The Gay and Lesbian world was a very different place back in 1993. Equality was a distant dream. The age of consent for Gay men was 21. Discrimination, in the form of the despised Clause 25 and Section 28, was rife. The threat -- and the social stigma -- posed by HIV and AIDS was palpable.
In May of that year, Canal Street's groundbreaking Manto bar took over the former Factory Records HQ on Princess Street and, building on the bar's success in changing attitudes, ripped up the rule book for club culture in Manchester. People wanted to stick two fingers up and have a party, and the Paradise Factory provided the backdrop.
On the club's opening night, the legendary Tim Lennox from the No1 Club joined upstart Dave Kendrick on the decks, Trannies With Attitude stopped the traffic on Princess Street whilst Joan Collins was driven quite literally onto the stage, and with the Divine David anointed as the club's avant garde host, it was clear this was going to be no ordinary nightspot.
For 10 years, the club remained at the forefront of queer clubbing. It broke the rules and challenged conceptions. Straight people (shock horror) were welcomed with their gay friends, a stance that was severely tested when le tout-Manchester came to join the party. But "for fags, fagettes and friends" went on to become the club's motto.
The 20th Anniversary Reunion will be the first -- and almost certainly -- the last time that some of the DJs, hosts, promoters and characters who made the club will be reunited in their former home. With three floors and three genres of music covering 1993-2003, this will be a night of nostalgia. A night to remember the good times, catch up with old faces, give a silent nod to absent friends, hear some truly classic house music, dance like no one's watching and, for one last time, get just as trashed as you ever did. It'd be rude not to.
Featuring a LIVE PA from 90s star SYBIL singing 'The Love I Lost'
From Pete Dalton: "This film is dedicated to Carol Ainscow, co-founder of Manto and The Paradise Factory, who sadly passed away on 19 September 2013. I didn't get the chance to show it to her but I know she would have loved it."
Presented by Lady Lola
Shot & Edited by Neil Kemp
Produced by Clubaholic.tv