Flanagan Lawrence, photo
The BBC today released further details of the BBC Music Studios opening in Stratford East Bank in 2025. The studios will house music sessions ranging from the Radio 1 Live Lounge through to BBC Proms rehearsals, Radio 3 concerts, and gigs from the BBC pop music stations with invited public audiences.
The purpose built studios will be a home for The BBC Singers, BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, rock and pop sessions, BBC music education and outreach as well as housing one of the largest sheet music collections in the world. An inspiring and flexible space, the building will also be more sustainable and efficient to run, whilst producing world class broadcast sound and offering creative partnership opportunities and links to the local community.
Tim Davie, Director General commented: “In the anniversary year of the BBC, I am hugely excited by the potential of the BBC Music Studios to allow us to reach audiences in new ways and to create ambitious music programming that audiences everywhere will enjoy. We’ve been working with local schools on music education and careers sessions and my desire is that not only will big stars be broadcasting from our studios but that we’ll have inspired local talent to work with the BBC on their own doorstep.”
Fundamental to the BBC’s move has been a chance to embed the studios in the local community through a programme of local music education and outreach events, as well as participation in local apprenticeships including the STEP traineeship, all designed to support local East London talent get into the music industry in the future. Moving the BBC Music Studios from Maida Vale to Stratford East Bank is also part of a wider partnership with The V&A, Sadler’s Wells, UCL and London College of Fashion to create London’s newest creative quarter, Stratford East Bank.
Lyn Garner, LLDC Chief Executive, commented: “This is an amazing project with huge potential. Stratford will see world class musicians with global appeal performing and recording for the BBC as part of these new inspiring and innovative studios. And local schools and communities are already benefiting from music education programmes as well career development, training and job opportunities.”
From gigs broadcast on BBC national radio stations with global music stars to orchestral concerts and new talent sessions, one of the specifications of the building is that it is also possible to co-ordinate the buildings on site, allowing the ability to share audio and video from Sadler’s Wells, the V&A, UCL, London College of Fashion to allow for ambitious cross-disciplinary creative partnerships.
The studios will have 3 music studios with associated control rooms for recording, mixing, mastering and broadcast. There will be 2 self-operated radio studios to allow presentation and interviews before/after performances, an edit suite, and visualisation gallery. Studio 1 will allow it to comfortably fit an orchestra and an audience of up to 300 people or a pop band with an audience of up to 800. There will be a variable acoustic system in Studio 2 that can handle a variety of uses to provide wider creative opportunities and cutting down on changeover times.
The BBC first announced it would be moving to Stratford East Bank in 2018 and since then has worked with local schools to deliver education projects ranging from conducting for beginners to sound recording projects that have been broadcast at the BBC Proms. More information on forthcoming education and learning activities are in notes to editors.