In March 2019, London’s seminal live music venue KOKO will close its doors to undergo a major £40million state-of-the-art transformation, reopening in spring 2020 as a world-class music and hospitality destination.
The redevelopment of the venue includes the acquisition of two adjacent buildings and a complete renovation of the rooftop area, adding more than 20,000sqft of new spaces, whilst retaining the main venue’s intimate 1,500 person capacity. The transformation will position KOKO as London’s newest and most innovative multi-media venue, creating a social destination where high-quality music, food, entertainment, and hospitality come together in ways never seen before.
The new KOKO, designed by Pirajean Lees and architect David Archer (Chiltern Firehouse), will comprise of a unique offering of up to six live performance areas, a radio station and broadcast studio, three new restaurants, a rooftop conservatory and terrace, an immersive retail experience and a penthouse space where artists can rehearse and record music.
Since its inception in 2004, KOKO has hosted some of the most important live music moments in recent years, including career-defining album launches from Coldplay and Madonna, and seminal performances from Prince, Kanye West, Bruno Mars, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Amy Winehouse, Noel Gallagher, Paul Weller, J Cole, Skepta, Dua Lipa and many other world-renowned artists. Previously, as the Camden Hippodrome, the venue famously hosted shows by The Rolling Stones, The Clash, Spandau Ballet, Blur, Prince and Madonna’s first ever UK solo show.
KOKO’s major reconfiguration comes in the wake of a changing climate in gig culture, which has seen a large number of small independent venues closing or being sold to large corporate organisations.
Olly Bengough, owner and ‘custodian’ of KOKO since 2004, says ‘KOKO has always taken great pride in our innovative approach and we can see that our audience want a 360-degree experience in the future and it’s our duty to deliver that, to cut out the unknowns of going to a venue our size, most of which haven’t changed since the 1950s.
‘This isn’t just about offering a music venue. In the Camden spirit of independence, auteur-ship and eccentricity, we want to offer an unrivalled experience. London is a forward-facing city. Where we lead, the world follows and we have to move with it. By radically reimagining what KOKO will be for chapter two, we’re protecting the culture, helping Camden and London. We’re giving back to music. We’ll do what we’ve always done, listen to tomorrow’s talent today. Why don’t we show the world that we can have the most exciting music and hospitality brand in the city?’
KOKO will hold a closing party with a special live act on Tuesday 5 March – full details to be announced on Monday 4 March.
KOKO will open its new doors in Spring 2020.