Features, News

The LEGACY Issue: Hit & Run’s Rich Reason: “It’s about bringing people together”

0 6

Featured image: Emily Dicks

The nightlife industry is currently seeing more than 40% of young people worrying about finances when contemplating a night out. Over 60% of students who work a part-time job say the money they earn is spent on paying their bills and buying food, according to a National Union of Students survey.

So the obvious question that arises is: What is drawing these people to continue going out, even when they know they shouldn’t?

Hit & Run are leading the pack to keep people coming through the doors despite their financial difficulties. 17th birthday this year, Hit & Run’s leader Rich Reason also manages ‘Ghosts of Garage’, ‘Discopuss’ and the music collective ‘LEVELZ’. 

Rich Reason is a DJ, promoter, manager and father of two, who has been making a statement as a promoter on the Manchester music scene since 2004. His focus is on giving clubbers a space to forget their day-to-day challenges.

The introduction of no phone policies, so event-goers can detach from the reality of life, multi-genre nights and portions of free tickets all work together to keep people coming back to his events.

Rich says he uses his nights, in particular Hit & Run, to bring artists to Manchester for the first time and to support local music. “This gives us an identity that distinguishes us from others,” he says. “It’s about creating your own lane, rather than being like the rest.”

“Rather than affecting lots of lives a tiny bit, I just work with people I think have got real potential, and try to change things for them.”

To platform talented, emerging individuals, Rich says “the trick is to do things so people come through the door, and then expose them to stuff they might not recognise”. That includes emerging artists and new names that the audience might not recognise. The aim, he says, is to “try to expand their minds.”

Despite his love for the scene, it’s also clear that there are difficulties that follow closely. Rich says: “Promoting is interesting in that it’s exactly where business and art meet… If you end up being too business-focused, there’s no soul or identity.”

The impact of the current economic climate on the ‘going out’ aspect of people’s lives has affected jobs within the music community. “We used to run Hit and Run every Monday night for almost seven years, whereas now, understandably, students take their degrees a lot more seriously,” says Rich. “I think it’s starting to get into a tough period again, but it’s just the macro environment of the cost of living.”

Despite the challenges faced by the music industry, Rich’s sense of purpose remains untouched. A strong focus for Hit & Run — and for Rich in his personal life — is charity work. Rich has created ‘Food 4 Thought’ whereby rather than buying tickets, event-goers pay to get in by bringing food and necessities. Rich reflects on this: “Hit & Run have made some of the largest food donations in Manchester as part of Food 4 Thought.”

This seems to be a shared sentiment among the Manchester music community. Rich says, “It’s definitely not just me. Artists are willing to take part as soon as there’s a cause they believe in. You can ask and they’ll 100% do it – there’s a lot of big heart.” Reflecting on the role of music events in society, and how he’s using his events for good, Rich adds: “Music is by nature political.”

A key element of Rich’s role is supporting artists from the city. “Hit & Run has a very strong Manc identity,” he says. “Manchester is incredible in that every single sound is represented and there are people doing it really well. I think that’s an incredible thing. There’s so much community.”

Rich says he is trying to create “memories for a lifetime”. He says, “The irony is, when people leave my nights sometimes they don’t remember anything, but I do think they carry the feeling. Especially in these divisive times, I want to create a space where no-one gives a shit. It’s about trying to engender an atmosphere of tolerance and respect. Life’s hard, and that goes back to the no phones policy – I’m just trying to give people a release for a few hours. It’s about bringing people together, giving them a safe space – and some time to forget.”

About the author / 

Ella Bartman

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More News Stories:

  • Dido & Aeneas and Orfeo ed Euridice @ Hope Mill Theatre review – an impressive double bill

    Featured image: City of Manchester Opera City of Manchester Opera presented their first double bill since 2019, featuring Dido and Aeneas and Orfeo ed Euridice at Hope Mill Theatre. Both performances were conducted by Musical Director Juan Oruño and directed by Artistic Director Nigel Machin. The Manchester-based company, comprised of professional, semi-professional and trained amateur…

  • Shirley Craven @ The Whitworth Art Gallery review – A celebration of colour and pattern

    Featured image: Elizabeth Clark After stepping into the stark white gallery space of The Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester, viewers venture blindly into the dimly lit exhibition rooms where Shirley Craven’s magnificent designs hang. Here, housed in the industrial red brick, the vibrant textile designs seem to leap off the walls, dancing and singing around…

  • Manchester Indian Film Festival: Creating TV Drama Series collaboration brings together the city’s creatives

    Featured image: Juan Pablo Cifuentes The ‘Creating TV Drama Series’ networking event brought together writers and industry professionals as part of the Manchester Indian Film Festival’s collaboration with Manchester Met. Hosted by the Manchester Writing School, it brought together staff and students from the School of Digital Arts (SODA) and Manchester School of Theatre (MST)…

  • What you need to know about the upcoming election

    Featured image: Elliott Stallion on Unsplash A rain-soaked Rishi Sunak took the news by storm on 22nd May, calling a general election on 4th July, 2024.  Although most of us know what a general action is, a quick synopsis is always useful. The general election is an opportunity to elect Members of Parliament to the House of…