By David Keane
MANCHESTER’S music fans said farewell to the city’s long-running music venue Jilly’s Rockworld at a tribute party this Saturday.
The club, on Oxford Street, hosted the send-off event at neighbouring alternative music venue Satan’s Hollow.
The night brought together many of the club’s previous DJs and employees, and invites past fans to attend.
Former club promoter and DJ Nerissa Ferguson said: “This was a chance for everybody who enjoyed the club to say goodbye with one-last Jilly’s-style night.”
“It was a fantastic night and everybody thoroughly enjoyed it.”
Jilly’s, and sister club Music Box, announced its closure last week via Facebook, and the final night at the club was on Saturday.
Club proprietor John Bagnall explained that whilst there have always been ups and downs in the music scene, this time it was different.
“The rock scene has been dropping for three years and we’re just not getting the custom. We can’t go on anymore,” he said.
Yet all hope may not be lost for fans of the club, which had been around for forty years.
Ms Ferguson said: “We are hoping it’s not over.
“All of the DJs are still enthusiastic to run the ‘Rockworld’ night – we just need the right venue now.”
And such news is welcomed by Jilly’s regulars.
Ashley Brocklehurst, a club regular for seven years, said she looked forward to any new venue, but wasn’t thrilled about the tribute night.
“It’s a nice idea, but Satan’s Hollow isn’t a big enough venue. It certainly doesn’t live up to Jilly’s,” she said.
Miss Brocklehurst, 25, said that she was devastated when she heard the news but questioned why more hadn’t been done to keep it open.
She said: “If they had told us they were struggling, I’m sure many regulars would have rallied support or even donated money – but nothing was said.”
The closure of the club, famed for its Friday ‘all-nighters’, has left a hole in Manchester’s alternative music scene.
Ms Ferguson said: “It was the most important place in Manchester’s rock scene – things won’t be the same without it.”
Alternative music fans are only too eager to support this view.
Miss Brocklehurst said: “I was going there for my birthday, but where am I going to go now?”