Dedicated to the Business of Contemporary Live Music

Koko saved after fire breaks out

16 January 2020

ICONIC LONDON venue Koko (cap. 1,500) has been badly damaged by a fire that started late in the evening of 6 January and lasted over five hours.

The London Fire Brigade (LFB) was called just before 9pm to tackle the fire at the Camden-based venue, which was undergoing a major refurbishment.

According to the LFB, 30 per cent of the roof was on fire but firefighters managed to contain it, saving the rest of the building.

“We are deeply saddened by the fire that took place at Koko last night and pleased to announce there have been no casualties,” says Koko CEO Olly Bengough.

“The amount of support we have received from the public has been amazing and we’ll be doing our best to get the redevelopment of this iconic building back on-track.”

Eight fire engines and around 60 firefighters attended the scene and the cause of the fire is under investigation.

As reported in LIVE UK (issue 230), Koko owner The Mint Group says that when the venue reopens, initially planned for spring before the blaze, it will feature six live performance spaces, including one at 1,500 capacity, a radio station and broadcast studio, three restaurants, a rooftop conservatory, and a penthouse space where artistes can rehearse and record.

The final show at the venue before work began was Wiley on 5 March last year.

The venue launched as Koko in 2004 and has played host to artistes including Amy Winehouse, Kanye West and Prince. Previously it was known as The Music Machine and then Camden Palace.

Other artistes to perform in the building’s various incarnations include the Rolling Stones, iron Maiden, Paul Weller and Ed Sheeran, with Madonna and Elton John hosting events there.

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