In 2016, the amount of live gig-goers soared to 30.9 million in the UK with four million of those revellers attending large- scale music festivals. This is good news for the stadiums and larger venues. But it is the smaller venues that are suffering with an estimated 40% of London‘s music venues closing their doors in recent years. This poses a real threat to the live music industry, as it is the grass roots settings that keep the dream alive.
In response to these recent statistics, iconic British department store Selfridges will play host to a series of musical collaborations from 20 July – 18 October as part of its new campaign Music Matters at Selfridges.
The marked and quintessential retailer at the core of British culture is famous for introducing retail theatre and extraordinary shopping experiences to the UK and it will continue to be a pioneering influence with its latest venture. It will host events and collaborations with musical talent across all of its stores in London, Manchester, Birmingham and online during the three-month-long campaign.
Selfridges' Oxford Street will provide a platform for new music artists in the Ultralounge, the world's first in-store live music venue.
The Ultralounge will play host to superstar creatives Skepta and A$AP Rocky, who will open and close Music Matters at Selfridges with global, exclusive fashion-based concepts. There is mystery shrouding what exactly these could be, so you will have to head down to find out for yourself!
From Thursday 20 July and for nine weeks, the Ultralounge – Selfridges' 3,500 sq ft unique and permanent special events space – will become a state-of-the-art visual content studio and interactive platform for the Music Matters at Selfridges line-up. This new incarnation of the Ultralounge is the brainchild of TEM (The Experience Machine) whose work include designing innovative experiences for Jay Z, Beyoncé and Lady Gaga, so you know it will be something special.
The Ultralounge will host a programme of New Music Nights and artist nights called Selfridges Presents and a donation will be made by Selfridges to the Music Venue Trust for every ticket purchased from those events.
The full Ultralounge programme was announced just last week via a special event at Selfridges, which featured an expert panel who discussed the concern of the closure of music venues across the UK, and how it impacts the music industry. The panel was hosted by singer songwriter and broadcaster, Cerys Matthews and included guest speakers: Nick Mason of Pink Floyd, James Lavelle of UNKLE, Hannah Barry of Bold Tendencies, and Jeff Horton of the 100 Club.
All of these names have seen the negative impact of the closure of small and independent gig venues and saw it as imperative to get involved.
There will also be a series of other musical happenings taking place in-store, including classical, acoustic and DJ performances, as well as a curated collection of nostalgic music merch and a Rye Wax record store on the menswear floor on Oxford Street. Music Matters at Selfridges will also feature a partnership with Yang Li for his Japanoise passion project with his band and merch outfit SAMIZDAT and special events with Bold Tendencies and the Multi-Story Orchestra.
Check out the full line-up here:
- 20 July: New Gen: 67, NOT3S, RENZ
- 27 July: ELVØR, CHARLIE CUNNINGHAM
- 3 August: UNKLE
- 10 August: RAYE, MABEL
- 17 August: VESSELS, Ten Fé, BEN PIERCE DJ
- 24 August: SHURA, PIXX
- 31 August: JOE GODDARD, AMA LOU, DJ ED ROSTAND
- 7 September: LAST NIGHT IN PARIS, HARE SQUEAD
- 14 September: ZULI, EL 3ezba
New Music Nights
- 26 July: Tom Walker / Majik / Tayla
- 9 August: Kudu Blue / Croox / Frank Gamble
- 23 August: Mullally / Joy Crookes / Callum Pitt
- 6 September: Sam Wills, Cameron Bloomfield, MAAD
- 13 September: Yassassin / Nova Twins / Animal Sons
Tickets for the Ultralounge's season of music matters are available, here.