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Sheffield History

The Jackson Five at The Fiesta Club in Sheffield

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The Jacksons Fiesta Sheffield.jpg

Was anyone there when Michael Jackson and the Jackson Five played at The Fiesta Club in Sheffield City Centre?

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Destiny-Tour-michael-jackson-7185598-1200-808-1.jpg

 

MICHAEL JACKSON & THE FIESTA CLUB, SHEFFIELD

I worked twice with Michael Jackson, during the period when he was billed as "MICHAEL JACKSON and the JACKSONS" One of the concerts was in Brighton at the Brighton Centre and the second at the famous Fiesta Club in Sheffield - this would have been in 1977 or 1978.

Michael was young and it was obvious that he was already becoming a Superstar. He had been part of the JACKSON 5 but was now billed as lead singer under his own name plus his brothers. The album "DESTINY" had been released and this was the DESTINY TOUR.

At that time I had secured a contract to book many of the Northern theatre/nightclubs in England including the prestigious Sheffield Fiesta in Yorkshire.

These theatre clubs were a major part of the entertainment scene in the UK at that time (the late 1960's through to the late 70's). The Sheffield Fiesta, which opened in 1970 had been owned by the Lipthorpe Brothers (Keith and Jim) but they had been brought out and was then owned by the Rank Organisation. I had secured the exclusive entertainment booking rights, which was a major coup for me personally - I can't remember the seating capacity now but it must have been around 2,000 seats. The Fiesta was known as the Premier Nightclub in Europe - it was a very exciting place and I loved it - every minute of it.

It was my job to book the artists and everyone performer from the dancing girls, compere's and of course the stars. I was 29 years old and you can imagine not only the fun of booking this place, but it was a very big responsibility too. Rank Leisure the company that was operating this club wanted it to be a success so I had to contract the finest artists and those that will sell out the tickets. 

 

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There was fierce rivalry between the clubs - there was the Batley Variety Club, the Wakefield Theatre Club, the Golden Garter in Wythenshawe, The Night Out Birmingham, Caesar's Palace and many others - all of them fighting to book the top stars. I had a real fight on my hands.

I booked the Fiesta Club in Sheffield from around 1976, 77 and 78 - I am not sure of these exact dates - so much of this fades in the memory, but it was an incredible time and what a way to learn the entertainment industry - this held me in good stead later when we promoted major concerts in London and throughout the UK and eventually when we opened offices in New York and other countries - From the Sheffield Fiesta to the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, the London Palladium, Royal Albert Hall to the Metropolitan Opera House, Carnegie Hall in New York - it was a long walk and an exciting one - but nothing was more exciting that the Fiesta!

I have so many memories of booking artists into the Fiesta - including The Walker Brothers, Roy Orbison, Joe Cocker, Shirley Bassey, Diana Ross, Dionne Warwick, The Hollies, Gerry and the Pacemakers, The Searchers, Freddie and the Dreamers, Cilla Black, The Temptations, The Drifters, Suzi Quatro, local boy Tony Christie, Showaddywaddy, Matt Monroe, Jack Jones, Johnny Mathis plus UK comedians like Freddy Starr, Bruce Forsythe, Tommy Cooper, Bob Monkhouse and a host of others - but the big coup was contracting MICHAEL JACKSON.

 

I remember the excitement this announcement caused. Lines around the block to the booking office - huge media interest from local and national newspapers, television news and so forth. The word was out Michael Jackson and the Jacksons were coming to Sheffield.

MichaelJackson Destiny Tour.jpg

Michael, his brothers, the musicians, the technical crew and Joe Jackson the father arrived - Michael was lovely to speak with - he was a gentle soul and I liked him immediately - in some ways he was very accessible although it appeared to me that his father was keeping a very close control over him - almost obsessively, but that is only my personal opinion. 

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The tickets had been sold out for weeks and the anticipation was running high. The venue was packed to the rafters and when Michael and his brothers hit the stage the atmosphere was electric. I will remember that performance for ever - the excitement, the dancing, the energy generated, the incredible atmosphere in that room - the music pounding and throbbing as Michael and his Brothers stored through their show. Hit after hit - the audience was in a frenzy. 

 

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Here are some of the online comments of the Fiesta and Michael's appearance:

 

Chrissy Clarke saw Michael Jackson and The Jackson Five at the Fiesta in 1977 or 1978:

"I met Michael Jackson at the Sheffield Fiesta - it was The Jackson Five - the place was packed. They were absolutely brilliant. They'd just performed Destiny.

"He was the most amazing dancer - he had this presence about him. He was 17 or 18 - my age. He smiled at me, I was on the front row and he came and sat with me. He kissed me and held my hand, he was just a really, really nice guy. He gave me a flower. I was just mute!"

Anyone who knows Sheffield will know the big building on Arundel Gate, which is now the Odeon cinema. Next door was the Top Rank nightclub (later known as the Roxy Disco and now is the O2 Academy.)

 

Bob at the Fiesta

The Fiesta was full of good old fashioned entertainment - stage, tinselly curtains, musical heroes, cabaret acts and hypnotists, chicken-in-a-basket served to your dimly-lit table, dancing girls and a compère.

 

Lesley

I remember it well, it was thick in snow and i took my clothes to work just in case i could not get home to get changed. I was just about to see the best group in the world, the Jackson 5 and not even the weather was going to stop me. It was one of the BEST NIGHTS of my life and i feel honoured and privileged to have seen Michael Jackson live.

 

Ros Winsor

I saw Michael Jackson there in the 70s after queuing in the snow outside to get in. He was mind blowing and I have always remembered that night with great fondness. We went to the Fiesta almost every week for a few years and had some great times, cut my "nightclubbing" teeth there. Also, saw the Four Tops in '75 when I was heavily pregnant and there was a heat wave. They turned all the fans on the stage round for the fans that night, another fantastic memory. Wish it was still here!

 

Bernie Johnson, Örebro in Sweden

I saw the Jackson 5 (Destiny Tour) at the Fiesta. Chicken in a basket meal included. Also saw The 4 Tops, Gladys Knight & the Pips, The 3 Degrees, The Drifters, and if I remember correctly The Barron Knights, but we'll keep that between ourselves.

 

MICHAEL JACKSON was a joy to work with - as were his brothers - The Brighton Concert at the Brighton Centre was also a complete sell out. Michael was and is a superstar - sadly missed and such a sad ending to an amazing career.

Thanks for reading and thanks for the memories
Peter

 

http://pjbdrummer.blogspot.com/2015/04/michael-jackson-fiesta-club-sheffield.html

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JACKSONS AT THE FIESTA CLUB SHEFFIELD - SET LIST
 

  1. "Dancing Machine"
  2. "Things I Do for You"
  3. "Ben"
  4. "Keep on Dancing"
  5. Jackson 5 Medley: "I Want You Back" / "ABC" / "The Love You Save"
  6. "I'll Be There"
  7. "Enjoy Yourself"
  8. "Destiny"
  9. "Show You the Way to Go"
  10. "All Night Dancin'"
  11. "Blame It on the Boogie"

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Tour dates[edit]

Date City Country Venue
Europe[2][3][4]
January 22, 1979 Bremen Germany Musical Theater Bremen
January 24, 1979
January 26, 1979
January 27, 1979 Frankfurt Jahrhunderthalle
January 28, 1979 Madrid Spain Teatro Monumental
January 29, 1979
January 30, 1979
January 31, 1979 Groningen Netherlands MartiniPlaza
February 1, 1979 Amsterdam Koninklijk Theater Carré
February 2, 1979
February 6, 1979 London England Rainbow Theatre
February 7, 1979
February 8, 1979
February 9, 1979
February 10, 1979 Brighton Brighton Centre
February 11, 1979 Preston Preston Guild Hall
February 12, 1979 Wakefield Theatre Royal
February 13, 1979 Sheffield Fiesta Nightclub
February 14, 1979 Geneva Switzerland Victoria Hall
February 15, 1979
February 16, 1979 Glasgow Scotland The Apollo
February 17, 1979 Manchester England Manchester Apollo
February 18, 1979 Birmingham Bingley Hall
February 19, 1979 Leeds Queens Hall
February 20, 1979 Leicester De Montfort Hall
February 21, 1979 Cardiff Wales Sophia Gardens Pavilion
February 23, 1979 London England Rainbow Theatre
February 24, 1979
February 25, 1979 Bournemouth Pavilion Theatre
February 26, 1979 Amsterdam Netherlands Koninklijk Theater Carré
February 29, 1979 Avignon France Théâtre des Carmes
March 2, 1979 Paris Le Palace
Africa[4]
March 6, 1979 Johannesburg South Africa Orlando Stadium
March 7, 1979
March 8, 1979
March 9, 1979
March 10, 1979
March 12, 1979 Dakar Senegal Stade de l'Amitié
March 13, 1979
March 14, 1979
March 15, 1979
March 16, 1979 Cape Town South Africa Green Point Stadium
March 17, 1979
March 19, 1979 Johannesburg Orlando Stadium
March 20, 1979
March 21, 1979
North America[5]
April 14, 1979 Cleveland United States Music Hall
April 15, 1979
April 19, 1979 Devon Valley Forge Music Fair
April 22, 1979
April 25, 1979 Chicago Arie Crown Theater
April 26, 1979
April 27, 1979
April 28, 1979
April 29, 1979
May 3, 1979 St. Petersburg Bayfront Center
May 6, 1979 Jacksonville Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Coliseum
May 10, 1979 Houston Houston Music Hall
May 12, 1979
May 16, 1979 Birmingham Birmingham Municipal Auditorium
May 17, 1979 Columbus Municipal Auditorium
May 18, 1979 Nashville War Memorial Auditorium
May 19, 1979 Atlanta Atlanta Civic Center
May 20, 1979 Memphis Orpheum Theatre
May 24, 1979 Pine Bluff Saenger Theatre
May 26, 1979 Kansas City Municipal Auditorium
May 27, 1979 Oklahoma City Oklahoma State Fair Arena
May 30, 1979 Shreveport Shreveport Municipal Memorial Auditorium
June 1, 1979 Norfolk Chrysler Hall
June 3, 1979 Columbia Township Auditorium
June 8, 1979 Charlotte Belk Gymnasium
June 9, 1979 Washington, D.C. Warner Theatre
June 10, 1979 Greensboro War Memorial Auditorium
October 2, 1979 New Orleans Municipal Auditorium
October 3, 1979
October 4, 1979 Shreveport Hirsch Memorial Coliseum
October 5, 1979 Mobile Mobile Municipal Auditorium
October 6, 1979 Huntsville Von Braun Civic Center
October 7, 1979 Louisville Louisville Gardens
October 12, 1979 Philadelphia Spectrum
October 13, 1979 Rochester Rochester Community War Memorial
October 14, 1979 Pittsburgh Pittsburgh Civic Arena
October 15, 1979 Saginaw Saginaw Civic Center
October 19, 1979 Indianapolis Market Square Arena
October 20, 1979 St. Louis Kiel Auditorium
October 21, 1979 Dayton UD Arena
October 25, 1979 Columbus Veterans Memorial Coliseum
October 26, 1979 Syracuse Onondaga County War Memorial
October 27, 1979 Buffalo Buffalo Memorial Auditorium
October 28, 1979 Springfield Springfield Civic Center
November 1, 1979 Kalamazoo Wings Stadium
November 2, 1979 Chicago Chicago Stadium
November 3, 1979 Cleveland Public Auditorium
November 4, 1979 Detroit Cobo Arena
November 5, 1979
November 6, 1979 Baltimore Baltimore Civic Center
November 8, 1979 Richmond Richmond Coliseum
November 9, 1979 Uniondale Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum
November 10, 1979 Hampton Hampton Coliseum
November 11, 1979 Fayetteville Cumberland County Memorial Auditorium
November 14, 1979 Fort Worth Tarrant County Convention Center
November 15, 1979 Baton Rouge Riverside Centroplex
November 16, 1979 Jackson Mississippi Coliseum
November 17, 1979 Lake Charles Burton Coliseum
November 19, 1979 Houston The Summit
November 20, 1979 Columbus Municipal Auditorium
November 21, 1979 Greenville Greenville Memorial Auditorium
November 22, 1979 Savannah Savannah Civic Center
November 23, 1979 Macon Macon Coliseum
November 24, 1979 Nashville Nashville Municipal Auditorium
November 25, 1979 Atlanta Omni Coliseum
November 29, 1979 Albuquerque Tingley Coliseum
November 30, 1979 Mobile Mobile Civic Center
December 2, 1979 Honolulu Honolulu International Center
December 6, 1979 Portland Memorial Coliseum
December 8, 1979 Seattle Seattle Center Coliseum
December 9, 1979 Vancouver Canada Pacific Coliseum
December 13, 1979 San Bernardino United States Swing Auditorium
December 14, 1979 Phoenix Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum
December 15, 1979 San Diego San Diego Sports Arena
December 16, 1979 Oakland Oracle Arena
December 18, 1979 Inglewood The Forum
December 21, 1979 Nassau The Bahamas Haynes Oval
January 11, 1980 Honolulu United States NBC Blaisdell Arena
January 12, 1980
January 13, 1980

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Excellent stuff, Sheffield History! So you actually worked with the Jackson brothers, wow!

Years later I worked for a while with the co-promotor Jeff Kruger - a very big man in the entertainment biz, and very aware of that.

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On 06/06/2018 at 17:51, Athy said:

Excellent stuff, Sheffield History! So you actually worked with the Jackson brothers, wow!

Years later I worked for a while with the co-promotor Jeff Kruger - a very big man in the entertainment biz, and very aware of that.


No no - it wasn't me! The quotes are from the promoter/booker of the Fiesta Club :)

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