AT LEAST nine new live music venues have either recently opened or are scheduled to open in London, at every capacity ranging from the 21,000-capacity MSG Sphere arena in Stratford, planned by New York’s Madison Square Garden Company to a 280 capacity grassroots venue
They include two planned by Broadwick Venues, Drumshed in Enfield, whose main 7,500-capacity space forms one stage of the new outdoor festival site for Field Day (32,000) in June; and Exhibition (3,000) located in the Grade II Dimco building adjacent to Westfield Shopping Centre, expected to open at the end of 2019.
The others are Wimbledon Concert Hall (1,250), the recently-opened EartH (1,000 – formerly Hackney Arts Centre), the White City Theatre (1,250 with 800 cap concert space) and Wembley Park Theatre (2,000).
Bradley Thompson, MD of Broadwick Live and Broadwick Venues, which also runs the Printworks (5,000) in London’s Canada Water, believes audiences are seeking venues with a sense of history, while some developers now recognise the need to include a cultural element within any large housing or office complex they’re planning.
“The focus for us is to keep those properties [Printworks and Drumshed] as raw and industrial as possible, but overlay them with events production. Drumshed has so much room for extra areas, such as bars or nooks and crannies to discover.”
MSG, which submitted a planning application for its Sphere in March and, as well as the main auditorium, the project promises a smaller music venue and nightclub, retail spaces and restaurants.
Meanwhile construction is underway on Consolidated Developments’ project at St Giles Circus, near the site of the old Astoria (2,000), whose two new office, retail and residential buildings, adjacent to a new Crossrail station promise a 2,000-capacity music venue in the basement of the larger structure, with a roof top bar and a 280 capacity grassroots venue in the smaller one. Completion is expected in January 2020.
Hackney’s EartH, which opened last September, has announced sell-out shows with Nilufer Yanya, Lambchop and Richard Hawley.