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Sankeys boss on US club closures, first ever Sankeys festival

By | Published on Friday 21 November 2014


The month-old Brooklyn branch of white-knuckle-ride nightclub franchise Sankeys has had to shut down, leading Sankeys boss David Vincent to release a statement blaming the brand’s American franchisees for “failing to deliver” on their agreement. And some other damning accusations.

Brand Sankeys’ attempt to break the NYC party scene hasn’t gone brilliantly so far, what with the folding last month of Sankeys Manhattan after only a year in place, and now the accelerated demise of the Brooklyn site.

Vincent had initially said at the time of the big Brooklyn opening he was “taking direct control of all aspects of the venue, and leaving nothing to chance”, adding with confidence that “Sankeys is a basement-style club and needs an intimate low ceiling venue to create our magic. Our new venue in Brooklyn is sure to create this”.

Well he certainly isn’t saying that now, rather the opposite, as his press release (re-printed here by RA) proves. In it, whilst Vincent confirms that he and the team will “no longer be involved” with the former Brooklyn venue, SRB, he directs most of his anger at Sankeys’ Stateside franchise partners, writing that…

“In September, we were eventually persuaded by our franchisee and very much against our own better judgement, to help with their new venue in Brooklyn. We were promised direct and full control of all aspects of the new Brooklyn venue. We relocated key personnel from Ibiza to ensure the club would immediately come across as Sankeys, a social experiment rather than a franchised brand as in Manhattan”.

“In order to create that true Sankeys magic it was essential for us to have complete control, the sound, the artistic vision and the management being fundamental to our success. We were lied to, we never had control of any of these things and for that matter on pretty much anything in reality”.

Citing a range of last minute time constraints placed on the venue being finished as one of the major issues, he adds: “Once we committed to the move and started work, the franchisee failed to deliver on any of the agreed terms and we soon found ourselves in an untenable position being both unsupported financially and operationally. We were therefore left with no other alternative than to terminate our relationship with the franchisee immediately”.

And finally he says: “We know we would have made this work, but we cannot work with people who do not share our vision or stifle our creativity. We are sorry for the inconvenience caused to our US fans, DJs and artists on this chapter, but as they say, ‘the show must go on’, and it will; but in another part of the world for now”.

The world’s remaining Sankeys nightclubs, for those keeping score, are in Playa d’en Bossa, Ibiza, and another on-off one in the brand’s city-of-origin Manchester. And to end on a Sankeys-style high, Vincent has confirmed the company will host its first ever UK festival at some point (he doesn’t clarify when). 2015 seems a fair bet.