Orange Group bought Area in 2007, overhauling the club and introducing a top dollar sound system and lighting rig. With Vauxhall about to undergo its long-anticipated facelift the venue sadly closes its doors this weekend. But while Area may be saying goodbye, it’s not over for some of its most popular elements as Fire picks up the gauntlet. Group General Manager Mark Williams talks to QX…
Why is Area closing?
Vauxhall has changed a massive amount since we bought Area. The amount of development happening near the venue is crazy. It is only a matter of time before it would be impossible to operate a large venue on that strip. We were made an offer we couldn’t refuse so decided to bring Area to a close. We felt Beyond needed a change, so we have moved over to Fire and it’s settled in amazingly well. We’ve also opened a daytime street food market in Vauxhall, which is getting 2500 people a day through its doors! We’ve taken on a new space too, so more details about that coming soon. It’s going to be something very different though.
How will the closing party send Area off with a bang?
We’ve got one of the biggest DJ line-ups we’ve ever had down at the venue, new and old, who have played at the venue since we took it over. Expect loads of surprises throughout the night as we are going to be making sure she doesn’t go quietly. The party doesn’t finish there. We will be heading straight over to Fire for the final Orange Bank Holiday of the year. Just as we will be letting the builders in the back door of Area to start the strip out.
Talking of which, the venue might be closing but the main dance floor will be resurrected?
Yes, Area’s LED ceiling is one of the things so many people love about the venue, so we’ve decided to refurbish it and redesign it for Fire’s main room. That’s not all we are going to be installing. It’s going to be accompanied by a complete production overhaul in the main room and a new ventilation system.
Are there any other elements of Area that will find a new home in Fire?
I’m sure we’ll incorporate some other parts of Area into Fire. It would be wrong not to find a new home for that stained glass window in the Chapel Room! And you can never have enough toilet seats! We do have the new space that we are developing so who knows what will end up there.
5 things we’ll miss about AREA
The smoking area was the perfect spot for socializing and being seen (obviously) And nothing makes partying more enjoyable than knowing that while you’re living it up, those pedestrians on the other side of the barrier are going to meet their parents.
And by “neighbours” we mean catching horny gays scurrying in and out of the sauna like they’re Britney being chased by the paps.
Sure plenty of clubs have podiums, but when you’re skanking out like there’s no tomorrow and the lasers are all up in your grill, you feel like you’re in a J.Lo video.
Oh gurl, if you thought the Chapel was a place to pray, you need to take a pew. The only praising we did was when the DJ played our jam. And during SexCircus, the end arch was the perfect area for adding to your sins.
What’s not to love about dancing tops off and tits out right across the road from the Secret Intelligence Service? We bet they loved to watch, too. Pervs.
Mark’s Top 5 Area moments
Orange Bank Holidays are always stuff of legend and the event at Area last May didn’t let us down. Bursting at capacity, featuring some of our top resident DJs, it even saw the debut of the one and only Glendora as a DJ in her very own room!
SexCircus. There are some nights that just come along and surprise you. SexCircus was one of those, brought to you by two rising stars within Orange Nation promoter Martin Princess and porn king Issac Jones (above, left).
Beyond Tokyo. If there is one thing that Beyond does well, it’s a theme! And Beyond Tokyo was one of the best. The amazing stage shows and performances and decor really showed Area off at its best!
Onyx 1st Birthday. The great thing about Onyx was that it was different to many of the other nights we put on, it introduced a “Soho” clubber to Vauxhall. One of the best Onyxs was the 1st Birthday which saw Amanda Wilson performing her number one track ‘Bromance (The Love You Seek)’ for the first time ever.
…and just to chuck in my own personal top moment which has be a night at Beyond after I had been partying in Fire and, should I say, was maybe a little merry. I ended up out and about in the club dressed as Elektra, wig and all… At one point even doing a show on an exercise bike… Quite why, who knows!
• Area – The Last Dance is at 67 Albert Embankment, Vauxhall, SE1 7TP on Sunday 24th August, 9pm-very late.