Access All Areas with London Warehouse Events

Words by: Marcus Barnes
Posted: 15/8/12 9:24

Access All Areas with London Warehouse EventsPromoters behind some of London's biggest and most professional parties in recent years, the aptly-titled London Warehouse Events (or LWE) have established themselves as a reliable firm with some great events. As well as their slick approach to party programming and the acquisition of great venue, they've teamed up with some of the biggest DJs and labels in the business to cement their reputation as a London promotion force to be reckoned with.

Here we chat with the LWE team - Paul Jack, Will Harold and Alive Fauvre about their company...

First off, who's behind LWE and what's your history/histories?
There are three of us, Paul Jack, Will Harold and Alice Favre. Paul has been promoting parties in London for over 10 years and is an obsessive when it comes to looking at ticketing trends! Will used to be head of promotions at fabric’s sister venue, matter.

Paul and Will joined forces when matter closed and Alice came along as a freelancer at the beginning of 2011 and then joined as a director towards the end of the year. She started her career at Slinky and the Opera House in Bournemouth but came to London in 2005 where she picked up a lot of freelance events and festival production work, she has given it all up for LWE except two stints she always does with Bestival and The Park at Glastonbury.

When did the idea for LWE first come about and why?
Paul had a sold-out party booked at matter in July 2010 and the venue shut its doors the week before, leaving Paul with nowhere for his party. With Will’s help the event was moved to another venue and they hit it off as a partnership. As Will had worked as a venue promoter for most of his career he was seduced by the variety, being able to pick a specific space for each show, rather than getting shows to fit the venue. Plus creating shows in unique spaces is something really unique. Three months later we were doing our first warehouse show with Eric Prydz and the rest, as they say, is history.

How did you go about getting it started? (i.e. getting the company name sorted, getting financial backing etc... )
The first year was a bit chaotic, we begged and borrowed the money to put on the first show and the company name was something more functional than anything else. When it came to finances and organisation Alice came along and sorted through the tangle of paperwork (or lack of) and we are now up and running smoothly. When it came to putting on events and finding spaces a lot of it is still that childish excitement of walking into a car park or warehouse and thinking ‘YES! Let’s put a party on here!’

How easy was it to get your first event off the ground?
Selling the tickets wasn’t an issue but the running of the build, event and pack down was mildly chaotic. We’ve definitely got it down to a tee now but the first 6 months were a very steep learning curve.

Can you tell me about your very first event? Where was it held? Who played...? How did it go?
The first show was a Pryda party with Eric Prydz, Gui Borrato and Popof at Great Suffolk Street Warehouse, a space we still use semi-regularly. It was a total rollercoaster ride, we had individually been involved in, promoted and produced a lot of shows but it’s very different from anything we had done before. Little things like not having WIFI and operating out of a car park make a big difference!

We were also ambitious; the first show was 2,000 capacity so it was not like we worked our way up - we just went for it. We took on a really difficult production with Eric Prydz and his cube show which would be the sort of thing you’d expect at Brixton Academy rather than in a warehouse (visual mapping onto 3D cubes). The night was electric though and very few shows have beaten it in terms of atmosphere. At the end of the first show I think we all felt like we’d run a marathon physically and mentally, but totally worth it to see a packed room of people having a great time.

Is there an ethos behind LWE? What are the key aims behind the outfit?
There are a few… Obviously the spaces play a part. That was one of the appeals – to have the freedom to move around. I also think that there were a lot of other people putting on parties in warehouses, but many of them where closer to being raves – poor production, sound and light etc.

One of the things we have always had our sights set on is delivering first class professional production for both artists to perform (sound and light) and for the people who come to party (bars / toilets / cloakrooms). That’s one of the things that sets us apart from the others out there – the attention to detail and refusing to compromise on the quality of what we deliver.

I think it’s one of the things that’s been important for us - even though we work with other labels and brands people now see the LWE logo and they can trust it’s going to be a quality event.

Obviously warehouse space is part of the whole set up – how do you go about finding these spaces?
We have a long term relationship with someone who has been a London warehouse finder extraordinaire. To be honest, there are agencies out there who also find and let these spaces. We haven’t got some property guru that helps us, but though it’s one thing to find a space it’s another to convince the owner to let you put on a party and the final hurdle is the small matter of a license!

Empty warehouse space is abundant in London yet many parties seem to happen at the same old places, why is this?
Licencing. You can’t just rock up to a warehouse and put on a party. Well you can but we don’t put on illegal parties! The council has to be informed, you have to make sure you aren’t near a residential area, you have to make sure the building is safe and that there are sufficient emergency exits… you basically have to plan for the worst. It’s a lot tougher than people realise.

There is also an abundance of party promoters in London, what makes LWE so different from its competitors?
I think the standards we demand of ourselves…. I guess the best people to ask are the people that come to our parties. Many punters have asked us if we are going to release a sort of season ticket or membership. Also compared to most electronic promoters, we host a much more diverse range of events so there is something for everyone in our parties and plus it keeps things fresher.

 Cocoon Heroes London - Into The MagicWhat's been your biggest event to date?
The one coming up in December. It’s a big Cocoon show with Sven Vath and friends spread across two arenas and a floating cocktail bar but we can’t say too much right now. You’ll have to come and see for yourself.

How has LWE evolved since you first started it?
We’ve just got slicker and better at what we do. We are up for the challenge of constantly looking for new spaces, new music and trying to keep things interesting for our crowd. We’re always on the look out for new event concepts, not just warehouse parties necessarily.

What inspires you to keep on putting on events?
Promoting is like a drug. It’s a huge buzz. You get sucked in. I think there are times when you’re still working at 10am the following day, or are unblocking drains at 5am that you think ‘why am I doing this?!

Then a less stressful life where we have a salary and a 9 to 5 job can appeal but then when you stand on stage in front of thousands of people having the time of their lives, the artists have an amazing time and tell you it was the best event they have done in years, you know why you do it. Skrillex tweeted after one of our shows that the event was ‘life changing’!

What's been your best rave experience as 1) a promoter and 2) a regular punter?
Ooh, that’s a difficult one.

Will: As a promoter errr, I think its got to be working with The Boss - Sven Vath. He still leads from the front musically, and is the real life force behind Cocoon. Some of the Cocoon shows we did at matter were incredible. I think it was NYE when he ended up crowd surfing and then climbed on the glass roof of the DJ booth…

I hope I can party and perform as well as him for so many years! As a punter I’d have to say Hawtin playing The End back in 2002/3 (I can't remember which) I think it was NYD and he played 1am till about midday and it was just incredible. Just one of those nights where everyone is on the same page, and there is just an amazing energy between the people on the dance floor.

Paul: For me it has to be when I first discovered proper clubbing. As a kid I used to go to lots of indie / rock / commercial places, I’d heard dance music but had no idea where to find the parties! I discovered Club UK and then a whole host of adventures started from there.

Drumcode Halloween Fright Night at The Great Suffolk St WarehouseAlice: As a promoter, Adam Beyer’s 6-hour set recently was pretty epic. Beautiful crowd, amazing sound and mindblowing music. I am normally asleep when our events are on (I am the one that turns the music off, gets booed by the crowd and then starts packing the venue down at 6am) so to be on my own dancefloor at 4am was a great feeling. As a punter, it has to be Danny Tenaglia in Sankeys (before it had the refurb) in about 2002/3 doing one of his epic 12-hour sets with sweat dripping from the ceiling at 2pm on a Sunday.

What does the future hold for LWE... What events are coming up? Any plans for a festival-esque event? Or maybe overseas events?
I think we want to consolidate, we have grown so much in the last 12 months and none of us would want to put our names to a show that is not well considered, so we’ll take our time. I think naturally there will be more shows, some of those shows will get bigger for sure. There will also be some more conceptual events, we have been pushing ourselves to deliver more than just the norm. We’ll soon announce a series of shows called SIDEXSIDE.

This is a collection of events, a celebration of DJing and the power of shared creativity. The concept is very simple: two artists sharing an entire night of music, playing together; side by side. SIDEXSIDE will create unique DJ partnerships giving them the entire night as their blank canvas. So DJs have time to push boundaries, to challenge each other, to dig deeper into their record collections, pulling out classics, dance floor destroyers, guilty pleasures and hidden treasures! Should be a lot of fun.

And, what do you think about the current state of parties/events in London?
There are A LOT going on. And a lot of them have great line ups. We hear good things about maybe four or five promoters in London, all from different backgrounds doing some great things. It’s never really a worry that we’re going to get lost in the sea of amazing parties, as we just stay focused on what we do and let music that we love stay as the primary focus. I think as long as we stay true to that we wont go far wrong.

Right now there is a big shift towards dance music in the mainstream. Not saying we want to be putting on cheesy dance parties but it means there are a lot of young people engaging with electronic music and hopefully this will be the gateway for them to find something more valuable musically than what’s in the charts at the moment.

What does the future hold for London? It never seems to stop, but how do you think things could improve or progress?
Hmmm… I think things have improved hugely over the last year or two, there is always someone new coming through, that’s why we love electronic music, it’s constantly evolving. London could do with another proper club venue I think.

Any advice for someone considering putting on their own events (large or small)?
Do it for love not personal gain…. But mainly don’t do it, it costs a lot of money, causes you unnecessary stress and besides… we don’t want the competition

Upcoming Events

Shogun Audio Warehouse Party
Saturday, October 20, 2012 at 10:00pm
Great Suffolk Street Warehouse, London, United Kingdom

More info here
Drumcode Halloween Fright Night
Saturday, October 27, 2012 at 10:00pm
Great Suffolk Street Warehouse, London, United Kingdom

More info here
Hotflush Recordings
Saturday, November 3, 2012 at 10:00pm
Shoreditch Warehouse, London, United Kingdom

More info here
Cocoon Heroes London - Into The Magic
Saturday, December 1, 2012 at 08:00pm
Venue TBA, London, United Kingdom

More info here
LWE Online
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