Goodbye to Printworks: London’s Iconic Music Venue Closes its Doors

Closing the Doors on Printworks, London’s Theatre of Dreams

Words By Sam Cole
Printworks / @jakephilipdavis
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Not unlike our homes, cultural venues are emotional sanctuaries.

Within their foundations we find escapism, communities connected through art, movement, and sound – shared experiences that leave profound imprints on our hearts and minds.

When Sir Bobby Charlton described Manchester United’s home, Old Trafford, as the “Theatre of Dreams,” he gave definition to the emotional power shared spaces can possess.

Although the sporting ground takes ownership of the title, it’s a fitting way to describe Printworks, a center point of London’s rich music culture.

As the UK strides into another public holiday, rave communities up and down the country will flock to Printworks, reveling in its corridors, connected in euphoria beneath its lights for one last dance.

After two years of speculation regarding the venue’s future, its final weekend in operation has come.

A cornerstone of the capital’s music culture, having served as a place of refuge for ravers for the past six years, its closure in the face of long-term redevelopment plans in the wider Canada Water area has been met with bitter disappointment.

To mark the occasion, its doors will remain open from April 28 – May 1 for a weekend of shows from some of the people that have been integral to Printworks’ legacy, celebrating six years at the heart of music culture.

First opening in 1989 as Western Europe’s largest print facility, the space has held strong footing in British history, but it was in 2017 that it took a new life as one of the city’s most iconic music venues.

For its inaugural show, Printworks and its owners at Broadwick Live offered a taste of what the new six years would offer, delivering a back-to-back DJ set comprising of the Martinez Brothers, Loco Dice, and Seth Troxler.

Whether or not anybody knew it at the time, this moment would be the precursor to season after season of unforgettable, historical moments in British music culture.

Setting itself apart from other venues across the country, Printworks established a schedule akin to fashion, building out rich Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter offerings that have boasted cross-genre electronic music talent from across the globe.

As this schedule has grown, so has the scale of talent it enlists, welcoming everyone from Bicep to Skrillex, Peggy Gou, Skepta, Plastician, Worried About Henry and DnB All Stars’ rich rosters, Netsky, and many more.

Just as the venue’s attendees have amassed fond memories of days and nights spent within its walls – which keen eyes will recognize from the club scenes in Matt Reeeves’ The Batman – so too have the performers that have made every event so special.

Sharing a personal memory, legendary South London DJ Plastician says: “The first time I walked in there, I felt like I was inside a film set o.

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