fbpx

PROFILE

MY SUBSCRIPTION

LOGOUT

x

The latest industry news to your inbox.

    

I'd like to hear about marketing opportunities

    

I accept IQ Magazine's Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

Koko London roof damaged by fire

London’s Koko has been damaged in a blaze that broke out on its roof shortly before 9pm last night (6 January).

The historic 1,410-cap. venue, in Camden, north London, has been closed for refurbishment since September 2018 when it shut its doors in order to fix a “structural issue within the building”. Koko, formerly the Camden Theatre, the Music Machine and, most recently, Camden Palace, was built in 1900 and grade II listed.

Photos posted on social media appeared to show around a third of the roof on fire before the London Fire Brigade (LFB) extinguished the blaze.

LFB station commander Jon Lewis, who was at the scene, says the fire was under control by 2.37am this morning.

“Firefighters’ quick action and hard work in the early stages meant the fire was contained to the roof and saved the rest of the building,” says Lewis. “Fire crews will remain at the scene throughout the morning.”

“The amount of support we have received from the public has been amazing”

Olly Bengough, owner of Koko, comments: “We are deeply saddened by the fire that took place at KOKO last tonight and pleased to announce there have been no casualties.

“We want to thank the London Fire Brigade for its quick response and how well it handled the situation.

“The amount of support we have received from the public has been amazing, and we’ll be doing our best to get the redevelopment of this iconic building back on track. We will provide further comments as circumstances become clearer.”

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Liam Payne and MelodyVR celebrate virtual reality first

MelodyVR last night livestreamed its first show live in virtual reality, with Liam Payne’s performance  at Koko in London broadcast to fans across the world.

The UK-based company’s first ‘Live in VR’ event, announced to huge anticipation earlier this month, saw the ex-One Direction star’s show broadcast in VR in real time via the MelodyVR app. The stream was in a “previously unseen quality for VR”, according to MelodyVR, and featured its ‘jump spot’ technology, which allows viewers to choose their own spot in the venue.

Last night Liam Payne took part in a groundbreaking Virtual Reality live broadcast, where his show at Koko, one of London’s most-loved music venues, was simultaneously broadcast in VR around all over the world, in real time.

“I’m thrilled by the positive response that MelodyVR has received for this event,” says Anthony Matchett, CEO of MelodyVR. “There are so many fans who can’t get close to the artists they love – and when they live on the other side of the world or can’t get into a show, we can put them on stage with the artist from anywhere in the world.

“Giving my fans the ability to see this concert from an angle no one ever sees it from is a really amazing thing”

“We look forward to working with Liam, as well as other artists throughout the next year and beyond, to continue to create and distribute revolutionary content.”

The Liam Payne ‘Live in VR’ event follows the creation of previous (non-live) VR experiences for artists including Post Malone, Bebe Rexha, the Chainsmokers and Payne’s 1D bandmate Niall Horan.

“There are a lot of places around the world I haven’t been to, and so many fans that haven’t seen me perform live and may never get the chance to without MelodyVR’s technology,” adds Payne. “Giving my fans the ability to see this concert from an angle no one ever sees it from is a really amazing thing. It’s better than having an all access pass – they’re right there on stage with me.”

The MelodyVR app is currently available in the UK, US, France, Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria and Belgium.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Koko closes while “structural issue” is fixed

Famed London venue Koko has closed temporarily for structural remedial work.

The grade II-listed Camden venue, which has a capacity of 1,410, closed on Friday 21 September and is expected to reopen in mid-October.

Koko spokesperson Larry Seymour says: “Our consultant surveyors recently made us aware of a structural issue within the building. The protection and well-being of our customers and staff is of paramount importance and we have therefore decided to close the venue while work is carried out.”

All promoters, agents and managers who had artists or events booked into the venue during the closure period have been notified.

“The nature of the work means that there is no alternative to a full closure”

“We place the utmost value on our relationships with our clients,” continues Seymour, “but we were unable to work around the diary. The nature of the work means that there is no alternative to a full closure.

“We offer sincere and heartfelt apologies to all our clients and customers who have been affected by the closure. Our contractors are working diligently and at all speed to ensure that we are able to welcome back a full programme of events as soon as possible.”

Upcoming shows at the venue included Peter Hook and the Light, Palaye Royale, Jilted John, Okkervil River and the Coral.

Koko has been owned fully by its founder, Oliver Bengough, since December 2016, following the purchase of a 50% stake formerly held by music video streaming platform LiveXLive.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Mike Hamer joins Really Useful as Palladium manager

London venue operator Really Useful Theatres Group has appointed Mike Hamer, formerly of Koko (1,410-cap.) in Camden, venue manager of the London Palladium.

The hiring of Hamer – who spent 11 years at Koko, and has also worked at V Festival and Glastonbury Festival – follows the appointment of Dave Gaydon (ex-Roundhouse), who is tasked with presenting more live music at Really Useful’s venues, especially the 2,286-capacity Palladium, as head of programming in June.

Other recent hires for Really Useful Group, which owns and operates six theatres in the West End of London, include Vanessa Andreis, who joined in July as commercial partnerships director, and former O2 GM Rebecca Kane Burton, who was named MD last September.

“The appointment of Mike Hamer is yet another key appointment in the new music strategy for the London Palladium”

“The appointment of Mike Hamer is yet another key appointment in the new music strategy for the London Palladium,” comments Kane Burton. “We’re so pleased Mike is bringing his wealth of experience to the world-famous London Palladium at such an exciting time for the venue.”

Hamer adds: “I am thrilled to be joining the team at the London Palladium and driving the live music element forward at this iconic venue.”

Really Useful Theatres is a wholly owned subsidiary of Lord Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group. Its other venues are Her Majesty’s Theatre (1,216-cap.), Adelphi Theatre (1,500-cap.), Theatre Royal, Drury Lane (2,196-cap.), Cambridge Theatre (1,231-cap.), New London Theatre (1,024-cap.) and the newly acquired The Other Palace (312-cap.), which opened as the St James Theatre in 2012 on the site of the former Westminster Theatre.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Bengough now sole owner of Koko Camden

Oliver Bengough, the founder of Koko, has taken sole ownership of the north London venue with the purchase of the remaining 50% of shares in owner/operator Obar Camden Holdings Limited (OCHL).

The 1,410-capacity venue – known as the Camden Palace until 2004, when it was purchased and refurbished by Bengough and his Mint Group company – was previously owned 50% by Bengough and 50% by Loton Corp.

As of 30 November, Bengough personally owns 100% of OCHL, following Mint Group’s pulling out of Koko in May.

“This marks a great day for the company and for the future of Koko,” he comments. “The well-being and continued success of this iconic live venue is now secured.”

“This marks a great day for the company and for the future of Koko”

Loton Corp is the parent company of live-streaming service LiveXLive, which in July acquired EDM ticket agency Wantickets.

Artists who have performed at Koko in its current iteration include Prince, Coldplay, Oasis and Amy Winehouse, while The Rolling Stones famously appeared at the then-Camden Theatre in 1964.

Koko posted a 2.4% increase in turnover in the last financial year (31 March 2015–31 March 2016), with an EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) increase of 7.2%.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Mint Group pulls out of Koko

The Mint Group – the bar, nightclub and restaurant operator which had run Koko since its launch in 2004 – has terminated its management agreement with the Camden venue, effective as of 21 May.

Mint, which also operates nightclubs Mary Janes and Infernos, bars Elk and the Bison and Bird and Latin-Japanese restaurant Mommi, will have no further involvement with the 1,410-capacity venue as it “focus[es] our efforts on these other business interests at this time”, the company’s operations director, Larry Seymour, tells IQ.

Clapham-headquartered Mint had been running Koko (pictured) under a management services agreement since a share sale, explains Seymour. The venue was also owned by Mint until November 2012, when it was demerged.

“We own and operate a number of other businesses, and, after a long and successful spell with the team at Koko, it makes sense for us to focus our efforts on these other business interests at this time”

Koko’s management team now report directly to venue founder Oliver Bengough, who has a 50% personal interest in Koko (the remaining shares are held by outside investors).

“I’m very proud of the management team we have assembled, which has been the bedrock of our success,” says Bengough, “and 2016 is looking to be an even better year for Koko [as] we continue to move forward and work with the finest artists and musicians in the business.”

Koko posted a 2.4% increase in turnover in the last financial year (31 March 2015–31 March 2016), with an EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) increase of 7.2%.

Upcoming shows include the Melvins, Tegan and Sara, Jeremih, Gogol Bordello and Logic.