South London's Studio 338 has outlined its plans for early 2016.
The venue is closing for January to install a new steel and glass atrium in its terrace. Studio 338's music and events director, Dan Perrin, says these refurbishments will markedly improve sound levels and quality in the space. That means the first party of 2016 is happening on Saturday, February 6th, with Tania Vulcano and wAFF among those billed, before Sankeys invites the likes of Alexis Raphael and Waifs & Strays to spin on February 13th. Other upcoming events include an Elrow party on February 27th, Cocoon on March 12th, Half Baked on March 27th and All Day I Dream on April 17th. Kehakuma has been locked in for April 16th, with Robag Wruhme, Chez Damier, ItaloJohnson, Matthew Herbert and Mr. Tophat & Art Alfie all locked in.
We spoke with Perrin via email to find out more about the renovations and the venue's plans for the year ahead.
What events have you got coming up in 2016? How is Studio 338's overall programming shaping up?
I'm really excited about 2016. We're heading into our third year now and it's given me more time to refine the calendar. It also means that established partners are really getting to know the venue, so they can tailor things like production especially to 338 to make events more unique. As well as all of our most popular parties like Elrow, Cocoon, Art Of Dark, Half Baked and Home returning, I have also added some more UK debut shows for a number of very well-regarded international brands. Do Not Sleep is the first to be announced, but I can reveal that we'll stage the first ever tINI & the Gang in London as well as a new concept from Nastia called Stereo Piknic.
In general I make the bookings in partnership with the respective brands and some of the lineups we have prepared for the year are pretty awesome. Another important development is the launch of a Friday night series of events focused more on live performance and the further development of our Sunday schedule to sit alongside the phenomenally successful Abode.
Tell us about the renovations.
It's a project we have been incubating for almost a year now and it represents a huge step forward for the venue. People may not be aware that our current terrace "roof" is a very thin PVC layer. This obviously does very little to stop sound escaping and has meant we are constantly having to work within strict parameters so as not to disturb people in the local area. I think we have done pretty well so far with some clever innovations to get the very best from what is, from an acoustic standpoint, in an outdoor arena in Zone 2 of London. But really we have reached the limit of how far we can go with that.
Our new roof will be ten metres higher and made from a specialist triple-glazed, acoustically toughened glass that attenuates sound significantly even at the lowest sub-bass frequencies. It will also include a 180 degree wrap-around mezzanine above the terrace. It will look and sound amazing, retaining the feeling of being outdoors but with a better regulated temperature, hugely improved sound and even more character aesthetically.
It's made by a specialist producer of glass for use in applications like airports, so the attenuation is very dramatic. At even the lowest frequencies it's over 30db reduction going up to over 60db in mids and highs. In the most simplistic terms an increase of between 6 and 10db translates as a doubling in perceived sound levels. Meaning that an increased headroom of 30db at bass frequencies is a very significant improvement in the experience for our guests.
Will events at Studio 338 be affected in the short term—and if so, how?
Sadly a project like this can't be completed in a few weeks. Essentially we are building a giant glass and steel atrium (which I'm thinking should be its new name, to be honest!) with parts coming in from all over Europe to achieve the best result. Even now I can't give an exact completion date, but I do know that the first two parties will be in the Studio (our large indoor room) and events through February and most of March will be on the terrace but with a temporary cover. It's likely that the full functioning, totally completed "atrium" will see its first action late March, early April, just in time for spring and summer. It's going to be an extra busy couple of months for me, but I hope people appreciate the large reinvestment and what it will contribute to the city going forward for us all to enjoy.Tickets to Studio 338 are available here on RA.