8 Sep 2004
Quasi-industrial 
The following extract from The Manual: The who, the where, the why of clubland examines Fac 51 The Hacienda: "It's the early eighties in Manchester and a reporter from London buttonholes a pair of Mancunian goths as they emerge from one of the Hacienda's rival clubs. He asks them why they didn't go to the Hac. They reply: "Because they try and educate you with the music they play." No-one could have come closer to trying to explain what the Hacienda is and, moreover, what it represented that that simple, one-line damnation.

Although the Hacienda will be remembered as the fulcrum around which 'Madchester' revolved, it was much more than that. It was a brave and largely successful experiment in punk-inspired Situationism; it was a haven from the violence and sullen stares of Manchester's less hospitable nightspots. The Hacienda single-handedly (and through sheer bloody-mindedness) gradually drew black America and twisted British electronica. Opened in 1982 by Factory Records honcho Tony Wilson, maverick popsters New Order and their manager Rob Gretton (who is credited with being its driving force) everything about the Hacienda was different.

Its decor was a significant departure from the normal club. Designers Ben Kelly and Sandra Douglas had drawn on the graphic work of Peter Saville, whose sleeves for various post-punk acts had been highly influential. In Douglas's words they deliberately stayed away from, "some sort of disco extravaganza", opting instead for a quasi-industrial look that incorporated bollards on the edge of the dancefloor. Even before it opened, the Architectural Review described it as, "a significant milestone in British interior design." Heck, it was even given a Factory Records catalogue number: Haç (sic) 51."

The Manual: The who, the where, the why of clubland
Written by Frank Broughton and Bill Brewster
First published in 1998 by Headline Book Publishing
ISBN 0 7472 7636 6

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