On Sunday morning (4 October), Bedfordians are in for a rare treat, as legendary Haçienda DJ, Graeme Park, will be gracing the In2Beats airwaves.
Graeme will be joining Bedford’s Mark Russell for the last of his Summer Guest Mix Series, broadcast every Sunday from 8am – 10am.
Mark has been broadcasting weekly during lockdown, and recently has been inviting different DJs to share the show with him.
“I thought it would be nice to change the show up a little and invite some hugely talented guests on,” Mark told the Bedford Independent.
“My show is loosely soul, jazz and funk from the 70s – some of the guests are known for playing other genres from house to techno so it was exciting to invite them on.
“It’s a real honour and I’m truly humbled Graeme Park took time out to put together a mix exclusively for us.
“Graeme has been a huge influence on me down the years – from my first time hearing him play at the Haçienda around ’92 to many pinch-yourself moments when I’ve warmed up for him.
“Graeme set the bar very high in the late 80s with his technical ability and immaculate taste. The word legend gets a bit overused, but GP is without doubt a bona fide legend within dance music.
“I’m hugely proud to present & share this mix on my little show this Sunday morning. Turn it up LOUD and enjoy.”
Thanks to Mark, the Bedford Independent also got to put some questions to Graeme, particularly around his activism to support the music industry through the pandemic.
“Lockdown has been busy but frustrating,” said Graeme. “It began with lots of live streaming but after a while I decided to turn my attention to campaigning for support from the government for the live sector and night time economy which was the first to shut down and is being completely ignored by the government.
“That has meant working with the Night Time Industry Association and the Featured Artists Coalition and talking to my MP and the shadow culture secretary Tracy Brabin.
“I’ve also supported United We Stream GM and helped raise hundreds of thousands of pounds for health and night time economy charities by taking part in two Haçienda House Party streams and my own epic 12 hour live stream.
“I’m also a part time senior lecturer in creative media, so I’ve been busy adapting all of my modules for online delivery for the start of the new academic year.”
For both Mark and Graeme, music has been a great connector during lockdown.
“Music is how I’ve connected with people all of my life,” said Graeme. “Regardless of any lockdowns or restrictions. Thankfully the internet means I can continue to do that while clubs and live venues remain closed.”
As Bedford’s music fans are only too aware, there is a real risk that many live venues and clubs face closure.
“It’s a complete scandal that this inept and shambolic Tory government refuse to support the UK’s fifth largest industry that is worth over £66 billion to the UK economy.
“That’s a lot of tax and VAT that isn’t being collected and hundreds of thousands of people who are receiving little or no income.
“Some kind of financial support package, a road map to reopening, a conversation with the industry and clearer guidance is essential to prevent disaster.
“I will continue to use my voice to campaign for my industry.”
You can hear Graeme Park and Mark Russell on In2Beats this Sunday morning at 8am. Tune in online here.
And if you want to know what piece of music has been uplifting DJ Graeme Park during these uncertain times, here’s the answer: