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Sankey's Soap - a Dirty Experience

Published on February 10th 2006.

Our resident clubber Tristan has got himself into a lather with his Sankey's Soap review this week. He's facing the biggest dance off of his life with clubbers across Manchester divided. They are either up in arms (in the air) at his article or have donned sweaty t-shirts with 'Tristan is right' emblazened across the front in pink, furry letters.

See the feedback so far below.....

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There is a genuine club in Manchester there for the clubbers - NORTH. People in the know go there, not to Sankey's, as there's so much trouble there - with the clientele or the staff. Sankeys is there for the money not the clubbers. Only people who need big name DJ's to make themselves feel cool go there!

Amber Corns

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Ok Tristan, no I haven't been going to Sankeys for 17 years, I meant 10 years. It was the tipple at lunch time which must have muddled me! My friends have all made sure I am aware of my mistake!

Jennifer Harvey

I agree with Micheal Howard. Clubbing is dead in Manchester. I started clubbing in Manchester in in '91, the days of the Hacienda and the Boardwalk and PSV, and whenever I have been to Sankeys I've always been disapointed.

They may get the big names, but that is only because there is no alternative in Manchester. I think if people travelled and saw what was available else where they may not be so keen on the place. I don't think Sankeys realy cares about it's clientel, if it did the toilets wouldn't be so absolutely disgusting.

All they are interested in is money and with no healthy competition nothing will change, people who know nothing else will keep lining their pockets. Say what you want about my thoughts, and maybe I'm just old school, but I think since clubbing has gone so mainstream and commercial the clubs like Sankeys have sold out and decided to just rake in the cash.

Sara Edwards

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I am a promoter at Sankeys, and have worked there since it re-opened over five years ago. I think the review Tristan has written is an absolute joke. While on very busy nights, things can get a bit hectic outside in the queues when their are twice as many people trying to get in as we can allow, for sure there are going to be some disappointed people.

As for the situation with the cloakroom...Unfortunately Sankeys is not a purpose built venue, its in an old factory that's hundreds of years old. We just do the best we can with the space that is provided. The cloakroom, although using one porthole, does always have a minimum of 4 people working in it up until midnight, on a sell out night like this. This night in particular we were taken by surprise. When we left the office at 5pm, we had sold enough tickets for there to be room for a good 3-400 people turning up without a ticket to get in.

In the time between us leaving, and the club opening, Sofa in Fallowfield one of our outlets sold over 300 tickets, making the allocation for the door nearly 0. This has never happened before, and it resulted in things on the door being more hectic than a normal sellout night, as people were turning up expecting to be able to get in, and then being told they couldn’t.

As for the accusations leveled at the doorstaff, this is something we take very seriously. As with any door in Manchester, memebers of doorstaff come and go, and Sankeys are very careful as to who they have working the venue. After all, this is a huge factor in the fact that Sankeys is still here after over five years, because we have a good team of people working there and have created a safe environment for people to come and listen and dance etc...

Sankey's bar prices aren’t the cheapest in town... nor are they the most expensive. It costs a lot of money for us to provide the kind of guests we do at the club, and if it wasn’t for Sankeys promoting these nights in house, and making money off the bar, the club would probably have closed its doors long ago, and despite what anyone says that would be a shame. At the end of the day, Sankeys is, as i have said before, like Marmite. You either love it or hate it...

Tristan, i think there were elements in your article that were completely false, and trying to paint the club as a place that has lost interest in its paying customers is absurd. It is the most important part of what we do, and on a personal note, the article really annoyed me. I think the fact that the article made it on to the site at all, is also do with the fact that we ultimately decided not to advertise with Manchester Confidential. Just a theory though...

Manchester Confidential are of course going to give editorial support to those who pay them money (or give them a free lunch etc), but i didnt realise they would give those who were thinking about it, and then decided against it, such a harsh review.

Nevermind though... Thousands of people travel from all over the country to Sankeys, and think its one of the best places to party anywhere. The place is a bit rough and ready, that is part of its charm... I'm not saying we do everything perfectly, but we have a damn good go!

Sam Kandel

Publisher's Note: Now Samuel, I Bet you didn't expect to see this on the front page after all that huffing and puffing on the telephone the other day, eh, my old son? - Mark Garner, Publisher.

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Jennifer, Tristan DID get in, but he gave up after queueing for more than 2 hours. It's one thing to insist that people use the cloakroom, but another to make them wait over an hour to do so, and to make them wait AGAIN to get into the club. "Unexpected" ticket sellout or not, I've only ever known Sankey's to be very busy, and I only ever go in the summer, when the students are missing and I don't have a coat.

I've been turned away without a ticket but I didn't have to wait 2 hours for the privilege. There are a hundred parallels to be drawn between Sankeys and MUPLC, and unfortunately, squeezing the last bit of marketing out of the famous name at the expense of the punters is one of them. Nobody claims that Sankeys is a "super-club" like GC or Ministry, or that it's ever gonna make a decent profit (does any club ever do that?) but when you insist on exclusive rights to all the best DJs, it's bound to cost a lot to keep things running.

Perhaps if Sankeys were to encourage healthy competition rather than stifle it, the Manchester scene would be a LOT healthier than it is, and people like Emma wouldn't need to go further afield to see the "big name" DJs in a decent clubbing environment. One thing Sam's forgetting is that most of the punters who "love" Sankeys haven't been outside Manchester to a decent clubbing night. Most are students, the rest are locals, I disagree that "thousands travel from all over the country"; I just don't believe it and unless he's got a log of the coach parties who must turn up every weekend, I think he's lying.

I've never seen a coach outside Sankeys, except those carrying the big drunken parties from Ashton, Stockport, Oldham, etc. who spend most of the night rudely pushing past people trying to dance. (That's not a dig at those towns, or their people; only their drunken parties.)

Tom Parish

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I cannot disagree more over Tristian Welch's article on Sankey's. After reading it twice (I couldn't believe the false accusations he was flinging around the first time), it seems to me that Tristian was in a very negative mood even before he got to the club, his mate had dropped out - boo hoo.

I although not as regular at Sankey's I have always been treated with respect and courtesy by the door supervisors as well as other staff. I have seen door staff going out of their way to help people enjoy their night. Yes it does get crowded but I have always seen this as a sign that the promoters are giving their clubbers good nights out time and time again.

The door staff at Sankey's are polite and probably some of the best in Manchester, I have never felt vulnerable in there from other clubbers due to their presence and I would recommend to anyone who has read this fabrication to ignore the lies, but if there is a big playing DJ on get a ticket or you will be disappointed .

Samantha Allman

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Having been a regular at Sankeys Soap for the best part of 17 years (Are you sure? - Tristan), I find myself having to defend this glorious institution. I haven't been anywhere where queues haven't pushed even the most dedicated of clubbers to the limit but I have never found Sankeys to be that bad. I would never turn up anywhere where top class DJ's are on the line up, without a ticket, you wouldn't turn up to a concert without a ticket, would you? Maybe it was just bad luck on the night, I'd be the first to rant about anywhere where I had had the same treatment but I just don't think its a regular occourance so I hope your article doesn't put people off. My boyfriend recently came up from London and had his first 'Sankeys' outing, he loved it, and thats saying something with all the choice you have down there.

Jennifer Harvey

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Sankeys business practices are notoriously money orientated, but with no focus on it's customers. No doubt they'll brush off any criticism by saying 'it's a rave, what do you expect'. It's not a rave, it's a cynical business.!


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You're review is quite simply a load of b*****s.

Alex Ralph

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The gangs screwed the club scene of Manchester and now they continue to do so in a round about way. If you want clubbing, go to London. Brum. Clubbing in Manchester has died..

Michael Howard

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I've only been to Sankey's a couple of times but it's always been a let down - its nothing more than a warehouse with a bar! I've been clubbing in some amazing places across the world and they really know how to look after their guests and treat them right, it really puts Sankey's (or Skankey's as we call it) to shame. Manchester needs a really good nightclub, Sankeys is most definitely NOT that nightclub!!.

Emma Campbell

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I have to agree with Tristan's review I'm afraid. What's the point in having "world-class" lineups if you miss half of it while queueing, or can't get a decent spot on the dancefloor? The only good nights I've had in Sankeys have been on less busy occasions. I dislike paying substantial amounts of money only to be herded in like cattle, treated like shit by the doorstaff and extorted at the bar all night long. Rubbish.

Gavin Nash

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You can respond below or maybe talk about something else topical...


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