The UK club scene has changed hugely since the mid-noughties. The End is gone. As are The Cross, Turnmills, The Arches, Sankeys and countless more iconic venues. Hands in the air have been replaced by smart phones in the air, the CDJ has become a staple of the booth over the 1210 and most tech-house doesn’t sound anything like tech-house once did. But few places have had such an enduring impact in the years between then and now as Manchester’s The Warehouse Project at Store Street.
As the Warehouse Project’s longest running home, the venue has had a much larger cultural impact on UK clubbing than just hosting the event’s parties. Having started in 2006 at Boddingtons Brewery in Strangeways, The Warehouse Project moved to Store Street – a former air raid shelter underneath Manchester Piccadilly station – in 2007, where it remained until 2011. After moving to Victoria Warehouse to the west of Manchester’s city centre near Old Trafford for two seasons, it returned to Store Street in 2014, where it has remained until now.
During an interview for our 2016 feature on what Fabric’s reopening means for the future of London clubbing, Fabric co-founder Cameron Leslie told DJ Mag that he’d think twice before opening a permanent club in the current climate, in part due to the annual costs of upkeep attached to running a fixed venue as oppose to a seasonal series like The Warehouse Project. Because of the ever-increasing length of the festival season, clubs in the UK’s busiest period is now during Autumn, between October and December.
This combination of factors – rising costs for clubs with an increasingly limited peak season and the constant fear of losing their lease – has led to the rise of promoters like The Hydra, Percolate and Origins running one-off events at spaces rather than being tied to a specific venue. With this model, you get parties at more makeshift venues like The Silver Building, a 50,000 square foot factory in Silvertown, east London, which saw a series of parties from collectives like NYC Downlow and Mulletover in 2017, and has since been developed into studios.
For Store Street’s first season in 2007, Four Tet featured low down on an Eat Your Own Ears bill, and has since gone on to host his own Four Tet & Friends nights. This year, it features Josey Rebelle, Flava D, Bake and more. Similarly, UK artists like Ben UFO, Joy Orbison, Jon Hopkins, Artwork and more have grown exponentially through the years alongside the brand, whilst more recent success stories see Denis Sulta and Patrick Topping host their own nights at Store Street.