A box with just enough space for one performer and one spectator.
Folk in a Box is the world’s smallest and most mobile music venue. Sponsored by the Heritage Arts Company, the project consists of a travelling Thoreauvian wooden box that journeys across Britain - from the Tate, the SouthBank Centre, and other cultural landmarks to nondescript "back streets, high streets, hill tops, and front rooms" - bringing with it the most exclusive seat in town, wherever that may be.
The windowless space is large enough to accommodate just one performer (usually a folk artist) and one spectator (who is given just one song) and is lit by a sole light bulb screwed into the ceiling, a moody atmosphere and a strange dynamic which yield an experience that can prove as unnerving and awkward as it can be charming and endearing.
Since launching in 2009, the wandering pavilion has gone through several make-shift incarnations, including this mossy,’Woodstock’ rendition, which were always built using recycled/recovered materials. This year, however, the project will adopt a new, more sturdy performing space. Designed by architects David Knight and Cristina Monteiro, the latest box is comprised of 14 prefabricated panels, snapped together to form the structure’s base, walls, and ceiling. Each of the panels was individually carved and painted by “artisan carpenters”; when assembled, a vaguely Art Nouveau motif is made legible on all of the box’s sides. The audience enters and exits through a single dwarf-like door, while a double door on the opposite wall is reserved for the performer. The bespoke hut, which will also double as a whiskey bar, will premiere this month in London.
This post originally appeared on Architizer, an Atlantic partner site.