Programmer Chris Sharp lifts the lid on the world-famous arts centre.
As Europe's largest performing arts centre, The Barbican is a hub for outstanding works in music, theatre, dance, film and art. The centre was founded 1982 using funds from the City of London Corporation, and it became famous for both its cultural significance and the building's brutalist architectural style, which is still dividing opinion to this day. The centre curates a far-reaching classical and contemporary music programme that frequently includes major electronic music events. One was recently steeped in controversy, when the police cancelled a Just Jam event that was scheduled to feature artists like Big Narstie and JME, evoking a time in London when grime parties were subject to intense police scrutiny. As The Barbican's contemporary music planner since 2008, Chris Sharp plays an integral role in shaping the centre's programme, so he's well placed to give an insight into the inner workings of the world-renowned centre. He sat down with RA's Kristen McElwain in London recently to discuss the past, present and future of the Barbican.