How I went to Printworks London
Last weekend, I went to the Anjunadeep label party at Printworks London. I find this place quite interesting, so I decided to tell you more about it and share my impressions.
Printworks is once the largest printing factory in Western Europe. Since 2017, it has operated as a club and event space with a capacity of 6,000 people. The club is scheduled to close in 2023 due to neighbourhood renovations, so the place will forever be legendary, and I couldn’t pass up the chance to visit it.
To my great surprise, my introduction to the place began even before I got there: at the exit of the Canada Water tube station, there was a man with a Printworks sign pointing to the right exit. About a hundred meters later, on the street, there was another person with a sign. And so on, all the way to the club!
Next year it will be exactly twenty years since I started raving consciously and regularly, but in all that time, I’ve never seen anything like it!
Just so you understand, the club is 600 meters from this underground station, which means it’s a five- or ten-minute walk. Printworks could easily do without this navigation, as all the other clubs do. But no, apparently, someone from the management thought it was important enough to allocate at least twenty people for this task alone, according to my observations. I think that’s cool.
Entrance and cloakroom
At the entrance, security checked tickets and inspected personal belongings, as a usual practice for all clubs. But what’s interesting here is that Printworks has organized this process in ten parallel lanes. It makes sense to do so when you think about it, but not all venues of similar capacity are doing that. I got there about a half hour after the opening, at 8:30 pm, and there was no queue at all. An hour later, I specifically went back to see what had changed: there were many more people at the entrance, but because of the multiple lanes, the queue was moving quickly.
There is no cloakroom in the club. Instead, they use personal lockers. Given the number of people, it seemed like the right and safe approach. And it’s also convenient because you can pick up and put things back in your locker anytime, whenever you want.
The lockers are pretty expensive even by local standards: £7 for a small locker and £10 for a large one. And another £10 on top in the form of a deposit, which is then refunded when you hand the key back. By comparison, from my experience, the usual price in London clubs is from £2 to £5. However, even a small locker can fit several pieces of outerwear, so for a group of people, it is even cheaper than usual, although still more expensive for one person.
You can only pay for lockers (and everywhere else in Printworks) by cards and contactless methods of payment – cash is not accepted at all. This is a common trend in many London clubs, cafes and even some stores, such as IKEA.
The club has two dance floors, Inkwells and Press Halls. In addition to those, I count at least four bars, a merch store, an info centre, a medical point, and just all sorts of things that are fun to wander and explore. The brought aesthetics and the enormous size of the venue are a particular treat.
Signs with navigation with lights, well readable font and in the same style. What a beauty.
Note the height of the ceilings:
Now let’s move on to the dance floors. Without further ado, here is the main one – Press Halls:
I’ll be honest: the space is impressive in scale, even for a seasoned raver. The lighting design is quite simple, but in combination with the geometry and environment works perfectly. But the sound was a little disappointing: it was uneven, and I had to look for sweet spots where it sounded good.
the space is impressive in scale, even for a seasoned raver
I was surprised and happy when one of my favourite tracks came on – I didn’t expect to hear it at Anjuna’s party:
As always, all of that was professionally filmed by the crew. Hopefully the video will appear on Anjunadeep’s YouTube channel soon:
Let’s move to the second dance floor, Inkwells. And I’ll tell you the unexpected: I liked it even more than the main one. Press Halls create a wow effect, and I highly recommend everyone experience its scale at least once. Whereas Inkwells is darker, more intimate, and underground, and I generally love that sort of thing.
Judge for yourself:
Videos. The lighting design on this dance floor is a special treat to my eyes:
The food court
Let’s go to the main hall, where we went after entering the club. From there, to the left, is the entrance to the courtyard with the food stores. Yes, the food court at the club! The menu included grilled burgers, freshly made pizza in the oven, and some Asian and vegetarian options. Prices for the main dishes were about £8 to £12.
All in all, Printworks was great, except for one thing: it was too cold. I’m a little biased on this matter because I usually get cold everywhere, but it was really freezing there — some people stayed in their jackets, even on the dance floor, which seems bizarre to me.
As you may have already guessed, the music was top-notch, as good as I expected. I would also like to mention many friendly, beautiful, polite people. It’s probably more of a credit to the Anjunadeep audience than to the venue, but who knows?
I hope I can still get there before it closes (and preferably during the warm season).
Read also: how I went to the Ministry Of Sound.