This week, we get the lowdown on Rich Mix in London, for this week's Venue Spotlight.
Arts & Culture Producer, Natasha Clark, fills us in on the venue's diverse history, surviving the economic climate, and their favourite artists...
- Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London, E1 6LA
- Capacity: 499
- Established: 2006
- The Lowdown: Rich Mix is East London’s independent arts venue. Once a vast leather factory, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road was transformed into a multi-arts venue, all 62,000 feet of it. Stretched over five floors, they boast a three screen cinema showing the latest releases and a multitude of flexible performance spaces.
Tell us a little about the venue and yourself.
Rich Mix is in the heart of Shoreditch, situated on Bethnal Green Road. Our maximum capacity space holds 499 for music events, whereas our theatre space can hold up to 100. I'm the Arts and Culture Producer, which basically means bashing out the nitty gritty production details with artists running up to their show.
Has the venue gone through any major changes since it opened (location, renovation, style of music etc)?
We've certainly gone through some financial difficulties and a lengthy legal case with the local council, which has seen us on the brink of collapse at times, however this was finally resolved in 2015 and we've just celebrated our 10th birthday - looking at the next decade from a much more stable view point!
Which band that's played your venue has gone on to be the best known?
MOBO award-winning hip hop artist Akala.
How many gigs or club nights a week do you host?
Roughly 5 per week.
Which band that played your venue deserved/deserves to be better known than they are?
Do you host events besides gigs and club nights?
Yes, we host comedy, spoken word, exhibition launches, theatre, dance, and private hire events.
If you could change one thing about the live music industry, what would it be?
Value the human beings that produce the music we love, rather than see them as a commodity that can be bought.
Has your venue ever been threatened with closure? If so, what could have been done to prevent it/support you?
We've not been threatened with closure as such, but the legal case that was brought against us would have inadvertently led to our closing.
What's been your proudest moment working at your venue?
Working with artists who are hosting their first ever event and seeing it reap a huge success because of dedication and hard work.
What's the best show you've put on recently?
Jah Wobble and the Invaders of the Heart (a bit earlier in July but we had a youth focused festival, so the programming had a different focus!).
Are there any interesting facts/stories about the venue that people might not know, but should?!
We used to be a garment factory!