Celebrating Sheffield’s palatial Fiesta – on its 50th anniversary

Opening of the Fiesta Club in Sheffield

It was the year that Sheffield unveiled the biggest nightclub in Europe and a new book has just been published celebrating its history.

From the moment the Fiesta cabaret club first opened its doors in 1970, the biggest artists in the world queued to perform for the audiences of South Yorkshire.

The Arundel Street venue – which opened 50 years ago this year – was that sure of its pulling power it even held a date open for Elvis.

The £500,000 purpose-build venue became a byword for glitz and attracted massive American stars like Stevie Wonder, the Beach Boys, the Jacksons and the Four Tops.

Local talent like Bobby Knutt, Dave Berry and Tony Christie all performed; local legend Joe Cocker was also regular visitor.

The new ‘Dirty Stop Out’s Guide to 1970s Sheffield – the Fiesta Edition’ celebrates this legendary institution that truly changed the face of entertainment in Sheffield.

Author Neil Anderson said: “It’s still hard to imagine such a venue existed in Sheffield. It was the epitome of glitz – it was like having a slice of Las Vegas on Arundel Gate.

“I’m indebted to scores of former staff, clubgoers and artists – without their help I’d never have been able to complete my latest project.

“The book is packed with rare pictures, memories and anecdotes that take you straight back to an era when a chicken-in-a-basket meal was all that stood between you and the biggest stars on the planet.”

The Fiesta had over 100 staff and an auditorium capacity of 1,300.

Elvis didn’t perform but it has been widely acknowledged that the Fiesta came closer than any other venue in the UK to landing the elusive gig (he never performed in the UK).

Elvis’s manager even sent a member of staff up to the venue to check out its suitability.

‘Dirty Stop Out’s Guide to 1970s Sheffield – The Fiesta Edition’ is available now at just £13.95 from www.dirtystopouts.com

It is also on sale from Atkinsons of Sheffield and Amazon.


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