Holy Grail: Jay Wearden and Rosie Romero’s Monastery Hippos Bash Blends Nostalgia and Innovation

Holy Grail: Jay Wearden and Rosie Romero’s Monastery Hippos Bash Blends Nostalgia and Innovation

June 7, 2024 Off By Editor

Jay Wearden, a pioneering underground DJ hailing from the gritty streets of East Manchester, and Rosie Romero, a globe-trotting DJ with a knack for uncovering hidden gems, are shaking up the city’s clued-up dance music scene.

Wearden’s journey from streetwise kid to respected UK underground dance music icon mirrors Manchester’s own Acid House/Dance music revolution.

Meanwhile, DJ, Romero’s unique intuitive creative sense for historic venues, unique atmospheres and absolute attention to detail has pulled together the essentials to create one of the most original Manchester parties!

In an exclusive interview with iconic underground magazine, Mike Mannix dives into the duo’s recent event at a historic Manchester monastery. Initially met with skepticism due to its corporate reputation.

Rosie’s passion for the location’s sacred geometry and historical depth proved pivotal in creating an unforgettable experience. Together, they share the challenges of securing the venue and taking financial risks, driven by their unwavering belief in the power of positive energy and meticulous planning.

This conversation underscores the importance of intuition, community bonds, and attention to detail in shaping Manchester’s dynamic music scene.

Rosie & Jay

Mile Mannix: So, listen, great to catch up again. Tell us a little bit about the event then, and the lead-up to it, the planning, and your thoughts overall.

Jay Wearden: Hi Mike. Yeah, sure we where driving passed the venue Rosie said, can we go in there, in the monastery, because at that time I was thinking we were going to Hidden, where we had to have a meeting, but she wanted to go in this place, but I didn’t really fancy it, because I thought it might be too corporate. But she sort of had a feeling for it and convinced me to go, and then when we went in, it just felt right, didn’t it?

Rosie Romero: Hiya Mike! Yeah, we knew. we just knew! It’s just that it’s always a bit worrying, any sort of big venture you take, but we were always going to make it work.because

we work that hard on it, and we always put so much effort and love into it, and anything we do.”

Jay: I always believe, if you put it out in the universe, it’s going to come there. You’ve got to put your everything into it!

Mike: Yeah, I can imagine.

Jay: I always said all the time through it that the building was the star, the building was what was going to make it, because it’s actually built with sacred geometry and everything, the building. So when you walk in there, you feel, amazing you just feel this force, and it’s had the community building it by hand, it’s just a very special place, really.

Mike Mannix: So it had the vibe you wanted then, man.

Jay: Oh, yeah, massively.

Rosie: We’d been to look at an outside place somewhere before, a big space, and we felt nothing, the pair of us. But,

this time when we went in we just felt it. We got goosebumps. We knew straight away.”

Mike Mannix: Exactly, man. If you have to sell it to yourself, you know straight away it’s not worthy of you. Do you know what I mean? If you’re trying to convince yourself over something,

Rosie: Yeah, the whole thing had to feel right, I mean, we wanted the best of everything, specifically our line up from local DJ Arron Hand, Manchester legend Suddi as Together, Zero B, and Jon Mancini who all played amazingly. We always try to put a positive spin on everything we do and then we run with it, like the attention to detail!

”What other venue hugs everyone on entry and blesses them with a large holy bread haha.”

We even had specially designed beer cans with the monastery logo on them!

Mike Mannix: Holy beer! Brilliant marketing.

Rosie & Jay: Yeah, we had ordered stuff from Germany, designed and everything. We were trying to give that distinct thing, identity as well, away from the Thunderdome stuff, because you don’t want it to be the same.

You want it still to feel authentic, and real, and exciting, and good, but you also want to make it artistically different, and that’s how we sort of see the Hippos stuff, it’s a bit more pretty, if you will, if that’s the right word.

We got Hippos Remixed banners made as well, and the fancy tickets, that have the monastery as a hologram, so you come in this beautiful venue, you’ve got this beautiful ticket.

Rosie: Yeah, we wanted it to feel special. The best bit everybody liked, was our mantra,

be who you want, wear what you want, do what you want, we just want you to be happy.”

Which club says that? Exactly!

I welcomed everyone to the venue gave a them a hug, it was a sunny day, it was just fantastic. I remember the night of the gig I was on the altar, and I was just like, wow, it was a surreal moment, I will never, ever forget in my life, the atmosphere the crowd the vibe. We had wanted to create a magic moment for everybody, something that would go down in history, that

they will never, ever forget, bringing everybody together in there, like the old days,”

you can say that yeah we did it, didnt we?!

Jay: We did!

Mike Mannix: You’ve created a community, you’ve created an energy, you’re pushing the curve. Your attention to detail is amazing. You’ve captured, that 90s vibe, you know, the free spirit, but with life experience, and appreciation, you’ve set a standard, for sure, that’s without a doubt! Well done.

Obviously, they’re going to be, big ones to follow, but I see, you haven’t let the ground get cold, under your feet,  you’ve got summat new coming up as well, haven’t you?

Rosie & Jay: Yeah, we’ve got The Yard. This has been 30 years in the making; we’ve been trying to do an outdoor event for a long time. We didn’t just want to do something in a field; we wanted to create something very different and very special.

So, we found a Victorian school that has been converted, with a gorgeous courtyard, and it’s absolutely stunning. It’s owned by a couple of people in the fashion industry, and they’re really artsy with amazing taste.

They weren’t even in the business initially; they just bought this building, fell in love with it, and then created this community hub. It’s been done so well that it has become an iconic place.

In the courtyard, there are shipping containers stacked on top of each other, each a separate room with balconies. It’s absolutely beautiful and unique.

It’s a different sort of festival, more of an urban festival, especially because it won’t be muddy. It’s set in the Victorian Melts, and it’s going to be incredible!

Mike Mannix: Brilliant! Thanks for talking to us as always.

Rosie & Jay: Thanks so much Mike!

Despite the challenge of convincing the monastery to host the event and the significant financial risk involved, Jay & Rosie were determined to make it work, relying on the belief that their hard work and dedication would yield positive results.

As they prepared for the event, Rosie and Jay focused on creating excitement and anticipation. They incorporated unique elements such as special holy bread and customized monastery cans, which were part of their innovative marketing strategy. They also selected performers carefully, aiming for a mix that would resonate with their audience and enhance the event’s overall vibe.

Rosie and Jay created promotional materials, including a video that combined footage from previous events with new visuals of the monastery, to help attendees envision the experience. They aimed to elevate the event beyond their previous successes, like the one at Victoria Baths, and succeeded in creating an unforgettable atmosphere. The event’s distinct identity, separate from their Thunderdome events, was highlighted by its artistic and aesthetically pleasing elements. Their attention to detail, from the visually appealing venue to the intricately designed tickets, ensured the crowd had a memorable experience. Rosie and Jay reflect on their goal to create magical moments that people would cherish and remember forever, celebrating the sense of community and shared history that their events fostered. They nailed it!

Club Review Daniel Neil – Hippos Remixed – The Monastery, 18 May 2024

The second I wake, I can’t help but smile with giddiness, like a child on Christmas morning. Adrenaline courses through my veins because the day has finally arrived: Saturday, 18 May 2024. Tonight, we experience the latest installment from Jay Wearden and Rosie Romero at Hippos Remixed, The Monastery in Gorton, Manchester. Their vision and passion for these unique, authentic, underground nights are unrivaled, giving us goosebumps every time an event is announced.

Tickets sold out months ago, and the anticipation has been building ever since. The iridescent credit card-style ticket felt like Charlie Bucket’s golden ticket. Sleep has been elusive as excitement builds, messaging friends from all over the country. But now, the waiting is over.

The day is scorching, and my four-hour journey to Manchester only adds to the anticipation. The calm before the storm is like a coiled spring waiting to be released. Listening to old playlists and sets from previous events on the journey is almost too much; I feel like a caged animal. Messages from friends in hotels, at home, or out for drinks reflect the same impatience. We all just want to be there.

A quick change of trains, a meet-up, a drink in town, and finally, we are in a taxi heading towards The Monastery. Seeing it for the first time is breathtaking—tall and majestic in all its Gothic-style magnificence, like a behemoth above the surrounding houses. The atmosphere outside is palpable, the excitement electric.

Inside, the atmosphere and energy are unparalleled. The Great Nave’s grandeur is overwhelming, with its high ceilings, huge columns, and arches. The mosaic floor, stained-glass windows, and ornate altar are awe-inspiring.

But we are here to form our own congregation, to worship music and dance without care. With each DJ set, the energy builds, culminating in an epic crescendo. As the lights come on and we leave, it feels like the end of an incredible, intense, life-affirming night.