Wigan Casino 50th Anniversary Programme

50 Years On The Soul Stays Strong

The Northern Soul scene gave a generation of working-class people an escape from the 9-5 grind and freedom to express themselves through music and dance.

This exhibition explores the lasting influence of an iconic venue, discovering different perspectives unified by a love of music. Includes work by acclaimed artists Dean Chalkley and William Titley, alongside newly commissioned work by students from Wigan & Leigh College.

When: 21 September – 21 October, Thursday – Saturday, 10-4pm

Where: Grand Arcade shopping centre

Free entry

Last Night @ The Casino - The photographs of Francesco Mellina

Photographer Francesco Mellina was in the thick of the action for the very last all-nighter at Wigan’s Casino Club. This outdoor exhibition showcases a selection of photographs which capture the unique atmosphere of this legendary night. Paying homage to the people, to the club, to the scene.

When: 21 September – 21 October

Where: Standishgate (outdoor exhibition)


Northern Soul Panel Event

When: 30th September, 12pm

Where: Museum of Wigan Life

Cost: Free, booking essential

To mark the 50th anniversary, a unique panel event will be hosted by Dr Paul Sadot, with special guests including Richard Searling, Tim Ashabende, Gary Rushbrook, Time Brown and Ian Wills, talking about their experiences of Wigan Casino and the Northern Soul movement.

Russ Winstanley talk

When: 6th October, 11:30-1:30pm

Where: Museum of Wigan Life

Cost: Free, booking essential

Russ Winstanley is a UK DJ who is best known for his championing of Northern Soul music. In 1973 he founded the famous Wigan Casino All-Nighters at which he was the original DJ. Over 4 million people passed through the venue until it closed in December 1981.

Join us for this special talk where Russ will share his memories from his time at the Casino and his involvement in Northern Soul right through to today.

Northern Soul by Jim Cartwright

When: 21 October, 8pm

Where: Trencherfield Mill (Machine Hall)

Cost: booking essential

A one-off performance of a new play written by Jim Cartwright and Directed by Nick Bagnall, which pays tribute to the legendary music and dance venue; Wigan Casino, performed with support from students of Rose Bruford College.

Soul Music and Social Change by Stuart Cosgrove

When: 28th October, 4:30pm

Where: Museum of Wigan Life

Cost: Free, booking essential

Join author Stuart Cosgove for a unique event that will examine the struggles Black American soul artists faced and put into context the influence they had on Wigan Casino, Northern Soul, and the wider music scene in this country.

Booking information

For more details about the cultural programme go to The Fire Within.