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London’s KOKO to reopen with special Arcade Fire show later this month

The Canadian icons will play the first show back at the venue on April 29

By Nick Reilly

Arcade Fire perform live
Arcade Fire perform live (Picture: Maria José Govea)

London’s KOKO will re-open later this month with a one-off show from Arcade Fire, it’s been confirmed.

The Canadian icons will play the historic Camden venue on April 29, marking its official reopening after an extensive £70m three-year restoration and development project.

The band, who are gearing up to release sixth album ‘WE’ next month, will kick off a weekend of special events – with tickets going on general sale here from Thursday April 21 at midday.

Pre-sale access to tickets is also available with pre-orders of WE on any format from the official Arcade Fire UK store.

KOKO’s opening weekend will also take in an extended set from Ibiza techno icon Luciano on Saturday, April 30 and two shows from rising rap star Central Cee at 4PM and 8PM on Sunday, May 1.

A CGI rendering of the refurbished KOKO
A CGI rendering of the refurbished KOKO. (Picture: Recent Spaces)

Fans around the world will also be able to tune in to the Amazon Music UK channel on Twitch on Friday evening to watch the performance from home, and enjoy the best of Arcade Fire’s hits on their [RE]DISCOVER playlist.

The Camden venue was initially shut in 2019 for a year-long refurbishment, which was then pushed back after a fire broke out in the venue in 2020. Subsequent water damage then delayed the reopening even more.

Included in the new KOKO will be a ‘venue within a venue’ called Fly Tower, a 200-cap room housed in a 50ft tall shaft which will see the performance experience shifted, with artists on the floor and fans on the stage.

Elsewhere, a new Cafe KOKO will open alongside a shop and DJ space, while livestream capabilities are now permanently installed throughout the venue, meaning that any artist playing has the option to livestream their show globally.

A new clubnight called KOKO Electronic is also set to launch, with Jayda G, Todd Terje and more already signed up for early editions.

Other acts set to play in the first few months of KOKO’s reopening include Jorja Smith, Lianne La Havas and Pete Doherty.

Speaking of the opening, KOKO’s founder and CEO Olly Bengough previously said: “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.”