Last night at midnight in central London, Jack White played a secret show in the basement of a disused office block, to fans clad entirely in powder blue medical gowns.
The event was a collaboration between Jack and theatre mavericks Punchdrunk, who had temporarily transformed the space into the Vescovo & Co Clinic for contagious diseases, staffed with doctors, nurses and orderlies at the time of a disease outbreak.
Drawing on the themes of Jack White’s current album, ‘Lazaretto’, a term used to describe a quarantine island, the experience began with an elaborate online treasure hunt. A spoof medical infomercial from 1948 appeared in the archives of online medical resource the Wellcome Trust, which contained various obtuse clues leading Jack’s superfans to a website belonging to the fake medical organisation, Vescovo & Company. Thousands of fans submitted their details to this website as part of an online screening for a contagious disease. A lucky few progressed through the screening process and received a telephone call, inviting them to an out-of-hours appointment at the Vescovo Clinic. Punchdrunk created the clinic across multiple floors of a disused building owned by The Vinyl Factory.
On arrival, fans were asked to change into blue medical gowns before being subjected to a variety of treatments and tests in a maze of medical rooms. Chaos descended as an outbreak alarm was raised and terrified fans were herded into a smoke filled quarantine chamber. Finally a screen was dropped to reveal Jack and band in full medical uniform who proceeded to belt out a thirty minute set before Jack himself succumbed to the mysterious disease. The rock star fell to the ground in a fit of convulsions before being strapped to a stretcher and wheeled off to a waiting ambulance.