The Haçienda was always about love. People flocked to the raucous Manchester club from all over the world to go raving in the iconic venue in its halcyon days. Today, its legacy continues to strengthen as the spirit, and unity that it was so famed for lives on – in unusual ways.
That spirit never felt so prescient like it did on the Pyramid Stage on Friday, as the orchestra-rave mash-up, The Haçienda Classic, kicked the festival off. But before the fun and festivities kicked off, Joy Division and New Order bassist Peter Hook and UK soul star Rowetta lead a minute’s silence for those who lost their lives in the Manchester and London attacks and the tragic victims of the Grenfell Tower fire.
“I’ve been very kindly asked by the Eavis family to lead this minute’s silence and could we please use it as a chance to send our hopes and our prayers for love, life and freedom – the things that we are here to celebrate” Hook said, as thousands of Glastonbury-goers paid their respects.
— Anthony Black (@The_MrB) June 23, 2017
And celebrate they did. The show, which features a 70-piece orchestra, several DJs and a rotating cast of singers brings to life some of the biggest dance tunes of the Madchester era and beyond in bombastic fashion.
Euphoric anthem ‘You’re Free’ is given a beefy brass overlay, and Orbital’s rave classic ‘Chime’ incorporates sweeping strings for a majestic combination. The biggest responses are reserved for Madchester legend Bez’s famed dance moves during ‘Ride On Time’ and Peter Hook arriving on stage for a unique take on the New Order classic ‘Blue Monday’.
But, the remembrance of those who the city had lost hung heavy on the set. As the set came to a close, Rowetta returned – rocking a worker bee-inspired outfit – for one last moment of unity during an emotional version of ‘Show Me Love’. The crowd responded with a set of lovehearts, as Manchester’s unbeatable soul shone through.
A city, and a farm, raves on.