Location: London, UK
Once one of Western Europe’s largest newspaper printing factories, the behemoth that is Printworks London now holds its own as one of the UK’s most prestigious electronic music venues. After the original renovations in 2016 and unveiling to the public in 2017, the impressive and expansive warehouse space has been constantly evolving. The main dancefloor — named the Press Halls — has become iconic, with exposed rafters and remote balconies that overlook a far-reaching dancefloor, while towering remnants of the original printing equipment remain visible. The space has recently joined forces with London-based arts collective United Visual Artists, founded by British artist Matt Clarke in 2003, for an impressive and forward-thinking new installation. The idea behind it is to create a new narrative and direction with the lighting and production, that works alongside the warehouse’s cavernous walls and monumental architecture. UVA has also been involved in some unique and one-off special live shows.
Last year, Printworks revealed a newly renovated space, Inkwells, an underground part of the building with a low ceiling and concrete pillars, lined with subs and speaker stacks — think thundering beats within a dark and industrial aesthetic. It’s also established a whole new world of programming, allowing the club to further expand and diversify its line-ups. The spring and summer line-up for 2022 is perhaps one of the club’s strongest yet, inviting internationally renowned artists such as Helena Hauff, Charlotte de Witte, Solomun, Patrick Topping, Folamour, Marco Carola, The Martinez Brothers, Kurupt FM, Novelist and Critical Sound to name a few. Ibiza’s cult party Clockwork Orange returned to the billing this year, and April saw the iconic LGBTQI+ party Sink The Pink raise their glasses for a final farewell celebration that will no doubt go down in London clubbing history.
Representing all things house and disco, Defected and Glitterbox host regular takeovers inviting an array of artists that bring classic sounds and the current trends, from Derrick Carter and Louie Vega to Deetron and Hannah Wants. Re-Textured festival returned earlier in the year, with a line-up that explored the outer reaches of techno, with DJ sets from VTSS, Bassiani resident Héctor Oaks, Ilian Tape’s Skee Mask b2b Stenny and LSDXOXO, while Vril & Rødhåd presented their live AV set Out Of Place Artefacts.
Printworks also proudly hosted the fifth edition of AVA London, a music conference inviting over 40 artists and industry professionals to participate in panels, masterclasses and workshops across a daytime affair. This year, the likes of Carl Cox, KiNK, novelist Irvine Welsh, BBC radio stars Jamz Supernova and Jaguar, Niks Delanancy of the Black Artist Database and many more took part in the action.
This year also marks Printworks’ own fifth anniversary; a landmark year for a venue that continues to push its boundaries, constantly developing its story and structure, with an ever-growing multitude of genres and musical tastes echoing through its vast cavernous walls. Printworks London will no doubt be celebrating a strong decade of raving in another five years.