Manchester is a city renowned for its bustling nightlife, expansive music scene and the constant merging of these two credits. Clubs like FAC251 and 42’s, music venues like Gorilla and the Albert Hall, and festivals like Parklife and Neighbourhood, are key reasons why so many students choose Manchester as their home for their next three or four years.
However, there is one person whose jurisdiction covers all of these events with very few students being aware, and that is Sacha Lord-Marchionne.
Co-founder of The Warehouse Project and Parklife, Lord-Marchionne already has huge amounts of influence on Manchester’s nightlife. Partner this with other ventures elsewhere, such as Hideout Festival in Croatia and Kendal Calling, and Lord-Marchionne’s sphere of influence appears ever-expanding – but why do so few know of his involvement in their nights out? Who is the man behind these events?
Sacha Lord-Marchionne grew up in Manchester during the height of the acid house and indie rock movements, eventually dropping out of school to pursue work in events management, organising nights for his friends’ birthdays and for The Hacienda before co-founding the Warehouse Project in 2006. Since then, his business and resultant influence has only grown. His repertoire now boasts sold-out festivals abroad, Parklife Festival, (which continues to pull acts and fans from around the world) as well as the still-expanding Warehouse Project, arguably one of the most celebrated nights out in England.
It is not only events that Lord-Marchionne owns or has founded that he influences, however. In mid-2018, he was appointed Manchester’s first ever “Night Tsar”, following an initiative set by European cities like Amsterdam and Berlin. This title allows Lord-Marchionne to work with a panel of other experts to provide better nightlife across the region by making it safer and easier to enjoy nights out, as well as working on better transport links at night and applying his wealth of experience to improve the night-time economy in the region.
Shortly after his appointment by Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham, Lord-Marchionne told the Manchester Evening News: “The night-time economy is the fifth biggest industry in the country, employing more than 8% of the UK’s workforce and here in Greater Manchester, we have always recognised its importance.”
He added: “Drawing on my 25 years’ experience in the sector […] I’m looking forward to getting to work and helping to build on Greater Manchester’s night-time economy.”
This therefore means that, any night-time outing you or your friends should go on comes under the influence of Manchester’s Night Tsar, whether that be a trip to the pub for one or two, or whether it’s a heavier night in the Northern Quarter.
It has not always been success for Sacha, however. He has spoken in the past on how two deaths at events he has organised have affected him, despite doing everything in his power to stop drugs and dangerous substances making it past the entrances to his venues. The Warehouse Project was also found solely responsible for an increase in drug-taking in Strangeways Prison in 2006 (which was just next-door to the venue at the time) and was scrutinised by “every statutory authority in Manchester”.
Despite these set-backs, it appears to have done very little in stopping his dramatic rise to prominence. A hugely successful events organiser and businessman, a familiar face to the Manchester music scene, and a constant champion for safety in nightlife, Sacha Lord-Marchionne appears to be the perfect candidate for Manchester’s first Night Tsar.
If you would like to contact Sacha Lord-Marchionne with any concerns, enquiries or feedback, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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