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Photography by Rose Baylis

Parklife Festival - Credit: Justine Trickett

The Warehouse Project at Mayfield Depot 2019 (Credit: Jake Davis)

In 2018, Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham appointed Sacha as Greater Manchester’s first Night Time Economy Adviser. The role acts to advise Burnham and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) on all issues relating to the night-time economy, providing a voice for workers, operators and the industry as a whole - he is not paid for the role and any income created is donated directly to charity. Sacha has been particularly active during the Covid-19 pandemic. Alongside Andy Burnham he has helped formulate responses to help businesses survive the lockdowns placed on the sector as a result of the government’s harsh restrictions in the region.


Sacha is patron of the Joshua Wilson Brain Tumour Charity and an avid campaigner on the role of mental health services for those working in the night time economy. During the global Coronavirus pandemic in 2020, he founded the UnitedWeStream Manchester campaign, a livestream gig website which raised over £470,000 for businesses in the night time economy and charities in Greater Manchester.


Sacha Lord is the Night Time Economy Advisor for Greater Manchester and co-creator of the Parklife Festival and the Warehouse Project.


Born in Altrincham in 1972, he grew up in the town and was educated at Manchester Grammar School. Aged 18 he went on to work at a clothes shop in Altrincham and later started a market stall in Liverpool selling leather jackets. Soon after, Sacha found himself involved in the rave-influenced music scene and the events industry. This was the inspiration for his launch of The Warehouse Project in 2006, a series of rave events running annually from September to New Year with Co-Founder Sam Kandel. It began operations in the disused Boddingtons Brewery site and then moved into the site of an old air raid shelter under Manchester Piccadilly Station. The Warehouse Project went onto feature some of the most in-demand names in international house and techno music, including New Order, The Chemical Brothers and Calvin Harris. In 2019 the project moved to Manchester’s Mayfield Depot, a move which saw it become the biggest club night in the UK with a 10,000 person capacity. 


Sacha also co-created Parklife Festival in 2010 to celebrate artists across indie, house and techno music It has hosted some of the biggest names in music, including Snoop Dogg, Skepta and Liam Gallagher. The weekend festival, which moved from Platt Fields to Heaton Park in 2012, attracts 80,000 visitors each year. The Festival brings more than £10million into the local economy and each year raises over £100k for the Parklife Community Foundation, which is distributed to help local causes.

THE SHOOT: Mayfield Depot, Manchester

The current location of The Warehouse Project... a disused railway depot abandoned since 1960 located facing Picadilly Train Station. 

Student reflection: Rose Baylis

The shoot with Sacha took place in the Mayfield Depot, it was built in 1910 and was once an active key railway station in Manchester City Centre. Left to ruin since the late 80’s, it has been recently repurposed as the new home of the Warehouse Project, MIF and various other cultural events... an amazing location!


The darkly lit industrial space posed a few problems. Additional lights were needed for the photography, which created an exciting and dramatic cinematic effect. Sacha was great and super easy to work with, really down to earth and completely open to our ideas. He’s clearly very passionate about his industry. Given the current Covid situation, we really appreciate him allocating some time - from fighting Greater Manchester's corner - for this shoot.

The Greater Mancunians Project has been such an incredible experience for me. I’ve noticed my confidence grow with each shoot and each time I am pushed out of my comfort zone experimenting with new things.

Sacha & Rose.jpg

Rose & Sacha outside Mayfield Depot

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