this work is to now split the event into two shows. The first event runs between 6 and 10.30pm. The second between 11pm and 2am.”

It continued: “You will be emailed with your time slot and we hope you understand the situation and our efforts to still make this happen. It’s quite simply the best we can do.”

They gave full refund details, adding: “Hope to see you all there for what’s going to be one great party (or should we say two great parties)”. They ended the statement by saying: “Thank you for your understanding and see you on the dancefloor.”

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Ravers on the main stage in the Hacienda, Manchester 1989
Ravers on the main stage of the original Hacienda, Manchester 1989

Taking place in the same location as the hallowed dancefloor itself, the event will see a gallery of the Hacienda’s finest past residents come together on the night. That will include from the earliest days of the club DJs Hewan Clarke and Graeme Park, Jon Dasilva, Tom Wainwright, DJ Paulette, Aaron Mellor, K Klass who play live, and surprise guests on the night.

It follows in the footsteps of the 30th anniversary party of the club held in 2012 – when ravers were able to party on two floors of the underground car park off Whitworth Street West throughout the night. Tickets for the 40th anniversary event sold out within minutes of going on sale earlier this month.

Site of Manchester's Hacienda Club.  November 2001
The site of Manchester’s Hacienda Club pictured in November 2001, before it was demolished for apartments

The Hacienda first opened on May 21, 1982 inside a disused yacht showroom transformed by Ben Kelly and financed by Factory Records and New Order. It became the epicenter for Manchester’s live band scene and boasted seminal gigs from bands such as The Smiths, The Stone Roses, James, New Order, The Fall, Primal Scream, Pet Shop Boys, and international artists such as Madonna and Nick Cave.

The club closed for the final time in 1997. The original building was demolished in 2002 and replaced by the Hacienda apartments.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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