The Haçienda: The Nightclub That Changed Britain


Dancefloor, The Haçienda, Manchester 6th July 1988. (Bez from Happy Mondays 2nd left); (Photo by Avalon/Getty Images)

“It wasn’t your greasy, beer-stained 1970s club, it was a slice of New York in Manchester.”

Jon DaSilva, Resident DJ at The Haçienda

The Haçienda is the nightclub that changed Britain. Acknowledged as reinventing and reinvigorating the nightclub genre, the former boat showroom in Manchester’s city centre was open from 1982 up until its closure in 1997 and was at the forefront of music and youth culture at its peak.

It’s also the source of inspiration for our Spring Summer 23 collection, by taking key shapes from our extensive design archive from when The Haçienda’s door were open and reinventing them for today with special regard for the music, colour and fashion, and of course, people of the time.

Owned by Factory Records and electro band New Order, the unique and eclectic super club was instrumental in the careers of The Stone Roses, The Smiths, Oasis, Pet Shop Boys plus global DJs like Sasha, and The Chemical Brothers.

The Haçienda wasn’t just for homegrown talent either, it was a global phenomena. Madonna played her first gig outside of the US at The Haçienda in 1984 and this was about two years before it became truly synonymous with acid house and rave and garnered the reputation it still upholds today.

The Hacienda main dancefloor, Manchester 1989. (Photo by: Peter J Walsh/PYMCA/Avalon/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Tony Wilson, founder of Factory Records, wanted to create a “cathedral” for the people of Manchester, a space where creativity and cultural innovation could bloom.

It was the “cavernous and cathedral-like” quality of the space which would eventually lend itself perfectly to house music, according to Ben Kelly, architect and designer of The Haçienda. From the authentically raw industrial effect to the boldly hazard-striped columns, the interior design of The Haçienda has since created a legacy all of its own.

“The Haçienda never dies – it’s embedded into our cultural history.”

Ben Kelly, architect and designer of The Haçienda

The space was painted in cool blue and grey tones with brightly clad balcony supports and diagonal stripes painted on columns. The urban theme continued with bold directional and warning markings, neon bar signs, bollards and cats-eyes which mapped out the dance-floor, as much out of necessity for safety as it was a stylistic choice.

Clubbers on the main stage at the Hacienda Club, Manchester, UK 1989. (Photo by: Peter J Walsh/PYMCA/Avalon/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

And although The Haçienda may have closed in 1997, under a cloud of gang-related issues and financial troubles, the nightclub has been formally credited with kicking off Manchester’s regeneration.

The Haçienda represents a patchwork of shared experiences, a collective memory of sheer exuberance and although the site now exists as luxury flats, its influence continues to reverberate.

Discover Spring Summer 23, inspired by The Haçienda