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Published by: Kirstie Niland on 5th Aug 2017 | View all blogs by Kirstie Niland

Combining an orchestra with acid house DJs sounds as unlikely as holding a rave on Lytham Green – but they did it and the audience was mad for it. 

Haçienda Classiçal is much more than a nostalgic trip down memory lane to 80s and 90s Madchester, it’s pure musical genius, blending opposite genres to create a concert appealing to all ages and backgrounds.

And Lytham absolutely loved it.

Following a warm-up by electronic dance band 808 stage, the Haçienda club’s original DJs Graeme Park and Mike Pickering took to the stage with the Manchester Camerata Orchestra and the AMC Gospel Choir.

Happy Monday’s singer Rowetta was tremendous, reaching a crescendo with the 1986 Candi Staton track You Got the Love – a track she sang on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show in memory of those who died in the Manchester bombing.

Haçienda Classiçal gives Rowetta a sensational platform to showcase the impressive vocals she has lent to some of the world’s biggest bands, including Simply Red and the Black Eyed Peas.

A personal favourite was a rework of Mory Kante’s Yeke Yeke – and everybody’s favourites included Blue Monday, featuring the voice of New Order and Joy Division co-founder himself, Peter Hook.

The beachfront stage with the beautiful Lytham skyline as a backdrop was the perfect setting for a hugely uplifting rendition of the Ultra Naté floor filler Free.

And to remind us where the Mad in Madchester comes from, the legendary Bez gave us some signature dance moves in a bright yellow anti-fracking T-shirt.

Lytham Festival has gone from strength to strength since the event organisers Cuffe & Taylor first launched it in 2009. It has grown from a one-night show with Lesley Garrett and Alfie Boe to a week-long extravaganza attracting around 70,000 festival-goers to see stars such as Rita Ora, Tom Jones, Michael Ball, and this week Olly Murs and Louisa Johnson.

Haçienda Classiçal truly embodied the Lytham Festival’s billing of a "well-crafted mix of nostalgia, contemporary and classical music" with something for everyone to enjoy".

In the words of the Inner City classic, they’re having big fun, and the party’s just begun…

Still to come: Madness; The Official Aftershow Party featuring DJ Rusty Egan with Steve Norman of Spandau Ballet; and A West End Extravaganza and Firework Finale with Lea Salonga, Collabro, Ruthie Henshall, Claire Sweeney, Jon Lee, Jodie Prenger, Lucie Mae-Sumner, Beau Dermott, Jon Lee and Marti Pellow, accompanied by the 60-piece Heart of England Philharmonic Orchestra.

Book your tickets here.



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