Last night (5 March 2019), iconic live music venue KOKO held an exclusive headline live performance by London-born grime artist Wiley to mark the venue’s closure while it undergoes a major £40million state-of-the-art transformation. VIP guests at the closing party included: Wiley, Gizzi Erskine, Jeremy Irvine, Eliza Doolittle and Sydney Lima.
Welcoming guests to the final event at KOKO, Wiley said: "Who is ready to close down Koko with me? It's going to be a madness..."
Talking about KOKO, London-born singer songwriter Dua Lipa said: “KOKO has always been a concert venue that has followed me from my school days until my adult life. I grew up around Camden so Koko was always the place to be. When I had the chance to perform there it was such a dream come true for me and so different to finally be the person on the stage rather than in the audience and it was nothing short of perfect. I really felt at home.”
Olly Bengough, owner of KOKO since 2004, said: “What a great way to go out! 15 years of history comes to a close. A big thank you to all the artists who have turned this place upside down over the years and to the dedicated team at KOKO. Looking forward to KOKO 2020 and bringing a whole new chapter of music to this great city.”
KOKO will reopen in spring 2020 as a world-class music and hospitality destination. The redevelopment of the venue includes the acquisition of two adjacent buildings and a complete renovation of the rooftop area, adding more than 20,000sqft of new spaces, whilst retaining the main venue’s intimate 1,500 person capacity. The transformation will position KOKO as London's newest and most innovative multi-media venue, creating a social destination where high-quality music, food, entertainment and hospitality come together in ways never seen before.
The new KOKO, designed by Pirajean Lees and architect David Archer (Chiltern Firehouse), will comprise of a unique offering of up to six live performance areas, a radio station and broadcast studio, three new restaurants, a rooftop conservatory and terrace, an immersive retail experience and a penthouse space where artists can rehearse and record music.
Since its inception in 2004, KOKO has hosted some of the most important live music moments in recent years, including career-defining album launches from Coldplay and Madonna, and seminal performances from Prince, Kanye West, Bruno Mars, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Amy Winehouse, Noel Gallagher, Paul Weller, J Cole, Skepta, Dua Lipa and many other world-renowned artists. Previously, as the Camden Hippodrome, the venue famously hosted shows by The Rolling Stones, The Clash, Spandau Ballet, Blur, Prince and Madonna’s first ever UK solo show.