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Battersea Arts Centre’s grand hall set to host intergalactic music venue

The idea of a music gig being live streamed from an “intergalactic music venue orbiting the Earth” was an amusing idea at the start of 2020.

But The Close Encounter Club, which is performing at Battersea Arts Centre (BAC) as part of the theatre’s ‘Live from the Grand Hall’ gig series on Saturday, has become oddly fitting, and surged in popularity over the summer as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Tea Films run The Close Encounter Club, and their creative director Dan Hipkin and filmmaker Joey Julliard were very excited about the event.

Julliard explained: “This is an important next step in gigging at the moment. We created this make-believe venue in space orbiting the planet and that has suddenly become a lot more poignant.

“We’re providing people with this Saturday night escapism and with everything going on that’s important. We’re bringing music fans with us on a virtual experience.”

Hipkin added: “The thing I’m most excited about is being in the room. We’re really lucky to have this amazing space to work in. We’ve worked with Battersea before but never in the Grand Hall. So this time we’ve got the chance to see what we’ve created in a grand venue.”

The event, which will be headlined by Liverpudlian rock band The Mysterines, will use live two-way streaming technology, not only allowing fans to see the band in the hall, but filling the hall with virtual fans.

Fans are encouraged to turn on their webcams, which will be projected onto big screens in the hall, allowing the band to see and hear them as they perform, creating a shared experience.

Hipkin said: “It’s been a bit of a whirlwind putting this all together to be honest. But the BAC offered us the chance to do it and we wanted to take it. With gigs cancelled, we’ve had to try to react to keep audiences connected to the bands, and we’re really excited to test it all out.

“The Mysterines are a band that we’ve liked for a while, but they’ve been busy. They released a lot of new music at the end of last year and the start of this year, so in a way this is a moment where we’re lucky to work with them because in a non-Covid year they would probably be too busy to work with us.”

‘Live from the Grand Hall’ is part of BAC’s Make/Love digital only autumn season.

The Close Encounter Club starts at 7.30 on Saturday 17th October. Tickets are £10 and are available online now.

Featured image credit: Battersea Arts Centre

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