It takes a Village…

Village Underground started life in 2006 with the aim of building affordable studios for creative people struggling to get a foothold in London. Four tube carriages and two shipping containers were installed atop an old railway viaduct on Great Eastern Street, which had to be closed for the day, while they were hoisted into position.

You might have spotted the tube carriages, above the famous ‘Let’s Adore and Endure Each Other’ graffiti, and wondered why they were there…

Well, that’s us. Our team still works there in four recycled Jubilee line trains and shipping containers, making up the creative “platforms” of Village Underground. It’s not just our team either, we work alongside a community of workspace holders – playwrights, filmmakers, architects, photographers, producers and startups – all working side-by-side in our creative community.

Learn more about our workspace community.

It’s a strange little haven of calm in the carriages, above the chaos of Shoreditch, enclosed by skyscrapers on each side, where we grow fruit and veg in our little rooftop garden, get excited about new bands and parties, plot and plan how to improve the venue, decide which shows to book, and try to get more people to come to our shows. 

First came the trains, then came the warehouse…

Next to the viaduct, underneath the tube carriages, was an old Victorian warehouse which had been a coalstore for the railway, but had fallen into disrepair. We saw the potential in it, put a roof on it, cleared out all of the rubbish, sandblasted the walls and laid down a floor to transform it into the venue that we have now.

The main renovations took place over a year, just in time for opening in April 2007. 

15 years of underground culture…

In 2022 we celebrated 15 years of Village Underground. In the 15 years since we opened, Shoreditch has changed completely, but we’ve stayed true to our underground, independent roots. Still playing host to the best underground artists, parties and bands on the rise, we remain a place to discover new and unique artists, often before they hit the mainstream.

To celebrate 15 years of Village Underground we programmed a series of events, VU15, which epitomised the sound and ethos of the venue today and featuring the likes of Wu-Lu, Two Shell, Gwenno, Saint Jude, Salute & many more.

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