Tying in perfectly with the much-celebrated news that fabric would be re-opening, London is set to gain another massive music and culture institution in no time at all. It’s called Printworks, and it has a capacity of 5,000 people.
Located in the old Canada Water station, it’s a 16-acre plot of land that used to operate as a printing facility. The building houses six different places suitable for use across multiple levels, with a tonne of the original machinery and infrastructure remaining in place. It’s set to play host to a bunch of different artistic and cultural mediums too. There’ll be a nightclub, and will offer “arts, fashion, film, food, immersive theatre, dance and more” according to Printworks organisers.
Printworks is set to be like Sydney’s Carriageworks on steroids. With so many different places to go and things to see, there’s no doubt it’ll be come an institution for the music and arts scene in the UK in absolutely no time at all (as long as it everything runs smoothly). Could we see something of this size happening in Australia? Maybe. Could we see it happening in Sydney? Maybe not. Printworks is a wet dream for any fan of fun, and a standard which we should all be aspiring to.
Check Resident Advisor’s interview with the new owners of Printworks below, and see how it’s all coming to be.
How did you find this venue?
We became aware of the space two years ago but after a few enquiries it was clear that there wasn’t the possibility to do any music events. A year and a half later we received a call from a friend of ours that the space had changed hands and that we should meet the new team. We attended a site visit where we met Simeon Aldred, who’s head of creative and strategy at The Vibration Group, which includes a division that specialises in venue management. Simeon gave us the guided tour and explained to us how the Printworks was part of a regeneration project for Canada Water, and this old printing factory would be a new experimental multipurpose venue and if we wanted to become part of the story… as soon as we stepped through the doors we knew this had all the markings of something very special indeed.
What kind of events will you be hosting?
As a multi-use space the plan is to curate a vibrant spectrum of cultural events. Printworks’ next new chapter will see some truly unique events, including plans for a mini jazz season, a classical music programme alongside markets, vintage fairs, food festivals and Cartel, a new car show concept to hit London next autumn, plus the launch of a new in-house series of music events starting in February 2017.
How many different usable spaces are there inside Printworks?
Six, although there are many more smaller rooms and hidden places. There are also more warehouses within the complex but these won’t be used straight away. The event music series will take place within the absolutely incredible sound-proofed Press Halls.
What impact do you think it’ll have on London’s club scene?
Clubbing is generally going through difficult times including a massive decline in the number of large and small scale venues due to new building developments, increased rents and licensing difficulties such as the the now successful battle to save fabric. A new event space like this with a licensed capacity of 5,000 is a rarity, especially one that has so many possibilities, so much history and importantly for London a central event space that is sound proof!!
What’s your long-term vision for Printworks?
This space is experimental and as such its future is dependent on the success of the project working as a multi-use space covering all spectrum of events, from ballet to fashion and from food to car shows, while at the same time engaging with the local community.