Ascension in Manchester closes......



Ascension permanently closed its doors on Wednesday, October 1st, bringing to an end an amazing experience for everyone concerned. What follows is a statement from the club's visionary, DJ, promoter and co-owner, Cameron Dante.

"Pretty much everyone involved with Ascension were clubbers themselves and saw things from the perspective of the dancefloor - we played the records, served the drinks, ran the office - pretty much the whole thing. We never got involved with this club to be part of an industry, we got involved to be different and to do things differently - to offer something different to the city of Manchester. It certainly wasn't a vehicle for making money, we just wanted to build somewhere for people to go and have a good time.

Essentially what happened was simple bums-on-seats economics. Recently, we felt we'd turned a corner - certain nights were selling out, and the smiles on the faces of the punters gave us all renewed spirit. We had a full programme in place, Manchester was swollen by the return of the students and our very last Saturday night saw 1000 people packed into a 1200 capacity club. But overall the sums just weren't adding up for a venue of that size. We decided to voluntarily bring in administrators, to see if they could run the business more effectively than us bright-eyed clubbers, to help us trade through what had been a difficult period and put us on a surer footing in the run up to Christmas and New Year. Ultimately a view was taken that Ascension was simply not an economically viable proposition in the current clubbing climate

People in clubland have adopted a somewhat head-in-sand outlook to the industry in 2003. But the closure of magazines, labels and nightclubs tells its own story - Studio 54 has become P45. We really tried to do it differently, always running an ethical policy (for instance giving out water instead of selling it), helping people out financially, showing concern for the welfare of our clientele, offering opportunities to young people who may otherwise had none. Maybe the moral of the story is that you shouldn't dare to be different (but I still wouldn't have done it any differently). The climate has chilled, the sun is finally setting on that second summer of love and the reality we have been forced to accept is that clubland is in recession; that rave culture doesn't spend money in 2003.

But the bottom line is that I refuse to be drawn into a slanging match or pick faults with clubland - it is what it is, what's gone is gone and I can't change any of that. I was always determined to be a good guy in this industry and that holds true now, as I look for the positives in this. For instance, we built up a database of 10,000 people who were turned on by Ascension, we supplied thousands upon thousands of people with good times and good memories, we threw some amazing parties, we gave a break to up-and-coming DJs and took a chance with young, enthusiastic promoters - giving them all a platform on which to let their fantasies play out.

The most painful thing has been that human factor, and the sadness amongst the young people who worked at the club. But what still shines through is the energy, commitment and enthusiasm of the people involved and the honesty and integrity we showed during the trading life of the club, and that we will continue to show now. I will be the first to admit we made mistakes but - you learn nothing from success; you learn everything from failure. We believed in it right up until the end - we had worked out our New Year's Eve line-ups and were planning for 2004. Those parties will obviously now never happen and we'll miss seeing everyone on our dancefloors.

I still love DJing, I still love the music and I still love Manchester. It's just that it's now time to take a step back and make some sense of it all - it's been an incredible, emotional ride for everyone involved - a random idea became a bricks-and-mortar nightclub, and a nightclub that has connected people together.

A club is much more than bricks-and-mortar however - we all know that. We were never about conformity, we played the game with honesty and integrity and we will be back. The community of people is still in touch, it's merely that for the time being we're homeless. But at the end of the day - you can change the locks on a nightclub, but you can't change the locks on a friendship."
Good post, im from Manchester, Partington to be exact but never actually went to Ascension as im not a full time clubber nowadays. But from reading your post its obvious that this is a sad day for Manchester clubbing.
i read about this the day after it closed. Goodgreef used to hold a night there, they now had to change venue as a temporary messure thay are holding there 3rd birthday in Nation in liverpool.