IT may be almost 35 years since the Wigan Casino doors slammed shut for the final time, but co-founder Russ Winstanley is proving that its legacy lives on with another bumper celebration planned this year.
The Springfield DJ is heading up what is dubbed the biggest Northern Soul event in the world at Butlins Skegness where they enjoyed record attendances last year.
I decided to go Motown this year. I’ve got the Velvelettes who did stuff like It Was Really Saying Something which Bananarama copied and had a hit with, and Needle in a Haystack and another five or six songs that were big on the Northern Soul sceneRuss Winstanley
The first weekender was held in 2013, commemorating 40 years since the first ever Wigan all-nighter.
And once again, Russ has secured a number of huge acts to perform with prices from just £115 per person for three nights. There’s a twist to the theme this year too and it’s one that organisers are hoping will be a huge success once again.
He said: “I decided to go Motown this year. I’ve got the Velvelettes who did stuff like It Was Really Saying Something which Bananarama copied and had a hit with, and Needle in a Haystack and another five or six songs that were big on the Northern Soul scene.
“The Countours will be there, who had a hit with Do You Love me and had big hits on the Northern Soul scene.
There’ll be a girl called Kim Weston who had chart hits and Brenda Holloway and Chris Clark. Chris actually is the only one who is a millionairess because she wrote the Lady Sings the Blues film which Diana Ross starred in.”
Last year thousands descended on Skegness for the weekend, setting a new high for the number of people at a Butlins music event. Russ believes this shows how the scene is still growing and is “bigger than ever”.
The 62-year-old has also recently been snapped up to host three big Northern Soul Nights at Warner hotels.
“I’m busier than ever at the moment,” he added. “It’s great, there’s a lot to look forward to and we still do so much here in Wigan.”
Russ will be at the Bellingham Hotel in Wigan Lane tomorrow for the monthly free all-dayer event. While he’s there, anyone wanting information about the Skegness event can obtain it. To book tickets call 0845 070 4780 or visit www.bigweekends.com.