Park in the park: ‘Bigger and better’ Hacienda show returns to Lancaster

Hacienda DJ Mike Pickering at the Hacienda Classical show in Williamson Park in 2016
Hacienda DJ Mike Pickering at the Hacienda Classical show in Williamson Park in 2016

When Hacienda Classical came to Williamson Park in 2016, it was the first time the show had been performed outside.

Now the 100-strong collective are set to return to the park for Highest Point on May 20, and Hacienda DJ and curator Graeme Park said he was ‘nervous and excited’ about bringing a brand new show to the three day festival.

Graeme Park

Graeme Park

“I was well chuffed when we got there in 2016,” the veteran DJ said.

“It was the first outdoor show we’d ever done.

“The weather was beautiful, the natural amphitheatre that exists where we played was wonderful.

“I remember when we came on stage it was still light.

Hacienda Classical in Williamson Park

Hacienda Classical in Williamson Park

“It got darker as we played and all the lights and lasers came on.

“I’ve got very fond memories of that show because it was very early days.”

Graeme, who was a resident DJ at Hacienda Fac 51 during the 1980s and 90s, and went on to perform across the globe, said this year’s Hacienda Classical show would be “even bigger and even better”.

He said: “ We’ve got a whole new set list, and some great guest singers.

“Ray Hall and Yvonne Shelton are back.

“I can’t announce the other one, but let’s just say they’ll be singing their own original songs.

“It’s the third year we’ve been going, and we want to keep everything fresh.

“You’ve got to make it different.

“There are other shows that are playing it safe, but as Tony Wilson once said, ‘This is Manchester. We do things differently here’.

“We go right back to the 1970s, and right up to the 2000’s.

“We’re slightly nervous, but very excited.”

Graeme, who will DJ alongside Mike Pickering for the show added: “We’ve got more singing in this show, and we’ve asked the choir to up their game.

“Mike and I have got some new toys.

“The songs we’ve chosen have got great choruses, and I’m hoping that it’ll get everyone singing along.

“We’ve still got the odd track that people will recognise but won’t know what the song is.

I’m really looking forward to coming back to the park.”

Tickets are available from www.highestpoint.co.uk.

Read more about the line-up HERE, and for an interview with Ocean Colour Scene click HERE