Andy Burnham Hacienda

Andy Burnham ‘in’ the Hacienda on New Year’s Eve – or was it just a dream?

Or #NotquitewhatIexpected

Am I hallucinating or is this really happening? That was the first question I asked myself as I kept my new year’s celebrations going long after midnight.

It wasn’t due to a sense of surprise about how I’d managed to get through 2020. It wasn’t because of the shock about how effectively a year of life has gone and the only stories we have are sad ones.

Andy Burnham Hacienda
Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham popped up to say a few words during the Hacienda New Year’s Eve show
DJ playing at Hacienda
Imagine how great this night would have been if customers had been allowed up close and personal with the DJ (it was still good but it would be nice to be allowed to be somewhere other than a supermarket)

It was because amidst some livestreamed DJ sets from the Hacienda virtual house party a video of Andy Burnham started playing, almost like an advert break while people went to get more drink from their fridge.

(For non-UK readers, he is the mayor of Greater Manchester and was most recently in the news when he battled hard for his people to get the best Covid relief package.)

He was talking about survival and the night scene in his city – but I only really know it happened because I took a screenshot. If I hadn’t then I would have convinced myself I went to bed after singing Auld Lang Syne on my own.

Yes, after a year of disbelief I’ve learned to take a picture to show what has changed in life.

I’ve never been a big fan of January with it coming after the festivities of Christmas and I’m always glad it’s over.

Please can someone tell me the identity of this red hat sporting DJ
Please can someone tell me the identity of this red hat sporting DJ
Jumpin Jack Frost at Rave to the Moon
Bow down to the wonder of my tech set-up of my laptop with Star Shaped Disco while my TV played Rave to the Moon, including Jumpin Jack Frost bringing back memories of the days he played at Club Airlock in Canterbury years ago

But this year, for the first time ever, the new year had to be celebrated on my own so I did it in the best way I know how – and, in a way, the closest to how I celebrated in the olden days.

I started with a livestreamed gig of Catherine Bohart and friends telling some super funny jokes while I cooked dinner and folded t-shirts (comedy is the only properly new addition to a new year’s eve night out in) and then Zoom dinner with my parents before clubbing harder than I’ve done for months.

The much loved Star Shaped Disco was with me throughout serving up some delightful indie tunes from back in the day.

And, at the same time I was watching and listening to the epic Rave to the Moon which, unless I’ve miscounted, included at least 16 DJs. Organised by SK Shlomo the aim was for all the steps danced to be counted and to reach the moon. Sadly it did not reach the target (which I think was around 500,000 – but again I may have miscounted) but it was still an amazing event to be a part of.

Then someone who did not get given a watch for Christmas started some fireworks at around 11.50pm so I put some prosecco in a reusable red plastic cup and headed outside.

Brandon Block Rave to the Moon
Brandon Block at Rave to the Moon provided another very welcome blast from the past
Red cup on New Year's Eve
And proof, if proof was needed, that I took my red cup outside (the prosecco was mostly gone by the time this picture was taken) to enjoy the first few moments of the new year

After Rave to the Moon finished I heard rumours (aka I’m in a WhatsApp group with a few hundred strangers) there was a Hacienda show, featuring some people I probably should have recognised.

Someone told me it went on until 10am but I called it quits at 4.30am because I had to spend the first day of the new year not doing much and then regretting having wasted a day (before remembering we are still in a pandemic so there is nothing to do.)

Sorry this week’s episode of Fiskal Policy smacks of a child being asked to write a piece for school about what they did during their Christmas holidays.

Next week I’ll be back with a bang with (hopefully) searing insights into pop culture and world affairs. This week it’s just too early into January to know what’s going on in life.

Stay safe for another week!