“Rave, plus so much more.”
Katie Thomas speaks to Seb Glover, co-founder of Canning Town venue FOLD…
Since the club’s inception in August 2018, Canning Town venue FOLD has made an indelible mark on London nightlife’s landscape. Founders Seb Glover and Lasha Jorjoliani set out to find a space which would capture a similar vibe to venues in Berlin and Amsterdam, and in the months since opening they have established a dance floor which is both inclusive and forward-facing.
To date FOLD has hosted parties by the likes of Ilian Tape, Whities, Cartulis and Body Hammer, and 2019 looks set to be equally exciting. We caught up with Glover and spoke about FOLD; where it came from, where it’s at, and where it’s going.
We are building a family for those that want to be in the know, to be in the fold. FOLD represents our ethos.
How did you find the space?
We actually lost a few sites on the path to finding this one, which, serendipitously, turned out to be the best for this kind of project. Through blood, sweat, tears and a lot of resilience, FOLD was conceived.
Can you explain the concept behind the venue, and talk a bit about your vision with the programming?
We are more than just a studio and events space. We do things our way based around our ethos. FOLD is what we like, and that’s reflected in the space itself as well as the programming. We want to approach the London scene in a different way, in a more European way.
What’s been the biggest challenge so far?
Our biggest challenge is trying to educate London with a different approach to what is normally expected of venues here. No photos policy, a safe space to believe in, extended hours, installs. Rave, plus so much more. We are not just an events space, the project runs much deeper.
Have you implemented any operational changes as a result of feedback since opening?
We constantly strive to improve our offering. Since the first months we have really honed in on developing our security personnel, giving more training and improving our own protocol to ensure it’s reflective of our ethos. It can be tough sometimes when staff come from other licensed premises. Everyone has slightly different ideas and approaches. We feel we are getting there though, and with these changes the feedback has been really great.
Can you talk a bit about the door policy and your aim to curate the right crowd?
We run a strong door policy to ensure people feel safe to be themselves (and to ensure license obligations are upheld). We want to create a safe, non-binary space that is disconnected from the intense pressures of London life, that allows freedom of expression, positivity and inspiration to flourish.
Can you pick a couple of moments to date where you’ve looked around mid-party and felt especially proud of what you’ve created?
Well, of course the first time we opened our doors for the First Dance. Looking around with the light streaming through the shutters for the first time around 11 am, the FOLD crew manning the decks, and so many different tribes together on one dance floor… I had never seen such a diverse crowd together in London before. It felt very special and exemplified all that we had been working so hard for.
The other time was a few weeks ago, in another one of our extended-hour parties. It was about 9.30am and the sun was shining through the shutters (at this point we just turn the lights off). Nicolas Lutz was playing a very special unannounced set. The room was full of industry peers and lots of fantastic DJs who were appreciating the space as we do… The positive energy was palpable.
If you could go back to when the idea was a twinkle in your eye and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
What’s coming up, what can we expect for the rest of 2019?
We have lots of amazing stuff in the pipeline this year as the project takes its next step forward. Expect more extended parties and many more unannounced guests for those events. Also, our weekday arts programme will begin so we are very excited about that. Stay tuned!