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Reinventing a venue for broadcasting and live streaming

Last week we caught up with T.E.N. Studios in Hackney, a music venue whose official launch coincided almost exactly with the beginning of lockdown in mid-March. Manager Harry Follett explains how they’ve quickly reinvented themselves as a broadcasting and live streaming service, working with influential artists from labels like WARP and HYPERDUB.

What’s unique about your venue?

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The venue is located in a 5m converted Victorian Railway in Bethnal Green tube. People like the feel of the space, it’s industrial without feeling damp or heartless and promoters seem to instantly connect with it and make it their own. We purposefully keep the décor bare and stripped back for this reason. We’ve had everything from James Blake’s private birthday party to all-techno raves, and the London Jazz Festival.

In terms of our vision for the space, we’ve always been pretty clear about putting our sound system and engineers first. Sound is the one thing that London artists, promoters and audiences won’t compromise on. For a 220-capacity venue, you’ll be hard pressed to find a more immersive listening environment in London. Of course, we have respectful security, friendly staff and nice drinks too though!

Why have you diversified to live streaming?

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It was a logical transition for us, as one of our main sound engineers also worked as a live streaming engineer and was able to guide us through the process and bring onboard other engineers from a broadcasting background who have previously worked for organisations like NTS Radio, Tate Modern and The Architecture Association.

We were luckily enough to receive support from the Arts Council, which allowed us to invest heavily in the broadcasting equipment we needed to offer a pro-level broadcasting service and network quality production. You have to spend a lot to overcome the issues in latency and buffering issues that come from streaming in high quality. We decided early on to make this investment and aim for a really professional service that differentiates us in what is already become a crowded market.

Who is the service tailored towards?

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Naturally our initial bookings have been live music streams, and we’ve been lucky enough to work with some amazing artists like Gaika (Warp), Shannen SP (Hyperdub) and Funkineven (Apron Records). However, we intend to broaden out into different areas, as our engineers have experience running live streams for conferences, weddings and many other event areas. At the moment, we’re looking for new partners in across various sectors, such as education, weddings, conferences and festivals, etc.

What has been your favourite stream so far?

reinventing your venue ten studios hackney

Without doubt, Shannen SP (Hyperdub Records) with contemporary dancer ‘Malik’. This was part of a fundraising campaign for black lives matter organised by Nine-Nights. There was an electric and urgent energy in the performance. You can catch part of the performance on our website here:  (www.ten-studios.com)

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