Liverpool’s city centre and suburbs boast a fantastic offering of performing arts, live music and club venues, but one mysterious collective has set its sights on creating a super-venue that is a hybrid of all three.
Brainchild of The Kazimier collective, The Invisible Wind Factory sprang up in a district of disused warehouses and industrial buildings in Liverpool’s North Dock area, which has in recent months and years become a burgeoning hub for artists and new creative collectives.
After months of public anticipation and intrigue, Invisible Wind Factory finally opened its enormous doors to the public in May 2016, after the company was booted out of their hugely successful former venue The Kazimier club due to property and commercial development in the area.
Their opening production, Omphalos, was a massive hit with audiences, who had no idea what to expect thanks to the company’s playfully mysterious and tantalising approach to publicising its shows, drip-feeding teasers to coax punters into their magical world to make even the process of buying a ticket a memorable and integral part of the audience’s immersive experience.
The warehouse itself truly is a factory, in every sense of the word.
As General Manager and Director Liam Naughton explains, “We are show-makers. Everything we do is end-to-end production. We make the idea, develop it, direct and produce it, perform it, run the venue, market it and deliver it. We’re a production house.”
Everything is conceived and built on-site in their cavernous workshop spaces, with different members of the team bringing a range of skills to the table, from woodwork and set building to technical and artistic direction. Technology plays a huge part in their productions, but the team always strives to retain an air of mystery and are wary of making the tech wizardry the star of the show, as Director Venya Krutikov explains. “We’ve always incorporated technology into our shows, but we try not to make the shows about technology per se; it’s more of a sleight of hand, an element of magic.”
The overriding atmosphere of the whole endeavour is one of absolute, infectious optimism and determination, and Naughton and the team have lofty ambitions for the place. “The aim was to make the most exciting and interesting venue in the world,” he explains. “The whole building is an artistic project. The business model comes later. We’re an artist-led company, and everything that we do is for an artistic vision. We’re confident that this is going to be pretty special, and I think it says a lot about Liverpool that this can happen here.”
Invisible Wind Factory videos
Take a look at some of IWF’s teaser trailers and production films.