London has been coasting for too long, but a new decade signals a new dawn in clubland. Disengaged crowds all facing the same direction. DJ worship at its worst. Great line-ups, but poor sound. These are just a handful of criticisms regularly cited about modern day clubbing. Blowing the cobwebs, Magazine has arrived right in time to turn things on their head. The brand new, purpose-built 360 degree event space in Greenwich Peninsula is set to upset the status quo. With Sphere set to launch a series of five shows on Saturday 15th February, we’re putting Magazine under the microscope to tell you all you need to know about this major new player in the scene.
About the Venue
Accessible via North Greenwich tube station, serviced by the Jubilee Line, Magazine sits next to the Thames only a short walk from the O2 Arena and surrounding infrastructure. Directly opposite is London’s financial district. Featuring floor to ceiling windows, Magazine is visually awing from the moment it comes into view upon your approach - and the wonders keep coming once you’re inside.
Broadwick Live are the team behind Magazine (that’s the same people responsible for the likes of Printworks and The Drumsheds). The 3,000 capacity venue had a soft launch last October, with the debut of Michael Bibi’s Isolate project, but things are starting to ramp up in 2020.
Especially for Sphere, seasoned-promoters LWE will be drafting in L’Acoustic Soundsystem technologies to complement the venue’s existing Martin Audio equipment. This is the same system used at Junction 2, fine-tuned by the same production team, so we know that it packs a punch.
Layout-wise, you can forget your bog-standard cylindrical shaped room with DJ booth focal point. Instead of a flat dance floor, a semi-circle with be formed of five dance podiums. Each of these will come equipped with its own platform and tower, consisting on lasers, mist machine and CO2 cannon. In the middle of these, the inner-circle of the dancefloor will be the lowest point. Additionally, there will also be mezzanine levels that provide views across the floor. Already, you’ll be able to tell that Sphere is doing things a little differently.
Production is also set to blow your mind. Anybody who attended the Cuttin’ Headz one-off at Wembley Park’s Old Fountain Studios in 2018 will have seen some of the state of the art lighting used there. Unlike a traditional lighting rig that’s bolted to the front of the stage, Sphere’s production will extend outwards and over the dancefloor. The production team are confident that attendees will feel like the production is happening right in front of their face, as opposed to observing from a distance. Truly immersive.
All of these factors combine, taking attention away from the DJs and allow them to focus solely on their job: playing the best music at their disposal. Given the calibre of artists who have been booked, it makes sense to give them free artist reign without the pressure of being a livestream star.
What to Expect
Aside from the mammoth curtain-raiser, the subsequent four dates have been programmed impeccably. The follow-up on 22nd February sees Marcel Dettmann and Maceo Plex line-up alongside one another. They’re joined by Anastasia Kristensen, Matrixxman and Raxon. On leap year day, Richie Hawtin returns to the capital. Charlotte de Witte, ANNA and ONYVAA add further techno firepower on that occasion. After a weekend off, Sphere returns on 14th February with Drumcode power couple Adam Beyer and Ida Engberg the centre of proceedings. Finally, the series draws to a close with a tech house ensemble comprising of Skream, Patrick Topping and Melé on 21st March. No matter how hard your taste, there is something for everybody in the programme.
Hot Since 82, Eats Everything and Special Guest Maya Jane Coles headline next month’s opening party, with further support coming from La Fleur and Effy.
Tickets for all five parties are on sale now and selling fast.