Abbey Road studios to re-open as music venue

Head of classical music institute says Abbey Road studios will resemble best of its venues The historic Abbey Road studios in London will re-open as a new music venue later this month, more than…

Abbey Road studios to re-open as music venue

Head of classical music institute says Abbey Road studios will resemble best of its venues

The historic Abbey Road studios in London will re-open as a new music venue later this month, more than half a century after it closed its doors to audiences.

The showcase for the Beatles’ catalogue will be christened Abbey Road Live and open on 23 November, hosted by the head of the university’s independent classical music centre, Dame Wendy Perron Davies.

Set to consist of multiple rooms that all occupy the same exterior site in Dalston, on the south-east edge of the capital, it is backed by EMI and the venture has been given £99m to renovate and reopen the studio, the largest in Europe until the closure of 4 Abbey Road (now HMV), a year after the band’s final album, A Hard Day’s Night, in 1970.

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At its height, the Abbey Road studios, where the Beatles had various musical sessions, housed 2,000 people and produced international recordings by artists such as Aretha Franklin, Dusty Springfield, Elvis Presley, David Bowie and U2.

It is understood that the owners have invited EMI’s archive of recording and musical memorabilia to move to the studio, which will include a touring museum.

There is also a grant of £7m to support the return of the Abbey Road Children’s Museum, a favourite spot of Beatles fans, to the studios – it closed in 2007 – in time for Christmas.

The project will retain many of the studio’s most famous buildings, including the building’s eight studios, where between 1960 and 1969, recordings were made by artists including Annie Lennox, the Beatles, Pink Floyd, James Brown, the Isley Brothers, Supertramp, Petula Clark, Patti LaBelle, Anthony Newley, Tina Turner, the Bee Gees, the Arctic Monkeys, Katy Perry and Katy B.

Part of the former Abbey Road Studios. Photograph: Martin Godwin for the Guardian

There will also be a broadcast training facility, a study theatre, soundproof studios for rehearsals and rehearsals for live performances.

Dame Wendy said that the studio, which was shut in November 1969, would not be a replica of the famous studios in Elstree in Hertfordshire, “but a clever amalgamation” of its various buildings.

There are also plans to re-open both 2 and 3 Abbey Road, one of which is currently occupied by a photography studio, which will be used for performances as well as research and teaching.

Its new surrounds will be a thousand times louder than the Abbey Road where Sir Paul McCartney recorded With a Little Help from My Friends in 1970.

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