Location: London, England
Printworks rose amongst the post-modern ruins of East London’s disused docks and closed factories, transforming what was once Western Europe’s largest printing factory into one of the country’s most impressive club spaces.
Set across 12 acres of land, Printworks is a huge venue; essentially it’s like partying in several interlinked warehouses. Once inside you find yourself in a raw, industrial, almost-dystopian setting, but one that’s packed to the super-high rafters with ultra-futuristic production, including dbnAudile sound, Kinesys lighting, and a truly massive custom-built LED screen with visual design from Rebel Overlay.
The Press Halls main room is long, a couple of stories high, with balconies along both sides and a soundsystem trained so perfectly on the dancefloor that a decent conversation is perfectly achievable just a couple of feet away. Some of the original imposing printing machinery has been left in place, giving Printworks something of a party-on-a-spaceship feel. The DJ booth is high up at the end of the room in front of the genuinely impressive LED wall, which works in tandem with the lighting array to cover the entire room in sheets of strobing colour. The view from the balcony of a packed Printworks main room at peak-time is a sight you won’t forget in a hurry.
Aside from the famous Press Halls space, there’s the aptly named, low-ceilinged Dark Room, which serves as a perfect vibey contrast to the scale and sheer mega-ness of the main room. The huge bar area that runs alongside the Press Halls can function as a live room, with the modular bar setup switching to the club space. There’s also a dedicated cocktail bar (Control Room), and a big outside food courtyard.
Over the past year, Printworks has hosted an impressive amount of quality electronic music parties and club-nights, including Klockworks, Eskimo Dance, Gou Talk, The Hydra, Sunday Service, BuggedOut!, Metalheadz and Glitterbox. And has given Londoners the chance to catch a wide range of world-class DJs, such as Seth Troxler, Moodymann, Gerd Janson, London Elektricity, Amelie Lens, Kenny Dope, Helena Hauff, Jeff Mills and Denis Sulta. Printworks also has put its particular acoustic charms to good use on some acclaimed live music shows in the last 12 months, including Floating Points, Aphex Twin and Skepta.
It’s been a busy year for Printworks, as production was upgraded across the entire venue, including installing the aforementioned 12x4-metre LED screen, as well as a bespoke ‘blinder’ light so bright it is capable of illuminating the entire main room. The space also gained over 180 metres of Sceptron LED strips to the Kinesys lighting rig, installed custom stage structures including isolated sections to allow for faultless use of vinyl, and updated its DJ equipment and P.A. too, giving you even more reasons to pay a visit to one of the UK’s most exciting venues.
The line-up for The Hydra’s massive three-day weekender at London’s Printworks has dropped, and boy is it a doozie.
Taking place over August Bank Holiday weekend, from 23rd - 25th August 2019, the weekend will feature some of the most historic and important figures in techno and house, along with plenty of other musical offerings.
Location: London, UK
Capacity: 3,000 – 5,000
Once known for being the largest printing facility in Western Europe for publications like the Metro and Evening Standard, these days Printworks is famed for being at the forefront of London’s daytime clubbing scene.
It’s a breathtaking sight from the minute you walk in; a far-reaching industrial warehouse expanse with much of the original machinery still illuminated. A revamp from printers into venue inspired the transformation of the now iconic and endlessly cavernous Press Halls, with far-reaching Kinesys lighting system that floods the dancefloor, and vast stacks (over 40 units to be precise) of D&B Audiotechnik speakers. In September they introduced a new 12-metre LED screen, which has allowed VJs to push new visual concepts alongside the main room acts. Plus, the bar which runs adjacent to the main room now doubles up as a huge venue for live acts (the drinks vendors switching sides to the main club room).
Then there’s the low-slung ceiling of the Dark Room, equipped with a Funktion-One soundsystem. Last year, they also introduced a third room — the Control Room — complete with cocktail bar, additional seating and a stage for intimate live gigs. Extended opening hours mean that the venue can now run until 2am as opposed to their initial 11pm curfew too. Over the past year, Printworks has hosted prestigious parties from The Hydra, Ben Klock’s Photon series, Circoloco, and one-off sell-out live shows from Bicep and Skepta.
Approaching Printworks – the former printing press which has become London's most talked-about events space – it's easy enough to think you are in the wrong location.
The vast site, with long access roads that set it back from the road, looks - from the outside at least - like any other industrial building. The reality is entirely different.
With exposed industrial features and a mutitide of spaces within the space, Printworks has taken the capital's club scene by storm.
Despite a succession of club closures during 2016, the UK scene has remained bullish. In London, Fabric has been saved to everyone’s relief and a series of new venues have opened their doors — including a gargantuan ex-printing press in Canada Water — and we now have an official Night Czar serving to preserve the capital’s club culture on a political footing.