London’s always looking for a new rave space, and after losing Printworks and The Drumsheds over the past year, the winter dance scene needs somewhere to call home.
I made it over to The Beams – the newest space aiming to fill that indoor rave-sized hole – for its second event since opening its doors, SIDEXSIDE: Patrick Topping x Denis Sulta.
Following the crowds for the 20 minute walk from the DLR station across the Royal Docks, the feeling of excitement and pre-rave nerves keeps on growing. As soon as you get close to the entrance, you can hear the familiar thumping of the b-line – we’re here.
It’s truly a unique and exciting new venue – an old warehouse named from the shining beams of light which come through the windows surrounding the main room (a perfect Insta-moment). What really sets apart The Beams from other venues, is that it’s wide, not long. This means that ravers didn’t get too packed in like sardines, as you can just spread out to the sides, but not be too far away from the music. I’m definitely at a point in my life where being wedged in is zero fun for me, so having that extra bit of space to two-step is a blessing.
There are another two rooms you can head to during the 10ish-hour span of time you’re there for – in the second room Ritmo London took over, with HearThug, Reeshy, Georgia Girl and Bezar shelling off beats. The third room is more of a chill-out area, with sofas which ravers can crash on – definitely needed when partying for so long throughout the day.
The creators have curated a different kind of day rave site; the outdoor section has places to grab a bite to eat and sit if you’re all two-stepped out, and different bars to go to selling different drinks, including a Bulldog Gin Bar and Asahi beer bar – which has a bit of a festival-ly vibe about it. Be aware though, prices are astronomical – I spent £25 on just two gin and tonics – it’ll keep you to just walking back and forth to the water station all day.
After seeing video’s of Michael Bibi’s ELOVATE takeover a week earlier, there seemed to be a little something missing from Patty T’s event. I found out that Bibi brought his own lighting rig to create the atmosphere at The Beams – which explains why the production just doesn’t hit the spot, unlike the insane lighting and visuals Printworks has for each different event. I think they still have a way to go to build up The Beams to the standard of Printworks, and invoke the same cult-like love that people have for it.
That being said, there is a lot of potential for The Beams, to become the home of winter raves, and they already have some insane upcoming events, including Honey Dijon presents RADIANCE on 15th October, and Jamie Jones taking over on 19th November. It’s definitely one to make your way to, to experience!