After a successful six month run, visitors have only four weeks left to get tickets for the critically acclaimed Use Hearing Protection: The early years of Factory Records exhibition at the Science and Industry Museum in Manchester, before it closes on 3 January 2022.

Since opening in June, over 25,000 visitors from the North and beyond have experienced the new exhibition – uncovering the lesser-known stories of one of Manchester’s most influential record labels, and celebrating its place at the heart of the city and the UK’s music and creative industries. 

Developed by the Science and Industry Museum in association with consultant curators, Jon Savage and Mat Bancroft, and partner Warner Music UK – visitors have been guided through the lesser-known story of the pre-Haçienda years, uncovering the history of the Factory Records label and 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, thousands of visitors have been able to discover previously untold stories of the first four years of the label and immerse themselves in the amazing culture and technology that made the Factory Records era such an important one for both music and Manchester. 

Audiences have just one month left to see artefacts including the iconic FAC 1 poster, designed by Peter Saville, as well as items relating to Joy Division, New Order and The Durutti Column.

A series of amplified stories sheds light on individuals who played an important but lesser-acknowledged role in Factory’s early years, including five key women involved in its beginnings – Lindsay Reade, Lesley Gilbert, Gillian Gilbert, Ann Quigley and artist, Linder.

Seldom-seen archive materials and objects will give visitors an exclusive insight into the Factory Records story, a highlight being Ian Curtis’s Vox Phantom guitar, played live and featured in the official Love Will Tear Us Apart video, which  is on public display for the first time in over 30 years. 

Visitors also have a final chance to fully immerse themselves in the music of Factory Records, through interactive experiences. 

Get hands-on with technologies of the time that have gone on to change the face of popular music, including using a mixing desk to create your own version of ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ and enjoy and dance your way through large-scale projections of early live performances by bands on the Factory Records label in the ‘Gig Room’.  

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 will run until Monday 3 January 2022. Located on the first floor of the museum, tickets are priced at £8 for adults and £6 for concessions, with under-12s going free. For more information or to book tickets, visit or call 033 0058 0058. Visitors will also need to book a general admission ticket. More information can be found at  

Following the success of Use Hearing Protection, next year will see a continued focus on music and the creative industries at the Science and Industry Museum. 

A brand-new major exhibition ‘The Musical Mind,’ will headline the biennial Manchester Science Festival – exploring the science of music’s mysterious hold over us and how it drives us to create, perform and share. 

Premiering in Manchester this will then tour nationally and internationally. Future permanent displays and exhibitions will also feature objects from the museum’s collections highlighting the creative industries in Manchester. 

The Science and Industry Museum is currently undergoing a multi-million-pound restoration project. As well as the now-complete Special Exhibition Gallery, the much-loved Power Hall is 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, but there is still plenty to do see and enjoy alongside Use Hearing Protection, including the Cancer Revolution: Science, innovation and hope exhibition; the Revolution Manchester Gallery, where the city’s rich legacy of world-changing innovations, discoveries and ideas are on display.

Textiles Gallery, which tells the story of how cotton transformed the city into an industrial powerhouse; and the Experiment Gallery, a favourite among family visitors who can see science brought to life through a series of interactive exhibits.