Graduate Bringing the Stones to London
In March 2016, The Rolling Stones made history by becoming the first British rock band to play an open-air concert in Cuba. The groundbreaking event took place at Havana’s Ciudad Deportiva de la Habana stadium. But this wasn’t just any Stones concert; this was about bringing people together in the wake of Fidel Castro’s ban on rock’n’roll. Half a million people attended the poignant gig, and many hundreds and thousands tuned in to watch on screens outside of the venue. Now it’s the turn of former BIMM Brighton student Andrew Cuthbert to immerse audiences in the energy and excitement of the Stones’ Havana Moon show for one night only next month at London’s famed Troxy on Friday 7 September.
That’s because Andrew is the co-founder of Revive at Studio 5 – a new company that specialises in bringing landmark concerts to life through cinematic technology, large-scale set design, immersive method actors and concert production sound quality. Working closely with The Rolling Stones and Eagle Rock Entertainment, Andrew and Tom will revive Havana Moon as if the audience were there in the Cuban capital on that extraordinary night in March 2016. Mick, Keith, Ronnie and Charlie will launch into Jumpin’ Jack Flash, riff their way through Tumbling Dice and will have fans shimmying to Brown Sugar in what will be one of this year’s most entertaining and most memorable live gigs.
And with Andrew being BIMM alumnus (Andrew graduated from BIMM Brighton with a BA (Hons) Professional Musicianship in drums, we had to ask about the inspiration behind Revive at Studio 5 and their most ambitious project yet. He tells us: “My business partner Tom and I have been involved in many angles of the music industry. From management, promoting and labels, we’ve been fortunate to see all sides. Being heavily involved in this industry allows you to go to some amazing concerts.
“However, Tom and I have always talked about the ‘I wish I was there’ moments. As the desire for immersive experiences grows, we want to transport people back to those iconic gigs and let even more people witness their favourite artists/bands and allow them to feel as if they were really there.”
These iconic gigs, says Andrew, could one day include a handful of his all-time favourite lie shows: from KISS’s Live in Vegas and Red Hot Chili Peppers at Slane Castle to Muse’s 2015 Drones tour. For now, though, all eyes are on their re-imagining of Havana Moon. Luckily they’ve had the full backing of the team behind The Rolling Stones, whose reputation for pyrotechnics and staging hundreds of spectacular Stones gigs will come in handy when putting on a live show of this scale.
On the support they’ve received, Andrew said: “They’ve stuck by us through all decision making and we’re in regular close contact with their management. We’ve also been lucky enough to have social media support from The Rolling Stones official accounts, as well as being featured on their website.”
But sound production aside, Andrew and his business partner Tom are also hoping to bring a few surprises to September’s production. Keeping tight-lipped about their plans, he said: “There’ll be some surprises, and we hope for lots of ‘wow’ moments for those who come! Exactly how we’ll immerse people into this world and recreate this unforgettable atmosphere will only really be fully understood by those who come along and experience it for themselves.”
Here at BIMM, we’ve already been rallying up support among our students and spreading the word of Revive at Studio 5 far and wide. Nevertheless, Andrew has stressed that the door is always open to BIMM students who would like to get involved. It’s the sort of collaborative spirit we thrive on at BIMM, and we’re always excited to see how both our students and graduates are getting on.
So, are they hoping to change the way we enjoy gigs as Secret Cinema has done with film? “We are not pretending like anything is broken, just adding something different for people to enjoy,” adds Andrew. “We love what Secret Cinema does. We’re always flattered to have that comparison, and I think to a degree we are music’s answer to Secret Cinema! What the team have achieved in the 10+ years of Secret Cinema is incredible for film lovers, we want to do something similar for music lovers.”
As Keef puts it in Havana Moon’s trailer: “When you ban something, you make it a little more tasty.” We’ve not doubt concert-goers will agree next month – and we’re not just talking about the food.
Tickets for Revive at Studio 5’s immersive screening of Havana Moon are available now. The show will take place at Troxy in East London on September 7th. Tickets are available here, and heavily discounted concessions are available for groups of BIMM students. You will need to follow this link for your specific ticket offers to apply: https://www.seetickets.com/event/rolling-stones-havana-moon/troxy/1187598?offercode=support .
Find out more here: troxy.co.uk/event/rolling-stones-havana-moon/