A former Jilly’s Rockworld clubber has used his technical skills to create a virtual reality version of the legendary Manchester nightclub.
From the famous orange bathrooms to the vomit on the floor, Rob Prest has tried to capture as many of the club’s quirks as possible.
Rob took to Facebook to share his initial attempt at creating the club and asked clubbers to search their memories to help him with the details.
He has now painstakingly reworked parts of the map and included all kinds of details, meaning users can enjoy virtual playlists and ‘drinks’ that were served in the club.
He has even made it so that visitors to the VR club can pick up a Pot Noodle – a delicacy that was served at the bar in the Main Room during each Friday allnighter.
“I’m not sure how long it’s taken,” says Rob. “A few weeks I would say, but not working constantly.
“I miss Jilly’s so I wanted to recreate it and I’m just learning 3D modelling so it seemed like a good idea.
“One of the problems was how it changed over time. A fair amount of the map was taken from 24 Hour Party people and they had changed it since then so it was difficult to know which were the new changes.”
Rob, from Milnrow, Rochdale, frequented Rockworld on Friday nights during the 2000s and even travelled back from university in Newcastle regularly to visit the club.
“When I came back to Manchester that was when they closed Jilly’s,” he says. “So I didn’t make it to that last night.
“It was really sad. I always heard the rumours that Afflecks was closing and that never happened so I didn’t really believe that Jilly’s would ever close either.”
The nightclub closed in 2010 and has since been replaced by a Tesco supermarket.
As such, Rob has to rely on architectural plans, his memories and those of other clubbers to recreate the club.
“I was a bit worried because I’m not professional at this and I thought people might mock it,” he says. “But people have loved it.
“I’ve had lots of feedback and people have told me what was wrong and what needed changing. So I’ve added lots of little details.
“A few people requested drinks too so you can pick up Guinness cans, Red Stripe and Newcastle Brown.
“You can run it on desktop as well, it’s just not as refined. It feels more real in VR.
“I’ve really enjoyed making it.”
Rob has even made it so that players can run their own Youtube playlists in the virtual club.
Those keen to visit the VR Jilly’s will need to download the online game VR Chat – which allows users to create, publish, and explore virtual worlds.
But Rob has also filmed a walkthrough of the club and shared the footage to Youtube.
The tour starts off in Jilly’s famous orange bathrooms – which were also featured in the Steve Coogan film 24 Hour Party People.
The red toilet cubicles and mirrored walls are all there in the women’s toilets, as well as details such as the lollipops that were handed out by the attendant.
The men’s bathroom is even more detailed down to the urine, vomit and condom packets on the floor and a cigarette butt floating in the urinal.
Outside, in the lobby, huge black pillars which were created throughout the club can be seen, as well as a cigarette machine, the ‘welcome’ sign’, the entrance doors and payment booth and a little shop.
Virtual clubbers will pass arcade machines as they walk down the corridor into the Goth Room, which has been mapped out to include raised platforms, a bar and a DJ booth.
If you walk into the DJ booth, Rob has uploaded playlists which players can skip through.
The indie room – which was opened towards the end of Jilly’s life – has been included to the back of the Goth Room room.
Rob has mapped out the curved Fishbowl room at the back of the club as well as the huge Main Room to include the various different aspects including dancefloors, bars, DJ booths, raised platforms and pool tables.
Users can even pick up drinks that were served at the club including vodka and coke, Red Stripe, Guinness, Newcastle Brown and Red Witch – a cocktail of Pernod, blackcurrant and cider.