We speak to WHP's Sam Kandel about the new three-room space and their plans for the upcoming season.
As we announced at the end of January, Warehouse Project's new space was set to open over Easter weekend with a party featuring Loco Dice, Jamie Jones, Carl Craig, Maya Jane Coles, Scuba and many others, taking place on Sunday 8th April. In fact, the debut party will go ahead on Good Friday, 6th April. The main space will feature sets from Eric Prydz, Axwell, James Zabiela and Thomas Gold, while room two's bill includes John Digweed, Joris Voorn and Nic Fanciulli.
So what of the new venue? We spoke with Warehouse Project's Sam Kandel to get an idea of what to expect from their new multi-purpose space and how it will affect their plans for the future.
Just as a recap, can you outline why you left your Store Street location?Tickets for Warehouse Project's opening party with Eric Prydz and John Digweed are available to purchase via RA Tickets.
We moved on from Store Street out of choice. We'd been there for five years and The Warehouse Project started as a nomadic concept, it was never supposed to take up permanent residence in one space. Obviously Store Street was amazing, the first proper home for Warehouse Project, but after doing 200 events there, we've done as much as we can do. This new venue gives us far greater flexibility; we can do amazing underground club shows for 1500 – 2000 people like we were doing at Store Street. There's also the opportunity when we open up the whole space to do much bigger events and much bigger production shows—things that we could never have fitted into that last venue, both from a financial aspect, because we could never have afforded to put these acts on, and also in terms of space. We didn't have the stage to do the big production events.
Could you talk me through the set up at the new space?
The new space is over three rooms. The whole building is an old industrial factory. It's located a kilometre outside the city centre. The big difference between this venue and Store Street is that the secondary spaces…in Store Street we always struggled. I mean, the main room was amazing but room two was always tricky, we could never get it to sound right, it was always a little bit awkward. The secondary space in the new venue is absolutely unbelievable...it's very industrial, not very good for live acts at all but awesome for DJs. The main room is more like the main room at Boddington's, which was the venue we were in the first time we did Warehouse Project.
Have you had to do much work on the building in order to get it into shape?
We've done a huge amount of work on the building. We've had builders on site for nearly 18 months. We've been working on this project for two years.
Were there any major challenges in getting it into shape?
[Nothing] apart from hundreds and thousands of pounds of building works—that's been a major challenge.
How do you see the new venue changing your overall offering?
The content and line-up at WHP is obviously the key part of what we do and this opens up all kinds of other avenues for us. We want to keep things exciting and it just means that we can introduce things that we could never have done before. Apart from anything else, those people that would have seen all those artists three or four times at Store Street, it's almost like seeing them in a completely new and different context. There are only so many special DJs, but once you've seen them in the same venue three times it starts to feel less special. Now it's like seeing them for the first time again.
Are you able to give any details as to the type of shows you're talking about?
We're kind of building the programme for the end of 2012 at the moment. The two shows at Easter are not dissimilar to what you would have seen at Store Street: we have done that on purpose. We're working on some big stuff for the end of the year. The series will run over the same period, but we won't be doing as many shows within that period as we've done before. It would be stupid to think that we could go to a bigger site and do the same number of shows as what we did at Store Street. We want to reformat the series but it will still fall within that period from the end of September to January 1st.
Does the move change the overall mission statement at all?
It is a huge risk for us. We know that everyone loves Store Street. We're really conscious, but we're ready for it: Monday morning after Easter weekend on Facebook, whether it's been amazing or...we know that there's going to be issues with these first events because until you've got people in there you don't know exactly how certain things are going to work. But we're ready for people to say, "We wish we were back at Store Street." If we would have continued at Store Street people would have got bored of it and it would have fizzled out. This feels like a natural evolution of what was happening before.