The last rave: Sankeys Manchester is closing its doors after 25 years


After 25 years, it’s with a heavy heart that we say our last goodbye to Sankeys.

It’s eighteen months since the Manchester institution was forced to close after its home at Beehive Mill, where it had been based since 1994, was sold to a property developer.

But that wasn’t the end of Sankeys.

But now the team behind the brand have confirmed that this weekend’s 25th anniversary celebrations will be the last hurrah for the Manchester clubbing institution.

A statement released by Sankeys states: “Following the closure of our beloved club in Beehive Mill, Ancoats in January 2017, we have been without a home in our spiritual city.

“The Sankeys25 tour will come to an end this Saturday in Manchester […] Not only will this event be the last in the leg of the tour, [but] we will also be winding down our events in Manchester for the foreseeable future.

“Following the recent closure of Sankeys Ibiza and the dramatic changes to Manchester’s clubbing landscape in the last five years, we feel now is the right time to close the door on Sankeys in Manchester, and what better way with our own festival and biggest ever event. ⁠

“We would like to thank every single raver and all Sankeys staff who contributed to the legacy of the club and brand over the last 25 years. We hope to see you all for one last dance this Saturday.” ⁠

Dirty and out of the way as it was, over the years Sankeys gained a reputation as one of the UK’s best loved clubs. It has certainly had an interesting history.

In its 90s and 00s ⁠heydays, the club flew the flag for a fresh wave of house and techno hedonism after the popularity of the popular acid house movement began to wane.

There were difficulties along the way. Six months after opening the club almost went bust thanks to an over-adventurous booking policy, and later down the line, in 1998, it closed its doors for a short while due to problems with local gangs.

But come 2000, it was back open again under the ownership of David Vincent and Sacha Lord, who brought in Krysko to help reshape the club’s offering and give it fresh appeal to a younger audience.

Pic Paul Grogan

However, the turbulence continued and by 2006 David Vincent and Sacha Lord had parted ways, with Sacha moving to launch the Warehouse Project with Sankey Soap promoter Sam Kendall.

As the club grew up, it expanded globally, opening in Tokyo, Ibiza, London and Brooklyn (the latter, admittedly somewhat of a disaster by all accounts, was forced to close after just one month of opening due to disagreements regarding the handling of the club’s brand by franchisers).

It has changed hands again since the closure of Beehive Mill in 2017.

And so it is with a heavy heart that we say goodbye to Sankeys and consign another iconic name to Manchester’s music hall of fame. But not without one last rave.

Get ready to rave your heart out because this weekend there will be one last blow out at Bowlers as Sankeys celebrate their 25th birthday in true Sankeys fashion.

The weekend will see an 18-hour all-day all-night festival showcasing 20 different artists including headline sets from the Artful Dodger and Steve Lawler, Darius Syrossian and Sam Divine.

So wipe away those tears and put on your dancing shoes. We might not like it, but it’s finally time to say goodbye.

Tickets are still available online priced from £22.25.

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