London is home to the world’s biggest and most diverse dance music scene. Each weekend, it vibrates to the sound of every imaginable style of club music. It’s a scene shaped by immigration and the hard knocks of city life, both of which fuelled the incredible feats of creativity that led to jungle, garage, grime, dubstep and UK funky. London is rightly known as a capital of sonic innovation.
London may be one of dance music’s most important cities, but it’s also one of its most troubled. It has reached a defining moment for nightlife culture. From club closures, to widespread police pressure on venues, to the looming threats of gentrification and Brexit, dance music in London has often felt under siege. In Real Scenes: London, we meet the artists, promoters and venue owners who have confronted these challenges head on. It’s never been easy here, but an undercurrent of radio, DIY venues, new music and emerging talent still finds a way to survive and thrive—at least for now.