Printworks launch extravaganza: Inside London’s most industrial new venue.
- Published on Tuesday, 07 February 2017 14:46
Picture this: An industrial outlet park in Canada Water. It’s about midday on a Saturday. Nestled in between the carparks, the cinemas and food outlets is a hanger-sized warehouse. London’s business district can be seen in the background. A steady flow of people is trickling out of the underground following the signs to London’s biggest and best new venue, Printworks. Over the next ten hours, these eagerly anticipating partygoers will experience a launch party in a space like no other.
It was a marathon event of pure, unadulterated house and techno. Seven hours of Seth Troxler, The Martinez Brothers and Loco Dice playing back to back, with William Djoko in the main room. In Room 2, Krankbrother, Geddes and G.Walker brought their own underground vibe. The space itself is 16 acres of unapologetically industrial warehouse.
After passing through the vigorous security checks, the main entry is the size of an air-hanger with a large smoking area outside and food trucks serving festival-style gastro-cuisine and a bar. Inside, there’s a stall for drinks tokens and a through the back there’s a bar, a carefully guarded space for lockers and toilets.
After climbing the steel staircase, there’s the Press Halls which is the main room and the much smaller Charge Bay. Entering the main room, it’s grandeur is instantly striking. By standing at the back of the narrow and mind-blowingly long room with an incredibly high roof, the booth itself is raised and perfectly framed by the industrial metalwork which surrounds it.
A mesmerising laser show projects from one end of the room to the other, and the audience is showered in a kaleidoscope of cascading lights. This immersive and visceral experience perfectly complements the music that’s playing. Flashing up and down in strips of colour and crossing over the audience. It’s a hypnotic display where you can lose yourself to the experience and shut out the world around you. Everyone’s in that moment. Caught in a snapshot of time. It’s not a normal Saturday afternoon.
Toward the front, the audience is crammed within the barriers and you can feel the sound system pulsate through your body. By moving further back, there’s room to spin around and dance while the Charge Room lives up to its name, providing a change of scenery in the with its Void sound system and wooden floors. It’ a good alternative to the bustling crowds with a much more intimate vibe with the right performers.
This industrial location feels like a space-age illegal rave, minus the hedonism and the messheads. With its stripped back, unapologetic metalwork, dynamic soundscapes and captivating visual performances, it engulfs the audience and throws them into a different dimension. Hands- down, one of the most exciting new ventures into London’s ever-diversifying night life.
Words by Georgia Evans
Photos courtesy of Danny North (The Rest is Noise)