Skepta is set to launch a new house music label, hosting a launch party as part of KOKO’s first birthday celebrations.
The legendary Camden venue reopened last year after three years of restoration and redevelopment. It had initially shut in 2019 for a planned one-year refurbishment before a fire broke out in January 2020, while the coronavirus pandemic and “colossal water damage” also held up progress.
To mark the first anniversary of its reopening, KOKO are throwing a number of parties over a weekend in late April, including a launch event for Más Tiempo, Skepta’s new house label.
On April 30, he will be joined at his KOKO show by Benji B, Maximum and Jammer, the latter of whom he has collaborated with on ‘Mass Murder’, the first release on the label.
Others to play KOKO’s first birthday celebrations include a DJ set from Foals and a Next Wave showcase of African talent featuring DJ Simz (both April 28).
Find more details on all the shows below.
It’s our 1st Bday! 🎉 From @arcadefire to #Stormzy and some of the most unforgettable shows in London, it’s been a wild ride. But we’re just getting started! Join us for a weekend of performances w/special guests when we kick of celebrations on April 28th: https://t.co/8yIF5xpKh3 pic.twitter.com/PSwaZaNjzY
— KOKO Culture (@KOKOLondon) March 31, 2023
Arcade Fire played the first gig back at the newly renovated Camden venue on April 29, before Luciano headlined the first KOKO Electronic night the following evening.
Speaking to NME in May, the venue’s head of music Nick Lewis said: “Fans watching a show at KOKO always felt the grandeur of the theatre, but when we re-open I think it’s going to be an even richer experience.”
He continued: “We’ve vastly improved the sound and lighting, added high spec viewing screens on the top floor, put in more bars to get a (good) drink, and with live streaming integrated throughout, we will be producing hybrid events for those who can’t make the gig in-person. But most importantly, I’m proud of our eclectic opening music programme and I hope NME readers approve of it too!”