Mike Wiand traded his career as a covert spy to become one of the most visible entrepreneurs in the UK nightlife space.
Wiand was working for the US government in the middle of the Cold War when his assignment to North Yorkshire left him falling in love with the beautiful, natural landscape. However, upon his retirement, it was more than the picturesque scene that kept the former spy living in the area. He began to plant roots and met his first wife at The In Time club in Leeds. Together the two started a club of their own called The Warehouse.
Wiand likely didn't realize it at the time, but the club, born out of an abandoned warehouse, would go on to become one of the most iconic venues in Leeds. It went on to host early influential DJs such as Greg James and Danny Pucciarelli, as well as rock legends the Ramones and The Stone Roses, among others.
In 2014, Wiand passed away due to pancreatic cancer, but his memory lives on with The Warehouse, which has demonstrated tremendous staying power throughout the decades. Though the location is closed for the time being due to the pandemic, the venue expects to embrace crowds again in 2021.
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"Dad had so much passion, heart and creativity, plus he was generous to a fault and the sort of extravagant 1970s-type showman you just don’t get any more," said Mike Wiand's son, Dean. "He really knew the music industry and sound systems, too, which is one reason people flocked to The Warehouse."
Source: Leeds Live