Some are born great, some have greatness thrust upon them, and some achieve greatness by manufacturing a fake “lifetime pass” to Manchester’s biggest nightclub.
Ahead of the The Warehouse Project’s Drumcode night this past Saturday, Ellis Hall – a 23-year-old pizzaiolo and DJ from Darwen, in Lancashire – used Photoshop to create a “lifetime access pass” to the club. When the news made it to Sacha Lord, WHP founder and Manchester’s night tsar, he tweeted that he’d rewarded the “little scoundrel” with genuine “lifetime access for effort”.
I gave Ellis a call to find out exactly what happened.
VICE: So, Ellis. What happened this weekend?
Ellis Hall: I heard you could volunteer at WHP and go to an event for free in return, so I realised people scanning the tickets were only there to go to the event. So I thought, ‘I can easily prank one of them’ – they’ve not got an idea of what a pass would look like.
How did that work out?
I turned walked through all the security and got to the girl scanning the tickets, and I said, “You alright, have a look at this.” She didn’t know what to say – she got some other guy from security and he was like, “Did you win the competition, mate?” and I was like, “Yeah, yeah. The competition.” The person who must have won the competition must have already got through, because he was like, “You didn’t” – but he accepted it. But then I started laughing, and he was like, “You’re having me on, aren’t you.” He took the card, but he let me in anyway. I didn’t get it back – he must have passed it to Sacha Lord.
How did you settle on the design?
I went on Photoshop and I imagined what a real pass for Warehouse would look like. I made it and thought, ‘That looks pretty legit.’ I got it printed on a proper plastic PVC card, the same size as a credit card. I wasn’t sure what to put as the year, so I thought 00/00/0000 weren’t a bad date – since it’s for life.
Did you have a get-out-of-jail-free card in case it all went wrong?
I had a ticket as a backup, because I thought I’d look like a proper dick if I didn’t get in.
Oh, so you had a ticket anyway?
Yeah, it was more just for curiosity, to see if I could get away with it. If I didn’t make it obvious after he let me through, we wouldn’t be here now. I kind of wanted them to have it. I can’t say I could’ve predicted any of this, but I knew it was a possibility, as I said to someone last week: “Imagine if it gets to Sacha and he gives me a real one.”
What happened the morning after?
So I woke up in the morning and I had 20-odd messages, and I thought, ‘Oh my god, what have I done?’ At first I didn’t know how he was going to take it, so I thought, ‘I look like a proper dick now, like I’ve snuck my way in.’ But I saw he was buzzing off it, and everyone else was, so I thought, ‘Thank god for that!’ Sacha messaged my mate, who must have tagged me in it.
So are you now getting an actual physical pass?
He said message me when you want to come and get it, so I’ll be doing that as soon as possible.
Maybe he’ll just give you your one back?
Can you imagine that? He said it was a proper one – but I’d be laughing if he activated [my one], put a barcode on it. That would be class.
Would you like to meet the Lord himself?
It would be a privilege to meet with Mr Lord himself. I’ve actually returned a lifetime pass for him to come down to Eddie’s Woodfired Pizza, the pizza shop I have ownership in, whenever he wants, and he can eat for free. I think it’s only fair. I also DJ myself, and recently I’ve been booked for a few events, like Symposium and In The Know. I’d love to see if any opportunities could arise if I met him. I’d be dying to ask him for a set at WHP.
Final question: as a DJ and pizzaiolo, what’s the best pizza for a post-rave day in bed?
Definitely pepperoni, salami, njuda and some buffalo wings.