Sands Films' Hidden Gem
Introducing a small and utterly charming concert venue housed in an 18th-century listed building in Rotherhithe, London
Early music concerts offer a unique opportunity to discover some amazing musical talents, unknown repertoire, hidden gems, creative programming, and storytelling. But not only that, often you may find yourself in a setting you would have never visited or had the chance to see otherwise, a space not normally open to the public or in an unobtrusive building hiding a beautiful venue.
Had you decided to go to Irlandiani's recent album launch, you would have made your way to a peninsula on the South Bank of the Thames. Rotherhithe has a long history as a port, with Elizabethan shipyards and working docks until the 1970s, and it still shows. The concert took place in Sands Films' Music Room, a small and utterly charming concert venue housed in an 18th-century listed building, a former Granary built in the 1780s, held together by old ship masts and beams, and is now home to Sands Films, an independent film studio, and international costumier.
Sands Films created the Music Room in their film studio as a response to the pandemic, offering the use of the studio facilities to stream live events as a means to support artists. They have continued since, excited by the possibilities of a hybrid format that sits somewhere between live and recorded performance. With an open-door policy and no charge for seats or online access, Sands Films Music Room fosters a culture where the arts are accessible to all. The original set of the music room was built for The Children's Midsummer Night's Dream, a 2001 film based on Shakespeare’s play, involving children from the surrounding housing estates. Therefore, the size is slightly smaller than you would expect, making a visit even more magical. The Music Room is a beautiful space, run by some very generous and dedicated people and will hopefully continue to keep its magic for a long time to come.
Sands Films can be found at 82 St Marychurch Street, Rotherhithe, London, SE16 4HZ.