Outernet Unveiled: Exploring the Visionary Behind London’s Premier Tourist Attraction and the Potential Future of Advertising

March 1, 2024

The transformation brought about by Outernet in the West End has revitalized a corner of Charing Cross Road and established itself as a global hub for cutting-edge advertising. Philip Boucher O’Ferrall, the CEO, gives City A.M. an exclusive tour of the premises. Navigating the basement tunnels beneath Denmark Street, Philip Boucher O’Ferrall playfully admits, “Hang on, I always get lost here.”

The subterranean realm of Outernet, the music venue and immersive media experience near Tottenham Court Road tube, is nothing short of colossal. Below ground, the 2,000-capacity here at Outernet stands as London’s most advanced music venue, accompanied by the three-level Lower Third bar, live music club, and numerous dressing rooms and tech control venues. On-street level, the Now Building takes centre stage, offering an immersive media experience that envelops visitors in video and sound. The Now Building also houses a high-end Chinese restaurant and various breakout areas. Across Denmark Street, a hotel, Japanese restaurant, and bar complete the ensemble.

Reviving Denmark Street, the NOW Building has become a revelation in this once-neglected area of central London. It has remarkably become the city’s top tourist destination, attracting six million visitors in its inaugural year.

While the modern amenities are impressive, the rich music history truly captivates O’Ferrall. Standing in The Lower Third, the significance of the location becomes apparent – the space was once the renowned 12 Bar, a part of London’s famed Tin Pan Alley.

Despite the romanticism associated with Denmark Street, it had grown somewhat weary over time, exacerbated by the demolition of the iconic Astoria and the completion of projects like Crossrail.

Establishing Outernet and navigating through the challenges imposed by COVID-19 and associated delays proved to be a substantial undertaking.
Outernet is expanding its footprint, with plans for up to seven additional spaces. Negotiations are taking place for two potential sites in New York, and an equity raise is being considered for further expansion.

Despite his background in television, O’Ferrall emphasizes his unwavering focus on the audience. He acknowledged that selling anything becomes an insurmountable task without capturing viewers’ attention.