A first look at Drumsheds – London’s newest superclub, housed in an old IKEA

 (Broadwick Live/ UVA)
(Broadwick Live/ UVA)

On Saturday October 7, the very first punters stepped through the doors of Drumsheds, a brand-new superclub in Tottenham Hale, for a night of disco like no other.

It’s no secret that London’s nightlife isn’t what it used to be: dance venue Printworks closed in 2023, while the Covid-19 pandemic was deadly for nightclubs around the country. But Drumsheds promises to be a shot in the arm for the capital’s struggling party scene – a 15,000-capacity venue created out of an old IKEA warehouse – and last week, we managed to get inside for a first look.

If the words ‘15,000 capacity’ make it sound massive, you’re absolutely correct. It’s more than double the size of Printworks, and a third bigger than the already-whopping Alexandra Palace, and over the winter season it will play host to some of the biggest names in electronic music. Think Hot Chip, Camelphat, Bicep, Shygirl (on a night that also includes the Sugababes, big flex), nights curated by Jamie Jones and Charlotte de Witte’s KNTXT, and to cap things off, Skepta and Jammer at the end of the season on December 16.

This is set to be one of the biggest clubs in the world, and the scale of the place is accordingly immense; walking through the venue’s open doors to the ticket hall – refashioned out of the IKEA carpark – takes a good ten minutes, and that’s before you factor in queue times.

Drumsheds - La Discothèque opening night (Luke Dyson)
Drumsheds - La Discothèque opening night (Luke Dyson)

But those who are willing to wait will be amply rewarded. Drumsheds, which boasts 608,000 square feet of space, hosts three separate dancefloors, about five different bars and a huge outdoor space with a vape shop, bar and eight different food vendors.

Even better; for clubbers feeling a pang of nostalgia for Tottenham’s old flatpack HQ, it has retained a lot of the old IKEA building’s distinctive features. The lift shafts are still there; its formerly meatball-heavy café has become a bar, and the loading bay is a dancefloor. Wide-open spaces and floors lend the place an industrial-chic feeling that made me wish more disused warehouses were turned into clubs.

Drumsheds is the brainchild of Broadwick Live, who have form in turning disused venues into iconic nightlife hotspots. In addition to being the brains electronic music mecca Field Day, they ran Printworks, and still run Canning Town club The Beams. For Drumsheds, they have partnered with United Visual Artists (who provided the creative direction) to create something rather special.

“Everything’s on a much bigger scale than what we’ve done before,” Broadwick Live’s Marketing Manager, Ebony Rhiney-James, tells me. “But really exciting, [it’s a] really interesting space, and we feel like we’ve been able to put our own stamp on it.”

The dancefloors themselves vary in size. There’s Y, the old loading bay, which has been transformed into a sweaty, industrial rave box. It’s capped at one end with a metal grate (a holdover from the building’s IKEA days) from behind which the DJ will do their stuff. There’s X, which used to be one of the showrooms: a low-ceilinged wonderland bathed in blue light with an impressive screen at one end and a shimmering grid of LED light strips overhead.

And then there’s Z: the old flat-pack warehouse, which has had its insides gutted to reveal a truly jaw-dropping space within. And even though the bass is not operating at full volume during our visit, the rows and rows of speakers lurking in the rafters testify to its ability to rattle the teeth of any and all partygoers.

There are strobing light beams overhead – in a nifty bit of design from UVA, each end can move up and down individually, giving us the sense when we walked in that we were looking at housing rafters. Then, there is the massive screen that takes up the whole length of the room in front of the DJ box: any lightshows here are going to be mind-boggling.

As we’re walking around, we’re told that Skepta’s team have just been into check the venue ahead of the star’s sold-out December show. Their verdict? “Wow.”

 (Khali Ackford)
(Khali Ackford)

If you hadn’t already gathered, this place is custom-built to be a stupendously good nightlife venue (in fact, most of its inaugural season has sold out), but as Rhiney-James tells me, Drumsheds was also designed as a hybrid model. In addition to hosting Saturday music events (which will primarily take place during the daytime, finishing at 10.30pm), Broadwick Live hopes that the venue will host other cultural events during the rest of the year.

Such as what? Ballets, for one – orchestral performances, community led events, and even fashion shows. They also have plans for set builds for films, which has worked well at their other venues – 2021’s The Batman borrowed the cavernous Press Halls of Printworks and transformed it into The Penguin’s villainous lair.

“I'm just excited for people to see what we've done with the space because everyone has this idea in their mind,” she says. “It's a well known space... I think people don't really know what to expect.”

Drumsheds opens on Saturday October 7, tickets at drumshedslondon.com