The Lapsed Clubber Audio Map

Recording the memories of Greater Manchester's rave community, 1985-1995
Powered by Manchester Digital Music Archive

What is...
The Lapsed Clubber Audio Map?

The Lapsed Clubber Audio Map is a place for members of Greater Manchester’s original rave community to preserve and share their spoken word memories of clubbing and its culture during the ‘first decade’ of rave, 1985-1995.

Our interface allows you to record your voice directly into your desktop computer or laptop and pin 60-second sound clips onto a map of Greater Manchester at the exact spots where the events you are describing originally happened. You can also use some software compatible smart phones to do this.

If you prefer, you can leave your memory as written text.

For this project we are only collecting memories associated with rave culture i.e. electronic dance music and clubbing within the ten boroughs of Greater Manchester between 1985-1995. To learn about or share artefacts relating to other eras and music scenes, please visit our main website.

We would like as many people as possible to contribute memories, so the map will grow into a beautiful repository documenting the social history of rave in Greater Manchester.


This website is an experimental and evolving piece of work based on fusing third party protocols such as Google Maps and Web RTC. The latter, which is new open source software that allows you to record via browsers, is not currently FULLY compatible with iPhones, iPads and Safari. For the best experience, we recommend using a desktop or laptop computer running Chrome or Opera.

Latest Memories

extended mixer (PSV) – PSV Club
Free Pizzas (Aficionado) – Zumbar
Happy Monday – G-MEX
I saw the short bloke from Candy Flip in his poncho (Hacienda) – Hacienda
Blurry Memory from a Southerner (The House) – House
The Orb, took my mates dad and gave him a microdot (Manchester Academy) – Manchester Academy
A Rave at the TV Studio – Granada TV Studios
The Beginning of the End (Konspiracy) – Konspiracy / Pips
Flares – Affleck's Palace
Thank you for Life (Bowlers) – Bowlers
380 memories on the map so far

How to...
share your memories

First of all you might want to have a think about some of your favourite memories of raving in Greater Manchester.

Here are some ideas to get you started:
  • Funniest thing you ever saw in a club
  • First time you came up on the dancefloor
  • Favourite person you ever met at a rave
  • Best-dressed person you ever saw in a club
  • Best song you ever heard played at a party
  • Life-changing events
Each memory needs to be pinned to a place on our map. The maximum duration of a single memory is 60 seconds!

The place could be a club, a festival site, someone’s home, a recording studio, etc. Don’t worry if your venue has been demolished – you will just pin it approximately where it used to be.

Next you will need to create an account. This helps us stop spam on the map, but your memory will be anonymous.

Hit the map. You might want to click ‘find me’ just to help you orientate yourself.

To use this feature your location services on your device will need to be switched on. Learn more about his here:

Next click ‘Add A Place’. Give your place a name i.e. The Hacienda and then move your pin to the exact location you want to drop it. Click save.

Then, click your pin to bring up our recording facility. First give your memory a good title to catch people’s eyes.

Then choose a category for your memory. You can choose as many as you like i.e. ‘drugs’ ‘music’ ‘politics’.

Next click ‘record’. You have a maximum of 60 seconds to share your memory! You can listen back using the play button and record it again if you are not happy.

***We think it's fun to leave memories with a group of mates!***

Latest Places

William Kent Crescent – 1 memory
South Nightclub
Hulme Court – 1 memory
Zumbar – 1 memory
Fitzcarraldo – 3 memories
Ancoats Salvation Army – 1 memory
Derelict Warehouse (1988) – 1 memory
Tropicana / Tiffany's – 1 memory
Sticky Fingers – 1 memory
120 places on the map so far

How do I listen to memories?

To listen to memories simply browse the pins of the map. When you click a pin, the memories associated with it will appear for you to play in venue heading box.

You can also use the category filters to find memories that are of particular interest to you.


  • Try and pin your memory as accurately as possible to the map
  • Give your memory an eye-catching title
  • Do select relevant categories for your memory
  • Encourage your friends to join in
  • Tell us your story in 60-seconds. Brevity is the soul of wit!
  • Stay on topic: Rave culture in Greater Manchester
  • Share on social media


  • Worry about getting a perfect recording – it’s supposed to be fun
  • Leave memories that do not relate to Greater Manchester, 1985-1995
  • Leave memories about indie clubs, stick to rave culture!
  • Be rude or libellous about other people
  • Fib

About The Lapsed Clubber

Project leader Dr Beate Peter is a member of the Research Centre for Applied Social Sciences at Manchester Met. The Lapsed Clubber Audio Map, funded by Heritage Lottery Fund, provides an opportunity for members of the rave community that helped shape the rave scene of Greater Manchester between 1985 and 1995 to archive their memories. By doing so, a voice is given to a youth culture that has often been presented as an apolitical and purely hedonistic culture with no impact on people’s everyday lives. The Lapsed Clubber Audio Map allows the rave community to write their own history and show how people’s lives were impacted upon by not only the social and political conditions at the time but also by being part of a rave community.

The project is based on the principles of co-production. It means that members of the raving community are jointly developing the content of the Lapsed Clubber Audio Map. At a first stage, community members were invited to share their personal memories at the project launch in June 2016. Since then, ravers sorted, catalogued and analysed those memories, and proposed search categories for the map. They have helped to test the map and started to contribute their memories.

Social media has helped older members of other subcultures to reconnect or stay connected with their peers , and it is also a great way for members of the rave community to stay in touch, organise and promote reunions, or engage with this project. The Lapsed Clubber Project group on Facebook has been crucial for reaching out to and allowing the community to participate in the project.

About MDMA

Manchester Digital Music Archive is an online community archive established in 2003 to celebrate Greater Manchester music and its social history.

We are a registered charity run by volunteers. Charity no. 1164179.

Our crowd-sourced archive and website is a place for people all over the world to share Manchester music ephemera and memories, be they fans, musicians or involved with the music industry itself.

We are passionate about celebrating the hidden chapters and under-represented communities within Greater Manchester music. We believe that through crowd-sourcing artefacts we can democratise heritage and provide a platform for multiple versions of history to be shared.