Rave On - people of Manchester invited to recall their clubbing memories

Although Manchester and its music are famous around the globe, little is known about the communities which helped to build that reputation. Popular culture has referenced the city’s rave culture in print, film and TV, but almost always from the perspective of well-known ‘expert insiders’.

Now, the final event of an 18-month project by researchers to gather the thoughts of the city’s ‘lapsed clubbers’ – those who were part of Manchester’s dance music scene between 1985 and 1995 – is being held, where members of the public will be able to submit their memories to a digital map.

On November 10th, ‘Rave On!’ will take over the Old Abbey Taphouse, where the public will be able to write text or record audio reminiscing about the music, fashion, clubs and people of the scene.

The event is part of the annual Festival of Social Science, which takes place from November 3rd-10th. The local version of this national festival is now in its fourth year - academics from The University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University and University of Salford will be taking over the city’s museums, bars, theatres, classrooms and galleries to present the very latest in social science research.

This year, the programme features 36 events on a variety of themes including ageing, virtual reality, climate change, the changing nature of work, devolution - and Brexit, naturally.

There is something for everyone at this year’s Festival - including an event at Manchester Art Gallery on why reading work emails outside office hours is bad for you, a panel discussion on the tensions between capitalism and environmental sustainability, a bus tour around Manchester where older people can discuss what an ‘age-friendly city’ should be like, hands-on activities for the whole family at Manchester Central Library, film screenings and much more.
Professor Helen Beebee, festival organiser

The Lapsed Clubber project is spearheaded by Manchester Metropolitan University academic Dr Beate Peter, and hopes to build a better understanding of the places, people and events that made the city into a global music mecca. “We are all familiar with The Haçienda and terms like ‘Acid House’ and ‘Madchester’, but little is known about the people on the dancefloors as they had no platform to share their experiences at the time,” she said.

In addition to mapping out Manchester’s rave culture between 1985 and 1995, the event will feature a rave quiz, followed by the premiere of the Lapsed Clubber film, and a panel debate. DJ sets by Jay Wearden and Steve Dobson will include some of the tunes that soundtracked the rave scene in Greater Manchester.

The ‘Rave On!’ event kicks off at 8pm with the quiz, which will also allow guests to share their memories of the period. If you wish to attend, please visit https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-lapsed-clubber-project-rave-on-tickets-50902387411.

Every event in the Festival of Social Science’s schedule is underpinned by high-quality social science research - much of it funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. The organisers say that the challenges and opportunities facing the UK - whether that’s Greater Manchester devolution, Brexit or the perceived lack of trust in ‘experts’ – mean it is more vital than ever for researchers to make meaningful connections with ordinary people.

The festival’s launch event takes place on October 31st at Manchester Museum – free tickets are available at https://tinyurl.com/ESRC-Manc-2018. For up-to-the-minute booking information and details of the rest of the events, please visit www.esrcmanchesterfest.ac.uk, or search for #McrESRCFest on Twitter.

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