2014 was a year of change for Manchester’s Warehouse Project. After eight years of increasing growth, the famed event series decided to take a step back for its ninth season and return to one of its original venues, namely the former underground car park on Store Street.
“It was a lesson learnt,” says Sacha Lord-Marchionne — one of the founders of the WHP alongside Sam Kandel — about the decision to scale back. “You should always listen to what the customer wants. In 2012 and 2013, people were saying 'WHP was great...but we preferred Store Street'. They were right. It really feels like we are back home. It feels special, and the fact that the whole season practically sold out in a day shows how much the customers missed Store Street.”
This season, which again ran from September right up to New Year’s Day, included many highlights. With events happening every Friday and Saturday, there was a 20th Anniversary Bugged Out! celebration with the likes of Andrew Weatherall and Green Velvet. There was Richie Hawtin’s ENTER, a party curated by Dusky, sessions with Innervisions and return appearances for the likes of Modeselektor, Carl Craig, Nina Kraviz and the Hessle Audio crew, with knowing residents Krysko and Greg Lord always on hand to keep floors moving before and after the main acts.
Of winning the award, Sacha says “[It feels] fantastic and makes all those nights stood in the cold worth it!”
He is also happy to talk about how the club has teamed up with the Home Office to do on site drug testing in the sad wake of losing a clubber to an overdose back at the start of the 2013 season. “We've worked alongside Professor Measham again and The Loop Charity. Again, we've chosen random nights and used her drug testing facilities. It’s such an important learning curve but I'm quietly confident that, in the future, more operators will choose to follow a similar Best Practice.” Here’s hoping, then, that others follow WHP’s great lead in more ways than one.
XOYO RESIDENCIES (LONDON)
THE HYDRA (LONDON)
FABRIC WINTER SERIES (LONDON)
Copyright Thrust Publishing Ltd. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.djmag.com as the source.