Less than three weeks since its inception, Queer East community-led club night is bringing a safe space for people of all ages, genders and sexualities to Hackney Wick.
Finding herself in the smoking area of a sweaty Dalston nightclub on a busy Saturday night, Emma Jane Nutbrown – or EJ to her friends – says that recently she’s been partying at queer venues where the average age feels about 20 years old.
‘I don’t regard myself as old!’ exclaims 37-year-old Nutbrown: ‘But I certainly felt like it that night.’
Yet rather than moaning about it, she decided to do something about it. And from that very same smoking area in the early hours of Sunday morning, the idea for Queer East was born.
A community-based, collaborative project, Queer East aims to create a safe, fun-loving space for everyone regardless of age, gender or sexuality, launching on Friday 5 May.
Its debut will be held at Two More Years canalside bar, restaurant and studios in Hackney Wick which is offering up its events space for free for the evening.
Nutbrown, who lives just off Hackney Bridge opposite Here East, runs a marketing agency by day out of her studio in Two More Years, so she says it was easy for her to find the space and come up with the branding and the logo to promote the night.
Fast forward three weeks: she is already preparing for the night’s launch and has been overwhelmed with people wanting to attend the free event which will see DJ Bekefi – known for DJ nights such as Fèmmme Fraîche and Rave Rabbit – on the decks until midnight.
Not making any personal profit from the evening, according to Nutbrown the event has come together organically, steered by demand from the community: ‘The first one is done on love,’ she says.
‘It’s really just responding to the massive appetite for more queer events in Hackney Wick. The area’s always been a creative hub which attracts the queer community because we feel safe.’
‘But apart from Body Movement and Rhythm Festival which happen once a year, there aren’t that many regular queer events,’ says Nutbrown.
The logo, a simple sound frequency with high-energy vibrations is supposed to symbolise exactly what the night will bring: ‘Guests can expect high energy in a room full of ecstatic, euphoric love,’ says Nutbrown.
And while she doesn’t want to jump the gun, with people stopping Nutbrown in the street to express their excitement, we think that Queer East could become a regular occurrence in Hackney Wick and beyond.
If you liked this article, you might like our piece about London’s first queer bakery in Hackney Wick.
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