Once again Bristol, this huge metropolis which is reputed to have one of the largest gay populations of any city in the UK has failed to get its act together in time for a proper Pride Event. Plans are underway to rectify that for next year: every gay-run club and pub in the city has been approached to take part in an event due to happen in Castle Park and it looks, at this juncture at least, that we may finally get the Pride event we deserve in August 2009.
Yet what about this year? Shay Malt who runs Push, the polysexual funk night at Flamingos, is organising BristoLove a one-day, one-off event taking place in Old Market. Billed as a ‘festival against homophobia and hate crime’, Shay has been working with other club night promoters including Bernie from Wonky and the boys from Duchess to ensure that the day has something for everyone.
Planned for Sunday, August 24, Shay tells me: “Flamingos, Push, Wonky, the Old Castle Green, the Queenshilling, the Pineapple and realbristol.net are all involved. Entertainment will include the Push dance stage, a cabaret stage, a Wonky tent and a Bear Garden Party at the Old Castle Green, with a barbecue and DJs.”
The amount of support shown for BristoLove so far goes to prove that the gay community in Bristol really do want some kind of Pride event. But it can only happen if we all support it. Starting at 1pm, and based around Braggs Lane (which runs behind Flamingos and the Cottage Sauna) Shay adds: “The main stage is going to have cabaret, karaoke and DJs playing commercial pop, cheese and happy house sounds. It is going to be hosted by Tray La Trash and friends, and there is also going to be a competition to find Bristol’s vilest, most grotesque drag creation, hosted by Big Balls Beryl, as well as a Mr Gay Old Market competition.”
Push will be hosting Disco Alfresco, with their resident DJs and special guests including Anthony M (the Bacardi DJ of the year 2007 who fronts Pacha’s seminal club night Dusted), and the Wonky and Duchess crews will have their own area, Wonky Wonderland, with Bernie, James L, Set 4, Brother Wetlands, Teutonic and friends. The whole day rounds off with a special Push afterparty at Flamingos.
Tickets (£7) are available now from the Bristol Ticket Shop (The galleries, Broadmead, Bristol), Flamingos, The Lounge (formerly Bar Prague) and the Old Castle Green. For more info on the event check out the Facebook group BristoLove.