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Lapsed Clubber Audio Map Goes Live - did you go raving in Manchester 1985-1995?

Lapsed Clubber Audio Map Goes Live - did you go raving in Manchester 1985-1995?

Manchester Digital Music Archive has teamed up with Manchester Metropolitan University to develop an online audio heritage map that will tell the story of the rave scene in Manchester in the words of clubbers, DJs, promoters, venue staff, producers and more.

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 recalling originally happened. 

You can also listen back to the memories of others.

Popular culture has referenced rave culture in Greater Manchester in print, in major films, on TV and in theatre, but almost always from the perspective of the well-known 'expert insider'. Focusing on the raving landscape between 1985 and 1995, we are creating the Lapsed Clubber Audio Map with community input, giving the community the opportunity to write its own rave history.


The last of our series of events exploring rave culture in Greater Manchester will be held at the People's History Museum on Sat June 9th at 6pm (the bar will be open from 5pm).

Book your free ticket here.

The launch event will include an introduction to the map, a panel discussion and a Q&A.


Dr Beate Peter – a self-proclaimed Lapsed Clubber and project lead. Beate is a social researcher at Manchester Met who wants to find out what it means to grow up and grow old with rave culture. Having tested the dancefloors in Berlin during her undergraduate studies, she has settled in Manchester, a city whose relationship with raves and club culture she continues to explore.

Abigail Ward - an award-winning curator, writer & DJ with over fifteen years' experience in the music industry and cultural sector. She specialises in Greater Manchester music history; music and disability; and LGBT+ music culture. She is a co-founder of Manchester Digital Music Archive.

Dr Fiona Cosson - an historian of modern Britain with particular expertise in oral history; local, regional, community and public history and heritage; and the history of community, neighbourhood and belonging.

John McCready - a former Hacienda DJ, John was resident for 5 years in the Gay Traitor bar. He also wrote for NME, The Face, Mojo, Word, Radio Times and Mixmag. He now teaches Journalism, Cultural Studies and Music Production at Salford University and BIMM Manchester. 

This event is part of Manchester Histories Festival

Can you help?

If you went raving in Manchester between 1985 and 1995, we'd like to hear from you. We are looking for people who'd like to share some stories to help us test our map. The memories are left anonymously with no username attached to them.

If you'd like to get involved, just hit the map here.

GEEK NOTE: This project 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.