The Roundhouse was built in 1847 by the London and North Western Railway. Originally, it was used as a warehouse and contained a railway turntable. Just before World War II, it was closed, shutting down all maintenance and production.
The Roundhouse gained its fame in the 1960s and 1970s when British dramatist, Arnold Wesker, saw the potential to turn the uninhabited warehouse into a performing arts center. The original idea was for the Roundhouse to be home to a cinema, art gallery, library, theatre, and restaurant. By 1966, the rock’n’roll scene had hit London, and the Roundhouse established its name as a wild party venue, featuring Pink Floyd as one of the first acts to take the stage. In the decade to follow, it became a staple in the underground music world. During that time, the venue hosted bands including The Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix, and The Clash.
Since then, the Roundhouse has established itself as a musical and performing arts hot spot in London. The venue has been home to the hippies and red wine and LSD parties of the 1970s, punk rock legends of the 1980s, Shakespearean and theatre junkies, and house raves lasting multiple days in the 1990s. Being that it is 170 years old, it is one of London’s oldest music venues and is considered a Grade-II listed National Heritage Site.
At the beginning of its fame, the Roundhouse was notable for hosting big name rock stars, and helping to launch their careers through legendary shows. Today, it continues to be an iconic music venue. At the Roundhouse, there is a show for every type of music and performing arts lover. The venue has been home to music festivals, launched the careers of emerging artists, and has featured nearly every genre including rock, punk, classical, spoken word poetry, and electronic dance.
The Chainsmokers, an American DJ duo, took the stage of the iconic venue 19 February 2017. The doors of the venue wouldn’t open until 7:00, but by 6:30 the streets along Chalk Farm were lined with fans waiting to get inside and salespersons selling overpriced concert merchandise.
Once inside, concertgoers where shuffled into a large, circular room with a tall pointed ceiling. The lights were all dimmed with the exception of a bright green spotlight that oscillated around the crowd. It would be at least another hour until the opening act came onto the stage, so the people either began to solidify their spot in the crowd surrounding the stage, or went to the bar where they would find that drinks were fairly reasonably priced, especially for a concert venue.
The Chainsmokers have been described as blurring the lines between indie, pop music, dance, and hip-hop. The Roundhouse is a venue that inspires creativity, excitement, and transformation. By the time the Chainsmokers took the stage, the crowd was hyped and excited to see what the duo would do with the night. For the next four hours, the venue was packed to the rim with energy and dancing from the crowds, and held the clear smells of sweat and booze. Each of these mixed with the excitement that the DJ duo created with their music to create an EDM fan’s ideal music experience.
Since it’s opening as a music and arts venue, The Roundhouse has been an inspirational creative center of London, where artists create and young people grow individually through their expression. As the night went on, the energy of the crowd was unwavering until the final beat dropped, the lights came on, and everyone in the crowd exited the building and returned to the world outside the venue.
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