Access All Areas November 2018 - Page 11

NOVEMBER | THE COLUMNISTS Access’ regular columnists talk clubbing, creating impact, and the West End renaissance... Lost Club Culture Jonathan Emmins, founder, Amplify Everyone has a club that defines their youth, tastes, friendships and much more beyond. My club was the ‘Heavenly Social’. After bouncing around the backrooms of boozers, it found its spiritual home at Farringdon’s Turnmills (now luxury flats). Low key and helmed by the Chemical Brothers (then Dust Brothers), the Heavenly Social threw together music genres with abandon. Fast forward 20+ years and Alexandra Palace attracted a 20,000-strong ‘older crowd’ who congregated to see the Chemical Brothers unleash their latest. A far cry from the Turnmills days, it was a carefully choreographed two-hours that played to the senses and blurred the lines between music, art, film and technology. Regardless of the music or nostalgia, it was inspirational for event professionals, reflecting how sweaty little nights develop into today’s vision, artistry, ability and high expectations, as encapsulated by boundary-pushing clubs and promoters like the mighty Printworks and festivals like Awakenings or Dekmantel. Amplify’s new ‘Lost Club Culture’ film celebrates the culture’s unsung heroes. We interviewed a myriad of DJs and producers, from Éclair Fifi to Paul Oakenfold. Watch the film on Amplify’s website. Outsider art Josephine Burns, chair, Without Walls We are investing West Simeon Aldred, group creative director, Vibration Group Outdoor arts brings the streets to life. It invades the public space, turns it on its head, reinvents and then vanishes. And what do audiences remember? A soaring poignant voice or a magical flute conquering the urban din, a wisp or clatter of words that make you laugh or weep, a high-flying acrobat describing an impossibly elegant movement. These things transform, at least for a moment, how we think about where we live and who we are. Outdoor arts and the world of fashion have a lot in common. Think about it: both must make an immediate impression otherwise fail to attract an audience. To steal a millennial term, both are “Instagrammable”, adept at making people stop and stare – to take notice. Both embody a diffusion of ideas into and out of ‘the street’, styled, made more fabulous, by artistry and design - those cunning in the ways of enchantment. Both have an enduring imagery (recurring photos and the rest) that define a sensibility and a style that puts the UK in prime place in the ’soft-power’ battle. But we are nothing without innovation - now massively threatened by the decline in arts in the curriculum. We have to DO something about about this... Vibration Group own and operate a number of cool event spaces in East London, and the ‘I need Shoreditch’ mantra continues to be on the lips of all the major brands and PR companies looking for space. But at Vibration Group we can see a light wind blowing to the West. There are a number of exciting food halls, rooftops, and street food operations ploughing money back into the West End and far west destinations. Are we about to see the renaissance of the West End venue? We think so. Shoreditch, Dalston, Peckham, and Brixton are still booming and will continue to grow in the next few years, but we predict a shift West and a re-balancing of what it means to be the ‘cool’ London destination. With smart food operations like Pergola and Mercato Metropolitano committing to space in the west we can see operators creating spaces and leisure destinations for the West and North London tribes as well as overseas visitors. Vibration Group are also committing massively to the West with next year’s opening of the old bus depot behind Westfield London that will offer a large capacity new space called ‘Exhibition London’. For now, the London event economy continues to boom and we see a re-balancing of the east/west ‘cool’ happening in the next 12 months. 11