Welcome to Factory Manchester, the birthplace of Factory Records.
Take a trip through our brief historical timeline of key events and notable mentions by steppin’ on down.
Factory Records was born
Factory Records was a Manchester based British independent record label, started in 1978 by Tony Wilson and Alan Erasmus, which featured several prominent musical acts on its roster such as: Joy Division, New Order, A Certain Ratio, The Durutti Column, Happy Mondays, Northside, and (briefly) Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark and James.
New Order’s “Blue Monday” (FAC 73) became an international chart hit. However, the label did not make any money from it since the original sleeve, die-cut and designed to look like a floppy disk, was so costly to make that the label lost 5 pence on every copy they sold. Peter Saville noted that nobody at Factory expected Blue Monday to be a commercially successful record at all, so nobody expected the cost to be an issue.
Factory’s headquarters (FAC 251) on Charles Street, near the Oxford Road BBC building, were opened (prior to which the company was still registered at Alan Erasmus’ flat in Didsbury).
The Haçienda closed in 1997 and the building was demolished shortly afterwards. It was replaced by a modern luxury apartment block in 2003, also called The Haçienda.
24 Hour Party People
The 2002 film 24 Hour Party People is centred on Factory Records, the Haçienda, and the infamous, often unsubstantiated anecdotes and stories surrounding them. Many of the people associated with Factory, including Tony Wilson, have minor parts; the central character, based on Wilson, is played by actor and comedian Steve Coogan.
Anthony Wilson, Factory Records’ founder, died on 10 August 2007 at age 57.
In early 2010, Peter Hook, in collaboration with the Haçienda’s original interior designer Ben Kelly and British audio specialists Funktion-One, renovated and reopened FAC 251 (the former Factory Records headquarters on Charles Street) as a nightclub. The club still holds its original name, FAC 251, but people now refer to it as “Factory”.
Still one of Manchester’s most popular clubs, Factory is known for weekly sell out events. The venue is host to some of the biggest student club nights in the North-West and has a variety of live and club shows.
Click the button below to head to our archives and see into the past of Factory.