London’s Oval Space relaunches as Oval Studios after licencing issues

East London venue Oval Space has relaunched as Oval Studios after its licence was revoked last year due to a shooting.

Described as “London’s most versatile warehouse”, Oval Studios features a 900-capacity venue that’s licensed for events between 6am and midnight. The new website describes the space as “perfect for TV & film, immersive experiences [and] gallery exhibitions.”

Oval Studios is now a “multi-purpose, blank canvas venue with 400 square metres of flexible indoor and outdoor space, it’s the perfect place to build, explore and share,” the website continues.

New operators Spaces & Stories are involved in 20 London event spaces, including the 20,000 capacity Dockyards and the 300 capacity Thirty Eight Grosvenor Square. According to their website, they’re also involved with Printworks.

Oval Space closed in September 2022 after an alleged shooting at the venue. Following the incident, Tower Hamlets council announced it would be reviewing Oval Space’s licence.

“In the opinion of a senior police officer of the Metropolitan Police the above premises are associated with serious crime and disorder or both and concerns in relation to public safety and prevention of public nuisance,” said a statement at the time. “Lack of management of the premises and lack of adequate searching leading to serious incident to take place.”

In a bid to save Oval Space, venue owners took to Instagram to encourage people to send letters of support to Tower Hamlets.

“Oval Space is an important cultural venue In London. Since opening in 2013, it has quickly developed a reputation as a key part of London’s cultural tapestry,” the club wrote, hoping the letters would  “highlight the importance of these spaces in major cities across the country.”

However in October, it was confirmed Oval Space would lose its licence. “We are incredibly disappointed by this week’s decision by Tower Hamlets,” said the club. “This incident is not a reflection of the many safe and inclusive events the venue hosts for Londoners each month and has done over many years. We completely dispute any claims that the venue is gang affiliated.”

In other news, Brixton Academy is still closed following two deaths at the venue caused by a crowd crush at an Asake gig. The venue will remain closed until at least January 16, when its reported another hearing will take place.

The application for the licence review explained: “Police were called to the premises in response to reports of serious disorder with a clear threat to public safety. During the incident, a crowd forced their way into the venue leading to serious injuries to several individuals, and two individuals have since lost their lives.”


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