Maxwell Hall features in new augmented reality trail through Salford

Categories: School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology, University Campus

The University's imprint on Salford’s incredible music legacy has been celebrated by a new immersive interactive trail.

Maxwell Hall is featured in the Echo Salford trail, which enables users, via an app, to discover the city of Salford’s music history through an augmented reality (AR) experience.

The legendary venue on our Peel Park campus has seen concerts from the likes of music icons Paul McCartney, U2, The Smiths and Blondie over its 60-year history, and carries immeasurable resonance and affection with local communities across Greater Manchester and our alumni across the globe.

Now, students and visitors to the site can explore its history and get a glimpse of the venue's most famous concerts in a new immersive way via the app, and can hear from Peter Hook, the co-founder of Salford-based rock bands Joy Division and New Order, who played at the Hall in 1978 and 1985.

Tim France, Director of Performance, Music, English and Dance at the University of Salford said: “Maxwell Hall is very significant to Salford’s music heritage, as it was a landmark venue that hosted some of the world’s biggest bands. It has a rich and diverse musical history that reflects the cultural vibrancy of Salford and its people.

“Students and the people of Salford and Greater Manchester should know Maxwell Hall because it is part of their local identity and heritage. Maxwell Hall is a source of pride and inspiration for anyone who loves music and culture.

“This new technology is one of the more innovative ways that we can get people to interact with both the city and the University’s past. It can help bring our history to life and create immersive and engaging experiences that connect us with the places and stories that shaped our present whilst also preserving our heritage by documenting and digitising our cultural assets for future generations.”

Most students will now experience Maxwell Hall as a performing teaching space or to don their cap and gown for Winter Graduation, however, during the late 60s, 70s and 80s, the building was the venue in Salford to see live music with hundreds of people shoulder to shoulder for some of the region’s most historic concerts.

The Smiths concert at the Hall on Sunday 20 July in 1986 has previously been celebrated as one of the ten best gigs of all time by Q Magazine.

Alongside Maxwell Hall, users of the app can also experience immersive experiences at The Lowry, Salford Lads Club, Islington Mill, Chapel Street/Bexley Square, the Kings Arms pub and at MediaCity where BA Broadcast Journalism graduate Priya Matharu helps guide users around the area’s musical history.

The app, which was developed by Dig Media and Toasted Productions, was made possible via funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund. You can download the Echo Salford app on the Apple Store or Google Play store. 

Some of the Hall's most famous gigs include:

  • The Hollies - Christmas, 1965
  • The Who - 6 December 1968
  • Black Sabbath - 16 October 1970
  • Paul McCartney & Wings - February 1972
  • Status Quo - 3 November 1972
  • Elvis Costello - 21 October 1977
  • Motorhead - 18 November 1977
  • Blondie - 3 March 1978
  • U2 - 4 June 1981 & 3 October 1981
  • New Order & Happy Mondays - 17 April 1985
  • The Smiths - 20 July 1986
  • The Fall - 16 November 1986 & 6 November 1987
  • Faith No More - 2 February 1988
  • Pulp - 28 May 1992
  • The Charlatans - 19 December 2004

For all press office enquiries please email communications@salford.ac.uk.