inside printworks london


London, UK


The Hydra // 21 December 2019


DJ Stingray, Marcel Dettemann, Dave Clarke, Robert Hood

I knew I had to make my way to Printworks in London since I first heard about it’s opening a few years ago. Located in the eastern part of the city, Printworks is a massive old printing press. My initial thoughts on the walk from the tube to the venue were that the area was surprisingly suburban. In the plaza next door is a supermarket and other shops and restaurants. 

However, once you make your way to the venue, it really is quite industrial. You can’t really tell from the outside, but the space inside is massive. Like, you could easily fit two more venues inside. 

One interesting thing about Printworks is they do day parties. We went to the Hydra, which ran from noon to 11:00 pm. This means you can actually get a good sleep after, or keep the party going at another venue. 

Tickets are needed to get into the venue, and most of the really popular events tend to sell out. There is tiered pricing for tickets, and even less expensive tickets available where you must be in the venue before a certain time. This helps to alleviate the rush of people that tend to come later in the day. 

We had normal tickets but still made it to the venue around 2:00 in the afternoon. We were able to walk right in and only had to wait in a short security check line. Our friends told us that often times the line snakes around the building, so it’s best to arrive as early as you can. This gives you more time to really enjoy all that Printworks has to offer too! 

Printworks is split up into massive halls on two different levels. When you first enter the building, there are long queues in place for the security check. Once past security, you make your way into the next hall. Here is where you can purchase a locker to store your belongings. There are two locker sizes available, a smaller one good for a couple of people and a larger one where you can fit a few larger coats. 

After the lockers, there is yet another open hall. Here is where you will find the men’s toilet, a bar, some lounge space, the entrance to another hall, and the stairs up to the main area. Through the entrance to other hall is where you will find the women’s toilet. It’s a bit of a walk, but there are many stalls that are cleaned and well-equipped with paper. 

Upstairs is where you will find the main bar area and the main room. The bar is quite long and you won’t have to wait too long for your drink. Prices were typical for an upscale London venue, around 8-13 pounds depending on what you ordered. From the bar area, there are a few different entrances into the main room. 

The main room of Printworks is one very long and narrow dancefloor. It can be a bit tricky to navigate later in the night as it starts to fill up and the crowd grows denser. The earlier you arrive, the closer to the front you’ll be able to get, however, you’ll notice it get increasingly hard to move around as the night goes on. The sidelines tend to be less packed, and you can easily make your way to the back or front going up the sides. If you prefer to stay further back and avoid the dense crowd, you’ll be rewarded with a better view of all the lighting that Printworks has to offer.

If you’ve seen photos and videos online of Printworks, you know how impressive their lighting and effects are. In the front sits a roof-height LED screen with impressive 3D visuals behind the DJs. A few disco balls are strategically placed along the dancefloor, which makes for truly captivating visuals when the lasers hit them just right. There are multiple rigs of spotlights that move up and down right over the crowd, too. The lighting technicians at Printworks are very talented and know how to work their setup for truly jaw-dropping effects. 

Even though it got pretty busy, the crowd was decent and there wasn’t too much pushing going on. Everyone was having a great time enjoying the different techno sets offered by each DJ. 

Overall, Printworks was an extremely organized and well-run venue. It’s definitely worth a visit if you find yourself in London!

Experience Printworks