Co-founder of The Warehouse Project: “Rotterdam and Manchester have great synergy” – Features
What made you want to do an international festival?
Since we started the Warehouse project in 2006, we have always wondered about the international opportunities. Throughout this time, we’ve been keeping tabs on anything that looked like the right thing, and it’s actually taken us so far to find something right.
How long have you been working on this Rotterdam idea?
Before COVID we went to see Rotterdam and various places [there]. We really liked the city – we thought the city had a really good synergy with Manchester. Whether it is the industrial history of [Rotterdam] or the history of dance culture, there was definitely a connection there. Everyone’s been to London, everyone’s been to Amsterdam — there’s a lot of people in the UK who’ve been to Amsterdam, but never really thought about Rotterdam. We think it’s a great destination for everyone that’s so accessible.
The history of club culture in the Netherlands is not only based in Amsterdam but also in Rotterdam – there is a huge heritage for techno. Everyone also knows Manchester’s place in the history books, so we have nothing to learn in Rotterdam about delirium, but we still think it could be a good backdrop for The Warehouse Project.
What does the location look like and why do you think it matches what The Warehouse Project is?
RDM is a great venue — it’s not used much for these sorts of events. It’s right at the port, and there’s this huge window that looks out over the whole city. We think it’s quite poetic. Much of the public will have never been to Rotterdam before, so all the time they are in this WHP Rotterdam event, they can actually look over the water of the city.
The place itself is absolutely perfect. We are obviously very lucky to have the Mayfield [Depot] in Manchester, but [RDM] is a great venue – if it had dragged on in Manchester we would have been interested in going there.
What should loyal WHP fans expect from the festival?
This is a format change from a typical WHP event. It’s a weekend to start – we’ve never had a WHP event in Manchester quite like this. Our format in Manchester is different in that you have these 25-30 events and they are all completely unique. But it’s more of a cohesive program that spans three days, so it’s a break from the norm for us. We’re really excited about it – we’ll be adding a lot of activities during the day, there will be afterparties which we’ll be adding more.
We’ll also give it a real Rotterdam flavor so that we don’t just feel like we’re setting up camp in this city and doing it like we normally would. We want to give everyone the opportunity to explore the city, so that it is a unique experience for everyone. But I can’t say exactly what it’s going to be like, because we’ve never done it before, it’s going to be a new experience for us too.