A fire has broken out at the iconic Koko venue in Camden. Firefighters arrived at the scene to tackle the fire at 8.56pm. The general public have been advised to avoid the area if at all possible, with eight fire engines and approximately sixty firefighters in attendance on Camden High Street.
It is believed that 30% of the building’s roof is alight, as the fire team fight to salvage the remainder of the venue. At this time, it is unknown whether or not anyone has been hurt in the fire, or moreover, within the club.
Presently, Koko is undergoing refurbishment. You can check out the footage below of the fire from the London Fire Brigade.
— London Fire Brigade (@LondonFire) January 6, 2020
The venue has been closed since March 2019, undergoing a £40 million refurbishment, with the aim for Koko to reopen in the Spring of this year. It opened in 1900 as a theatre. Once called the Camden Palace, it closed in February 2004 for its previous refurbishment. In 2005, it was launched again with a new name: Koko.
The new building boasts six new performance areas, as well as a radio station and broadcast station.
Furthermore, a planned rooftop expansion is expected. A number of shops and restaurants are to be introduced in the David Archer led regeneration. Prior to the refurb, KOKO’s owner Olly Bengough said:
“This isn’t just about offering a music venue. In the Camden spirit of independence, auteurship and eccentricity, we want to offer an unrivalled experience,”
“London is a forward-facing city. Where we lead, the world follows and we have to move with it. We’re protecting the culture, helping Camden and London.”
The history of Koko stretches back a very long away. In 1945, The Goon Show was recorded at the venue. The Rolling Stones’ recorded their 1964 album ‘Camden Theatre 1964′ in its theatre.
Later down the line, The Clash took up a summer residency at the club, (1978), Madonna performed her first UK show in 1983, and more recently, Prince returned to Koko for the second time to perform twice in one night.
Fire at the Koko music venue. Firefighters at the scene. pic.twitter.com/4NemcJ4JhB
— Camden New Journal (@NewJournal) January 6, 2020