We party at Manchester club night for the over-50s and prove that age is just a number

“At heart I’m still a young person. I feel like I’m back in the youth club.”

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Too old to go clubbing? There’s a place In Manchester that will put that worry to bed - and after 11pm.  

My Generation MCR is a club night which aims to tackle loneliness in the over-50s. Their oldest regular clubber is 92 - proving age is nothing but a number.  The event, hosted every few months at Matt & Phreds in the Northern Quarter, invites clubbers to go back to the late hours of the 50s and 60s and meet friends for life.

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Guests travel from across the country, some even from abroad. On one occasion, Manchester City’s David Silva attended, and stayed for the whole night to enjoy the music. The evocative music ranges between soul, motown and northern soul and it’s always a sell-out.

Fourteen years ago, Tracey Annette, 58, and Joyce Gill, 79, realised that older people just didn’t have the same quality life experiences as younger people. Tracey worked in public health at the time, visited older people in their homes, and there seemed to be one single unifying concern - loneliness. 

My Generation MCR nights are proving hugely popular My Generation MCR nights are proving hugely popular
My Generation MCR nights are proving hugely popular

A common response from as to why they would not go out to places in Manchester was “those places are not for people like us”. She even discovered the heartbreaking fact that older people were visiting their GP purely for 10 assured minutes of socialising.

Things changed one day when Tracey received a call from Joyce, who asked: 'Where do I go to socialise and dance? I’m retired and in my 60s, and I’d love to meet people. Can you think of a club where you’d or I would feel comfortable now, going out?'

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Tracey realised there wasn’t anywhere. And so My Generation MCR was born. It began at Band on Wall in 2010, founded by Joyce with Tracey’s help. They moved to their current venue in 2020.

Joyce said: “I’ve always been one to go out and make friends. Music brings people together.”

My Generation MCR has acts entertain the crowdsMy Generation MCR has acts entertain the crowds
My Generation MCR has acts entertain the crowds

The night has a different theme consisting of a resident DJ, music act, happy hour between 7pm and 9pm, pizza, and lots of dancing. It was disco fever at the most recent event on Sunday.

Anne Rig, 70, goes to every MyGeneration night, and remembered how she used to have the same nights out when she was 17. 

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“At heart I’m still a young person,” said another 71-year-old partygoer, who didn’t want to be named.  “I feel like I’m back in the youth club.”

Sandra Kennedy, 76, said: “Because it’s full of older people, I don’t feel daft.”  Julian Newbatt, 80, visited for the first time. He said: “It’s like a typical northern club. It reminds me of the mods and rockers in those days.” 

Even though My Generation MCR was born out of NHS funding, it is now a standalone event thanks to its success and positive impact.

Tracey said: “I did it for work and now I’m still doing it retired because I just love it, and all these people are my friends, and I just love being there.”

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She said how rewarding it is to see the common ground that guests discover and the friendships that have blossomed as a result of the nights.

Tracey said: “We need to see ageing in a much more positive light than the negative of getting old. We all want to continue to experience that enjoyment of life as best as we can do.”

My Generation MCR’s next event is a soul night, and will be on June 16.

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