London’s LGBTQ+ scene has been weathering a storm for close to two decades now – over half of the capital’s dedicated spaces have closed since 2006 – and with a combination of inflation, pandemic-related pressures, rising rents, and gentrification, it’s not getting any easier for the venues that have remained to stay open. What happens when you start to run out of places to party? You make your own and that’s exactly what some of London’s queer community has done, putting on creative and diverse club nights that provide safe spaces and good times. Here are just some of the best LGBTQ+ club nights in London.
Loose Change is all about good nights and good deeds. Founded by friends Matt Horwood, Alex Atherton, Danny Nasr, and Josh Willacy in May 2022, Loose Change runs on a not-for-profit basis with each event raising money for a different LGBTQ+ charity or cause (previous ones have included London Friend and Stonewall Housing), and they work with queer firm Safe Out on the security. If you love a theme party, you’ll defo want to check Loose Change out – they’ve done Heatwave (in the summer), Drop Dead Gorgeous (for Halloween) and have All The Lovers coming up (for Valentine’s Day).
Whether it’s a day party at The Cause or an all-nighter at The Silver Building, you can always rely on the programming at an Adonis event to be on point – they’ve seen sets from the likes Saoirse, Daniel Avery, Gideön, Hannah Holland, Tama Sumo and Grace Sands, with founder Shay Malt taking to the decks from time to time too. Inclusive and cool, you can always expect a varied crowd and plenty of letting loose.
Big Dyke Energy
Melody and Elliot founded Big Dyke Energy in 2019 in response to the lack of safe spaces for queer women, non-binary, intersex and trans+ people to party in South London, and they’ve been filling dancefloors ever since. The monthly nights take place at Venue MOT in Bermondsey, where there’s a policy of consent, kindness and freedom of expression, with BDE also hosting stages at festivals like Body Movements and GALA and running their own record label.
Little Gay Brother
Little Gay Brother started life as a festival collective, curating LGBTQ+ spaces at the likes of Secret Garden Party, Lovebox and Wilderness (founder Clayton Wright ended up co-founding his very own festival Body Movements too) but it wasn’t long before they started partying more regularly and putting on club nights in London, taking over venues like Dalston Superstore, Fabric, Heaven and Omeara. Wherever they go and whoever they have on the decks, the mission is always freedom of queer self-expression.
Fusing the worlds of queer culture and Bollywood, a Hungama night is always a good time – the name translates to ‘chaos’ in Hindi, so you get the vibe. Hungama came from founder Ryan Lanji’s desire for a space where he could express and revel in his queer identity and South Asian heritage, where he could hear Bollywood tunes as well as hip-hop on the dancefloor, and it’s become a huge success, growing from parties in East London to events in LA and Mumbai.
A Pxssy Palace party is a place for queer women, trans, intersex and non-binary BIPOC to celebrate themselves and their community (allies are welcome but are encouraged to think about their presence and to pay more for a ticket) to be their authentic selves, and to dance, dance, dance – Disco, Kink, Bimbo and Sports Day are just some of the nights they’ve put on at Colour Factory, and having scooped DJ Mag’s Best Club Event award for 2022, you can be sure that things are only going to get bigger and better for Pxssy Palace.
Queer House Party
Queer House Party has turned lockdown kitchen livestreams into riotous IRL parties, without losing any of the community spirit, commitment to accessibility, DIY radicalism and political activism they had from that very first online event. As well as throwing parties in London, QHP performs at festivals across the UK and Europe, with a music policy that centres around playing bangers that’ll get people on the dancefloor.