A new film series, from Jägermeister, celebrates 'The Meisters', the behind-the-scenes mavericks at the heart of the UK music and events industry. The latest episode — available to watch below — provides unique insight into the inner workings of one of London's most innovative promotion teams, London Warehouse Events (LWE).
Sharing their origin story, LWE founders Will Harold and Paul Jack evoke a time when London's scene was defined by the parallel dominance of major nightclubs and small DIY parties. The duo, triggered by the closure of one of the major clubs — where they both worked — pioneered events that combined the two models. Their nomadic concept, placing major acts in large pop-up warehouse venues, provided instant tonic to the news of club closures across the capital. It took off in a big way.
The film — using a combination of structured interviews and natural interactions between the pair — journeys through LWE's story, chronicling the decisions, speculations and sometimes gut-feelings that have played a significant part in shaping London's nightlife scene over the last decade.
Although they are at the top of the organisation, both Harold and Jack are keen to credit the whole team that make their events happen. With a full-time crew of 20 and many hundreds of freelancers and suppliers, it's a vast behind-the-scenes operation. This wider music events ecosystem is something Jägermeister's #SAVETHENIGHT initiative supports, through a mix of donations and micro-fundings.
The series aims to celebrate the bold and the unique; the boundary-pushers, who break with convention to create innovative new concepts
With a view behind the curtain, The Meisters Series is a continuation of this support. The series aims to celebrate the bold and the unique; the boundary-pushers, who break with convention to create innovative new concepts.
LWE's own boundary-pushing saw them move beyond warehouses and into the festival space. The team secured a unique location — under a motorway bridge — for Junction 2. With a nod to the acid house raves of the early '90s, the location felt fresh and exciting next to a proliferation of park-based events in London. However, in a rare insight into the financial fragility faced by festival promoters — even in the good times — Harold reveals that in the third year of Junction 2, they lost enough money to "buy a house each". A loss of that size may have forced other promoters out of the game, but — as Harold explains “we knew that we had something really special and we were determined to do it again”.
The positioning of this series now — while UK venues are shuttered and festivals are off-limits for the foreseeable — makes for a bittersweet watch in places. Cuts to full parties at their peak is a reminder of what we are all missing, but the film strikes a positive and hopeful tone, demonstrating how brands like LWE have continued to innovate through the pandemic.
"We knew that we didn’t want to live-stream for the sake of a live-stream," Paul Jack shared, after realising that Junction 2 couldn't go ahead in 2020. "It had to have a purpose, meaning, and celebrate what we meant by Junction 2."
The result was J2V, a virtual experience that bridged the gap between digital and physical events, and won a nomination in DJ Mag's Best of British Awards.
LWE's innovation and exploration into VR is set to continue, following the recent announcement of Tobacco Dock virtual. Working with Sansar, a virtual live events platform, LWE have recreated their most-used venue Tobacco Dock in detail in VR for a series of virtual events, launching in April.