There will be no more A Wing raves in HM Prison Lancaster

It’s all gone a bit Pete Tong

Occasional prison rave A Wing has been put behind bars, permanently.

The event, which took place in HM Prison Lancaster underneath Lancaster Castle and has seen sets from the likes of Camo & Krooked, High Contrast, Bondax and the legendary Pete Tong has officially closed.

A statement on the Facebook page reads: “They say all good things must come to an end and sadly we must report that there will be no further A Wing Events in the Prison wing at Lancaster Castle.”

Raving: the second best thing you can do in prison

Raving: the second best thing you can do in prison

“Alas, when you bring a Funktion One into a disused prison inside a 1000 year old castle then you know that every event might be your last, and now the powers that be have decided that there is no space to continue in 2016 and we have to respect that decision”, it continues, suggesting that the perhaps the music was too intense for the ageing building to handle.

The venue was generously offered to the event by the Duchy of Lancaster, and the organisers make sure to say “a massive thank you to the Duchy of Lancaster for letting us be part of their history”, as well as to “all the people that ever helped us make our dreams come true”.

Don't mind me, just walking to work

Beats the Sugar queue for scenery

Having worked behind the bar at the weekend that saw Hospitality featuring Camo & Krooked, followed by a Halloween party DJed by Bondax & friends, the news cuts deep. Even whilst working, both events were absolutely phenomenal and everyone involved deserves a round of applause.

Its death is another blow for Lancaster’s suffering nightlife scene, which has seen in the last year alone the collapse of Revs, Elements and Mojo. With nothing coming along to replace them, we’re left with the unholy trinity of Sugar, Hustle and Glow Rooms, and even that last one’s looking like an increasingly uncertain prospect.

Rich Dyer, one of A Wing’s joint founders, spoke to us about what happened:

Why did it have to end? 

Ultimately, we were putting events on inside a disused prison inside a castle owned by the Queen. That’s always going to generate mixed opinions whether it’s a good thing or not, and despite the fact the events brought nothing but praise from both the 5000 or so people that attended over the two years and the local authorities, it appears the Duchy of Lancaster would like some different things in the prison wing.

Where did the idea come from?

We had a meeting with the castle with regards to selling tickets through Skiddle for other events at the castle. We were shown the prison wing and it just went from there.

What’s your best/funniest/most shocking memory from the whole time? 

The old cliché would be “too many to mention”, however wheeling Bez from Happy Mondays onto the dancefloor in a coffin has to be up there.

You’ve got Haçienda Classical at the Ashton Memorial later this year. Is Williamson Park the new home of A Wing, or is this a one-off?

The Williamson Park show is a large outdoor event, so although we hope to do lots up there it won’t be the new A-Wing. We’re speaking to a couple of venues in Lancaster so we can carry on what we started – we’ve really enjoyed working in Lancaster and being part of its scene, and we definitely aren’t ready for that to stop yet.

Any regrets or things you’d do differently?

We learnt from every decision we made. That’s all you can do.