Hundreds of Northern Soul fans will once again return to the town that did more than any other to put the music on the map for an event bringing back something of the scene’s heyday.
The fourth Empire All-Nighter will take place at Wigan Roller Rink next month with the venue expected to be packed with fans paying homage to part of the borough’s musical heritage.
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As with the famous events at Wigan Casino (pictured right) dancers will be able to hit the floor until dawn, although the end of the event on August 17 will be at 6am rather than 8am.
The all-nighter is the brainchild of young Northern Soul promoter Jordan Wilson and events manager and dancer Charlotte Hindley.
Jordan, who has worked with the likes of Kendal Calling, The Charlatans and Gucci, said: “I have dedicated the majority of my life to Northern Soul music.
“It consumes the majority of my time and the thought of this incredible subculture dying out within my lifetime really frightens me.
“The Empire All-Nighter is the platform to keeping this music alive. Each year we see an increase in young Northern Soul enthusiasts attending and it’s exactly what our scene needs.
“The event gets bigger and better every year and I am so proud to be hosting the fourth one together with Wigan Roller Rink.”
The quirky skating venue is an appropriately cultural place for the all-nighter as it takes place in the Victorian mill workers’ canteen where George Formby once performed regularly.
The place has now been renovated with a Canadian maple sprung-wooden dance floor, making it ideal for the soul enthusiasts to run through their impressive repertoire of moves.
Northern Soul captivated young people in the ‘60s and ‘70s with the Casino becoming one of the world’s best-known music venues.
Celebrating obscure artists overlooked in their native America by the massive success of Motown, Northern Soul turned the likes of Chuck Wood, Dobie Gray and Tobi Legend into cult heroes.
DJs at the Empire All-Nighter will spin those classic sounds from the golden era once more as well as tracks proving popular with a new generation of soul fans today.
The event will be photographed by Wigan snapper Brian Cannon who has worked with Oasis, The Verve and Suede and has enjoyed fulsome backing from former Wigan Casino DJ Richard Searling.
Mr Searling said: “It’s great to see this annual event getting Wigan back on the Northern Soul all-nighter map and attracting such a sizeable and knowledgeable crowd.”
Tickets are £12 in advance and £15 on the door if it is not sold out. Find out more by searching for Empire Soul All-Nighter 2019 on Facebook.