Glastonbury opened with huge tribute to Manchester in the form of classic Hacienda nostalgia


The 2017 Glastonbury Festival officially opened this morning with a minute’s silence paying tribute to the victims of the Grenfell fire, as well as recent terror attacks in Manchester and London.

A field full of revellers giving respectful pause led by former New Order member Peter Hook and Happy Mondays’ Rowetta Satchell before they got the party started on the Pyramid stage.

Thereafter, Manchester’s Hacienda Classical, which recently sold out Royal Albert Hall and Manchester’s Castlefield Bowl, was responsible for officially commencing the festival.

The city’s experimental orchestra, Manchester Camerata, and DJ legends Mike Pickering and Graeme Park collaborate on a continuous set of Haçienda classics. As well as some vocal legends. A different take on the iconic sound of acid house. It’s the soulful synching between the DJs and orchestra who elaborate the original instruments. A clash of two musical worlds.

With this mentality ingrained in the city, it’s thankfully lucky we are hardly short of inspiration. Tony Wilson’s work behind some of Manchester’s most successful bands in the Madchester years (New Order etc) is what cemented the Haçienda in the late 80s and 90s.

Courtesy Elspeth Mary Moore

Somebody once said: “if Bez is on it, I’m on it”. And on stage he [Bez from The Happy Mondays] was.

Bez and Rowetta received the biggest cheer of the morning when he came on to lead the crowd with his iconic mental dancing accompanied by singer Rowetta in a bright feathery black and yellow bumble bee style dress. Bez, the ‘rhythm keeper’, still surely has the best job in Manchester – he’s basically a professional lunatic.

Mike and I are absolutely thrilled at the response to the new Haçienda Classical 2017 show.” said Graeme Park commenting on the reaction to his and Mike Pickering’s new set. “The months of hard work behind the scenes has certainly paid off and the reactions have been fantastic. Everything we learned on last year’s rollercoaster journey has been applied to the new show to make the whole experience even more of an inspirational blast. As we finish up  the year at the Apollo, it’ll be an incredible atmosphere.”

Again, in a similar movement to the immediate reaction of the Manchester terror attack just over a month ago, the feeling of solidarity and togetherness was as infectious as it was euphoric. A joyous singalong with an audience of all ages in fancy dress and face paint, floral headbands and daft hats.

Haçienda Classical will be back in Manchester at the end of November for a homecoming end of year concert at the city’s legendary 02 Apollo. See tickets here

Who said ‘let’s stop wallowing in nostalgia’? It’s MHRA approved and we all need it once in a while.

Thank you for providing the stage, Glasto.


Manchester is a successful city, but there are many people that suffer. The I Love MCR Foundation helps raise vital funds to help improve the lives and prospects of people and communities across Greater Manchester – and we can’t do it without your help. So please donate or fundraise what you can because investing in your local community to help it thrive can be a massively rewarding experience. Thank you in advance!

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