What is Sphere?Fri 10th Jan
- A unique production concept in a new venue for London
- A sonic journey courtesy of the very best artists in house and techno
- A 360-degree lighting installation spread across 10,000 sq ft
- Crystal-clear sound from L-Acoustics
- An elevated layout created with the dance-floor in mind
Welcome to 2020. A new year calls for a new dawn. Sphere is LWE’s new project for a new decade. Kicking off on Saturday 15th February, the five-part series looks set to maximise the potential of London’s exciting new event space, Magazine. But what is Sphere?
Imagine if you will, a Venn diagram comprising three circles, each representing a type of party. Some parties, circle A, exclusively champion ‘the sound’, placing music at the forefront. Others, circle B, focus on the vibe on the dancefloor. Meanwhile, circle C represents parties that are all about spectacle, investing heavily in production. Each on their own represent a perfectly legitimate party philosophy. Sphere sits in the middle ground, the convergence point. This is our sweet spot, the niche zone in which all of these individual strands fuse together. It’s in this circular arena that we can really flex our creativity.
The essence of Sphere is about bringing all of these independent elements: man, machine and spirituality, all coming together and moving as one. We want attendees to feel like they are an intrinsic part of the party, rather than merely spectators.
In terms of layout, Magazine doesn’t conform to typical club standards. The 3,000 capacity, 10,000 sq ft main room space allows for a 360-degree experience. It presents itself as a blank canvas on which to project an infinite configuration of ideas.
First, let’s talk production. We’ve handed the reins to our outstanding team, who also work on Junction 2. They have salivated at the task in hand. Their first objective was to fine-tune the L-Acoustics Soundsystem. Clubbers will feel the vibrations from every angle of the venue - a true 360-degree experience. No black spots, no distortion. Just seamless, crystal-clear audio throughout.
Next, let’s come to the DJ booth. At the front of the room, but by no means the event’s only focal point, the booth is crowned with a semi-circlular dome. Lined with LED strips, this ‘Sphere’ will move and glow, seemingly possessing existential qualities.
Instead of being exclusively located at the stage and only appreciated by those at the front, Sphere’s lighting rig plays a much more prominent role. Light shows won’t just feel like they’re above the dancefloor, but actually amongst it, thanks to six tiered columns, each deployed with their own haze machine and laser tower, which are dotted throughout the dance floor. They form a horse-shoe, inside which is the dancefloor’s inner circle - the epicentre of proceedings.
The Sphere experience
This set-up has a unique benefit. Unlike club rooms with symmetrical box-like layouts or festival stages with corridor dancefloors, Sphere’s production ensures there is no single focal point. The result is that the crowd will not all face the same direction towards the DJ booth, but instead get lost between the sonic waves in an ebb and flow of movement between the columns.
It’s an often-overlooked fact that a crowd can make or break a party. You can book all the headliners and hire all of the production possible, but if the vibe is flat, the rest is futile. We acknowledge the difference our crowd makes. What Sphere offers as a concept is for the dancefloor to take centre-stage.
The DJ’s perspective
Additionally, the talent themselves, removed from the glare of the spotlight, will be allowed to concentrate solely on taking the dancefloor on a sonic journey. Idol worship is dispensed in favour of a higher power: the music itself.
With the burden of celebrity vanquished and the poetic shackles released, the DJs and live artists are sure to excel in this newfound freedom. We envisage that this will push the artists to the limit, enabling them to dig deeper into their repertoire and take risks seldom afforded. Being that we have enlisted a mixture of the biggest and most exciting names from the electronic music universe, we can expect some extremely special sets.
Located in North Greenwich, Magazine is the latest addition to London’s vibrant club scene. Operators Broadwick Live, the team behind Printworks and The Drumsheds, know a little about running state-of-the-art, high capacity, inner-city event spaces. As opposed to being a former industrial unit being turned into an event space, Magazine is custom-designed. Obstacles frequently presented at such ad-hoc spaces have been removed from the equation. The envelope of opportunity has been widened.
Sphere is set to properly raise the curtain and put this space through its paces. In linking up with LWE, an amalgamation of creative ideas, technology and electronic music lovers all point towards a new dawn in London’s clubbing history. Combined, these factors promise to create a vibe that the city has not seen for many years.
LWE presents Sphere at Magazine London from 15th February to 21st March. Adam Beyer, Charlotte De Witte, Eats Everything, Hot Since 82, Maceo Plex, Marcel Dettmann, Patrick Topping, Richie Hawtin and Skream, are amongst the artists enlisted for this momentous series. For information on who is playing when click the image below.