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Over 25,000 people have visited the ‘Use Hearing Protection’ exhibition – and this is your last chance to see it

'Use Hearing Protection: The early years of Factory Records' uncovers the lesser-known stories of one of Manchester’s most influential record labels.

Emily Sergeant Emily Sergeant - 15th December 2021

After a successful six-month run, there’s now only a few weeks left to grab tickets to see the Use Hearing Protection: The early years of Factory Records exhibition at the Science and Industry Museum in Manchester.

The critically-acclaimed exhibition is set to close on 3 January 2022.

Since opening to the public back in June, over 25,000 visitors from all across Greater Manchester and beyond have had the chance to experience the popular exhibition, which uncovers the lesser-known stories of one of Manchester’s most influential record labels, Factory Records, and celebrates its place at the heart of the city and in the UK’s music and creative industries.

Visitors have been guided through the lesser-known story of the pre-Haçienda years to learn all about the history of Factory Records label and discover how it earned its status as a catalyst for innovation.

From the first 50 numbered artefacts from the Factory catalogue, to getting hands-on with pioneering technologies of the time, getting to discover previously-untold stories of the first four years of the label is undoubtedly one of main highlights of the exhibiton.


There’s also the chance to immerse yourself in the unique culture and technology that made the Factory Records era such an important one for both music and Manchester.

Some of the artefacts featured in the exhibition include the iconic FAC 1 poster – designed by Peter Saville – as well as items relating to Joy Division, New Order, and The Durutti Column, and there’s even a series of amplified stories which shed light on individuals who played an important but lesser-acknowledged role in Factory Records’ early years, including five key women involved in its beginnings – Lindsay Reade, Lesley Gilbert, Gillian Gilbert, Ann Quigley and artist, Linder.


And that’s only touching the surface.

But, if you’ve not been able to head on down to the city’s leading cultural museum yet to see the exhibition, then you’ve still got a couple of months left to catch it.

Read more: New Factory Records exhibition to open at Science and Industry Museum


Speaking on the success of the exhibition and its final weeks, Sally MacDonald – Director of the Science and Industry Museum – said: “Factory Records was always distinctly and proudly Mancunian, and the music it generated helped define our city, inspiring countless other bands – proving revolutionary in all sorts of ways – from design, to music technology.

“That’s why it has been such an honour to be able to give our visitors the opportunity to have access to an important part of our musical heritage, whether it be so they can reminisce about what they experienced first-hand, or to discover something completely new about the city and music they love.

“The reaction to the exhibition from visitors has been incredible so far, and we want to make sure that before the exhibition closes as many people as possible get to experience for themselves this truly Mancunian exhibition.”

Use Hearing Protection: The early years of Factory Records can be found on the first floor of the museum until Monday 3 January 2022.

Tickets are priced at £8 for adults and £6 for concessions, with under-12s going free.

You can see Use Hearing Protection: The early years of Factory Records until Monday 3 January 2022 / Credit: Science and Industry Museum

In case you didn’t know, the Science and Industry Museum is currently undergoing a multi-million-pound restoration project, and as well as the now-complete Special Exhibitions Gallery, the much-loved Power Hall is also being renovated, and improvement works are currently being made to the historic 1830s Station and Warehouse – the world’s first passenger railway station and the oldest existing railway goods warehouse respectively.

These areas will remain closed until works are complete.

There’s also some exciting new exhibitions arriving at the museum in the new year too, so keep your eyes peeled.

Featured Image – Science and Industry Museum