Haçienda Classical featuring Wrexham Glyndwr University lecturer and DJ Graeme Park is to open this year’s Glastonbury Festival main stage.
The live show – which sees seminal dance classics from the days of the Manchester club reworked with Manchester Camerata orchestra, conductor Tim Crooks and guests – will kick-off the three day festival in the prestigious Friday morning Pyramid Stage slot.
Original Haçienda DJ partnership Graeme Park and Mike Pickering worked with Joy Division and New Order’s Peter Hook to bring the show to the stage for the first time last year.
This year’s Haçienda Classical has been made bigger and better, and Graeme says the Glastonbury crowd can expect a “dynamic and energetic” performance.
He said: “The only difference between this one and our other shows is that Glastonbury is shorter – we only have 45 minutes so we had some serious editing to do. But we’re very pleased with the result.
“Although I’ve DJ’d at Glastonbury many times in the Unfairground, I’m very nervous and excited to be opening the Pyramid stage with the show.
“It’s a real honour and privilege to be performing on this iconic stage that has played host to many legendary performers.
“We’ve known for a while, but had to keep it quiet which was incredibly difficult. A few of my colleagues at Glyndwr go every year and it was very hard not to tell them until it was officially announced,” added Graeme, who lectures on the university’s creative media technology degree courses.
Haçienda club nights have continued at venues around the country since the club closed and Graeme says the lower age group at these provided the spark for Haçienda Classical.
“We wanted to come up with something that would keep the original Haçienda heads happy, because the audiences at Haçienda club nights were getting younger which meant we were playing more and more contemporary tunes,” Graeme explained.
“People who went to the Haçienda in the 80s and 90s don’t go out as often as they used to and when they do they want to hear the tunes we used to play.
“The scoring and classical arranging has taken simple, basic acid house from Chicago and Detroit to a new, euphoric level.
“It proves that the people who made these tunes on cheap synthesisers and basic drum machines really knew what they were doing. All of the riffs and top lines translate to classical, analogue musicianship beautifully.
“We had no idea that the first show would work until we rehearsed it. This year we knew that it would work and that it would be better.
“The audience response and feedback certainly backs this up and we’ve had rave reviews.”
Haçienda Classical executive producer Peter Hook said: “After forty years in the music business I still count my three appearances at Glastonbury as the peaks of my career.
“To be back with Haçienda Classical in 2017 is another landmark moment and is dedicated to Tony Wilson and Rob Gretton to celebrate their contribution to British music and culture.”
Haçienda Classical with Graeme Park, Mike Pickering and Manchester Camerata Orchestra plus guests play Glastonbury Festival from 10.45-11.30am on Friday 23 June.
A full list of other 2017 Haçienda Classical dates and details of how to buy tickets can be found here.
Photo credit: Yannis Hostelidis