5 TO 9 : OVAL SPACE
5 to 9 is a regular slot on the Stighlorgan blog, where we go out in search of things to do, people to see and places to go in the crucial hours outside of work; the best hours, the fun bits, your time to unwind and chase the setting sun.
If you’re a native of East London, it won’t have escaped your notice that Cambridge Heath’s Oval Space is changing the way that clubbers approach their chosen sport. Born from their lacklustre experiences in London’s existing clubs, the venue takes its cues from the superlative clubbing of Berlin, with the emphasis on crisp, brilliant sound and a fantastic experience. It’s the perfect place to chase the rising sun, with a roof terrace that showcases spectacular sunrises in the area. It’s also host to a massive array of daytime events, community get-togethers and art projects.
We sat down with one of the founders of the club, Jordan Gross, to discuss where it came from, how it’s doing, and where it’s going.
SLG: Hey Jordan, so when did the Oval Space project start and how did it come about?
JG: Oval Space was born out of the desire to give London a decent entertainment space, something [co-owner] Dan and I felt it was lacking at the time. We starting renovating and transforming a medical supplies warehouse overlooking a disused gasworks in 2011 and launched as Oval Space in Spring 2012.
SLG: What was the original vision?
JG: We saw a gap in the market for a high quality space that could accommodate a variety of arts and music events. London was – and still is – lacking good, clean, stylish venues. Dan and I had spent a lot of time in Berlin and we wanted to bring a bit of the Berlin spirit back to London – plus Dan just wanted to throw some amazing parties!
SLG: What was the toughest part of opening an events space in Tower Hamlets?
JG: Everything! From the winter we spent in puffa jackets in a freezing office with one tiny heater for company, typing in gloves, to the fact that there were no fire exits when we first moved in; we had to build temporary staircases.
SLG: Has Oval Space as it is now stayed true to the original vision?
JG: Yes and gone beyond. We’ve hosted everything from classical concerts, craft beer festivals, independent film screenings, live shows and more since opening. We also have a burgeoning creative community forming around Oval Space that includes our smaller sister venue The Pickle Factory, organic cafe Plump and our shared workspace Oval Office, all opening in The Oval cul-de-sac. And we’re still throwing great parties…
SLG: How will it evolve in the future?
JG: There’s lots in the pipeline. We’ll be expanding our in-house Oval Space Music program and have an exciting shipping container development on the horizon.
SLG: Tell us about something exciting that’s coming up there.
JG: We’re about to re-launch our much loved series of outdoor terrace parties – Terrace Sundaes, featuring Falty DL, Andrew Ashong, David August and others. It has to be one of the most unique clubbing spaces in London; a secluded, intimate outdoor space that’s tucked away with an unrivaled view.
Check out the full deets about Oval Space and its upcoming programme here: www.ovalspace.co.uk