Legendary London venue Koko will be opening its doors once again in April 2022 following a huge £70m restoration and redevelopment. Today (March 1) the venue has revealed more of the acts who will be helping celebrate its return with a season of special live shows.
Kicking things off with a three-day residency over 9 - 11 May is Grammy award winning Lianne La Havas. Also confirmed for the live programme are Tems (June 17 & 22), Kim Gordon (May 23), Jorja Smith (May 26), GoGo Penguin (3 Nov), Portico Quartet (May 8), Mulatu Astatke (May 15), and The Beat (July 3).
Speaking about her part in the launch, La Havas said: “Koko has been truly missed. It’s one of my favourite London venues and many of my favourite artists have played there. Having always wanted to do my own show at Koko, I’m excited that I now have the opportunity to do that”.
Nick Lewis, Koko’s head of music (formerly Ronnie Scott’s), said: “I’m so excited about our opening season and the quality and eclectic nature of our line ups. Putting together this mix of talent is exactly what we love doing.”
In the latest edition of Music Week, Koko CEO and founder Olly Bengough told us that the revitalised venue – which has been transformed from a historic theatre into a 50,000 square foot state-of-the-art live music venue and broadcasting house – will be able to support new artists more than ever across multiple platforms.
It’s been a seven year journey to bring this project to life and now, on the cusp of opening, I’m so happy to be paying homage to the cultural legacy of the building with a diverse mix of artists
Olly Bengough, Koko
The new Koko will include the new Fly Tower ‘venue within a venue’: a 50 foot tall shaft housing the original 19th century machinery to operate the theatre stage, which was a surprise discovery during the restoration process, and stands alone as an intimate, 200 capacity venue within the theatre itself. An official press release stated “in a Fly Tower show the artist performs facing the reverse, with the audience on surrounding balconies and on the stage itself.”
Koko Electronic, meanwhile, is a new brand which will run on Friday and Saturday nights until 6am in the main theatre and will comprise the most exciting electronic music artists and brands from around the world - from house, techno and disco to world music and rap.
Andy Peyton, Koko’s head of electronic (formerly XOYO, Phonox) said: “It’s never been a more exciting time to mark a new chapter for electronic music in the capital. London is a global epicentre of talent and Koko Electronic will be a great new addition to this amazing city.”
Confirmed to play are: Annie Mac (April 29), DJ Todd Terje (July 2); Kabza De Small (July 29), DJ Jayda G (May 7), 2ManyDJs (May 6); Kerri Chandler (May 28), India Jordan (May 13), Optimo (May 13), DJ Seinfeld (May 20), Hot Since 82 who will be celebrating 10 years in the game with an Originals Only Set and Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide Awards which returns to the venue (May 14).
In addition to the newly launched Fly Tower venue and the beautifully restored 19th century theatre, Koko will return with two new venues on the ground floor for the public; a new shop/DJ space which will feature exclusive merch drops and artist collaborations, and a morning to late-night pizzeria and tap bar, with Cafe Koko hosting intimate live performances for artists.
As previously reported, Koko will return with a new tiered membership offering. Those who become members of The House of Koko will give members access to a new roof terrace and conservatory, dome cocktail bar, penthouse and recording studio, piano room, library, a hidden speakeasy, stage kitchen and vinyl rooms. Further spaces within the members' floors will allow artists to perform in Ellen’s Jazz bar, acoustically on the roof terrace, in the penthouse studio, in the dome or in the stage kitchen.
High-spec broadcasting, recording and live streaming capabilities have also been built into the very fabric of the Grade II listed theatre and its new four storey extension.
Olly Bengough, CEO/Founder, concluded: “It’s been a seven year journey to bring this project to life and now, on the cusp of opening, I’m so happy to be paying homage to the cultural legacy of the building with a diverse mix of artists and contributing to arts and culture at a time when British live music needs it most”
Koko has revealed See Tickets as the official ticketing partner.
You can see the full list of shows below:
29 April KOKO Electronic: Annie Mac, Greentea Selecta, Anish Kumar
5 May Weval
9 May Lianne La Havas - SOLD OUT
10 May Lianne La Havas - SOLD OUT
11 May Lianne La Havas - SOLD OUT
6 May Parra for Cuva
6 May KOKO Electronic: 2ManyDJs, Breakbot & Irfane
7 May KOKO Electronic: Jayda G, Jamie 3:26, Jaguar, Ruby Savage
8 May Portico Quartet
13 May Peter Doherty
13 May KOKO Electronic: Special Guest TBA, Optimo, India Jordan, Ceri
14 May Gilles Peterson Presents: Worldwide Awards
15 May Mulatu Astatke
18 May Zak Abel
19 May Honey Dijon
20 May DJ Seinfeld - SOLD OUT
20 May KOKO Electronic: Eats Everything, Very Special Guest, Ewan McVicor, Syreeta
21 May KOKO Electronic: 10 Year Of Hot Since 82 - Hot Since 82 Originals Only Set
22 May Vance Joy - SOLD OUT
23 May Kim Gordon
25 May KNUCKS - SOLD OUT
26 May Jorja Smith and FAMM
27 May Hania Rani
27 May KOKO Electronic: Steel City Showcase - Mall Grab, Kettama, Chloe Robinson
28 May KOKO Electronic: Kerri Chandler, CC:Disco!, Helena Star
31 May Amaarae
4 June KOKO Electronic: Skream (Open To Close)
10 June KOKO Electronic: Very Special Guest, Batu, Crystalmess
16 June Omar Apollo
17 June TEMS - SOLD OUT
22 June TEMS - SOLD OUT
2 July KOKO Electronic: Todd Terje, Young Marco, Lone (Live), Vale Budino
3 July The Beat
20 July Yola
29 July KOKO Electronic: Moses Boyd DJ B2B DJ LAG, Novelist, Scratcha DVA (Amapiano Set),
30 Aug Tank and the Bangas
16 Sep Mono
3 Nov GoGo Penguin
11 Nov Stone Foundation
15 Nov Anais Mitchell
16 Nov Bob Moses