For over two decades, Melbourne’s Platform One nightclub has played host to some of the world’s biggest names in Dance music and entertainment. With both a culturally and historically significant background, the venue has carved itself a strong handhold amongst Melbourne’s premier event space offerings. Housed in the iconic Banana Alley Vaults, Platform One is comprised of two long, domed tunnels which stretch over 65 metres from Flinders St to the Yarra River.
The Banana Alley Vaults were first constructed in 1892 and were used primarily by local fruit merchants, who rented them for fruit storage. The name “Banana Alley” was coined after merchants began storing and ripening Bananas onsite before they were taken to market. By the late 1980s, the Vaults had all been put up for lease and began serving a variety of retail purposes. In 2001, Vaults 7 & 8 underwent a major interior conversion, and Platform One Nightclub was born.
Since opening its doors, the venue has seen countless internationally acclaimed musicians and DJs grace its multiple dancefloors. The nightclub’s close proximity to public transport and a unique underground aesthetic made it one of Melbourne’s most sought-after event spaces for almost 20 years.
In August 2019, Platform One closed its doors to the public in order to concentrate on a series of extensive renovations and improvements. The multi-million dollar upgrade includes a completely new air conditioning system, a multitude of new fixtures, internal structural changes, the addition of an addressable venue-wide LED lighting system, and a complete overhaul of the primary sound system in both the main room and side rooms.
After exhaustive listening tests comparing multiple high-end loudspeaker brands within the venue space, NEXO’s latest P+ series was chosen for its compelling balance of pristine sonic performance, weight and physical footprint. Working with Concert AV, one of Melbourne’s premier DJ & Audio Visual retailers, Platform One installed a scope of P8, P10, P12, L15 and MSUB18 systems from NEXO throughout the venue.
NEXO’s P+ series offers a refined combination of heritage and contemporary design engineering in a range of powerful, compact 2-way coaxial speaker systems. Completely designed and manufactured in France, P+ is NEXO’s most recent addition to a set of pioneering technologies in sound reinforcement, that has seen them become a favourite of installers and production companies for over 3 decades. The P+ range’s sleek look and stunning sound quality make them the perfect solution for Club audio, whilst their compact nature and scalability lend advantage to installers faced with tricky architecture such as Platform One’s uniquely shaped rooms and curved ceilings.
Whilst the famous tunnels are an iconic feature of Melbourne’s heritage, they are also acoustically hostile with regards to professional sound reinforcement applications. The advanced technology underpinning the NXAMPMK2, NEXO’s amplifier/controller combination hardware, was engineered to overcome precisely these kinds of hurdles. Combining multi-channel, high powered, networkable amplification with sophisticated loudspeaker processing and control, the NXAMPs work in tandem with the P+ series loudspeakers to deliver a tailored audio experience that is nothing short of world-class.
Engaged in renovations throughout 2020 and the ensuing Covid-19 crisis, management and crew were determined to emerge from Melbourne’s quiescent period with a nightclub that would rival even the most distinguished international venues. Borce Kajmakoski, Co-Founder & Director of LEVELS Entertainment, says the intention behind the upgrade was to take an already-iconic venue and elevate it to the highest tier:
“It was a great venue, but now it’s a superclub. We were aiming for a sleek, high-line experience; one which also gives an impression of exclusivity. The new lighting and fixtures go a long way in helping establish that feeling, but we also needed to make sure the club audio had the same kind of wow-factor. We feel the NEXO system is certainly up to the task.”
Adding to the P10, P12 and subwoofers making up the FOH system, are additional P12s placed as DJ monitors and an ID24 system in the VIP area. NEXO’s immersive audio-oriented line, the ID series, was chosen for its ability to deliver full range audio in a super-compact format, well suited to the venue’s private booth.
Platform One’s lustrous new Retro Futuristic looks extend into its 3 rooms, now capable of accommodating over 680 guests. Originally designed around a neon pink and orange theme, the venue walls can be ‘re-skinned’ with any colour scheme imaginable thanks to cascading rows of fully addressable LED strips. This customizable nature extends to the venue audio, where each room can be run as an independent zone or combined from a single source.
“When we are hosting our own regular nights here, the main room will play Pop and RnB, and the side room will play House music. We are excited to resurrect ‘P1 Saturdays’- which was one of Melbourne’s biggest regular club events around 2006 along with ‘Infusion’ which was also running here at the time. I have fond memories of Platform One having a great sound system at that time, but standards in audio are a lot higher now- we felt that going for something state-of-the-art, like the P+ series, was the most appropriate choice. We needed something that would be suitable for both DJs and live performances, and the P+ series has enough muscle and clarity to cover both,” explains Kajmakoski.
With the ability to not only excel at the DJ-oriented events that are a mainstay for Platform One, but also deliver enough power for contemporary live music performances, the P+ series is a reflection of NEXO’s recent focus on innovative, multipurpose audio solutions. Armed with a major facelift and the sonic excellence of NEXO, it would be hard to argue with Platform One being called one of, if not the best nightclub space in Melbourne right now.