FRIDAY 13 NOVEMBER///THE WELLINGTON HOTEL, 72 BRISTOL STREET, B5 7AH///BIRMINGHAM///
9AM – 2AM
While it would be snooty to slag Birmingham’s LGBT scene off for being too ‘mainstream’, there’s no denying the fact that it’s nowhere near as diverse as it should, or could be. As much fun as a night out on Hurst Street can be after a litre of gin, for a major city with over a million inhabitants, a growing economy and the youngest population in the UK, the lack of alternative spaces has always seemed rather odd. But then again, what the hell does alternative even mean? And how relevant would an alternative gay scene be to the inhabitants of a city that places its Michelin starred restaurants above all other forms of cultural expression? Do the city’s gays even give a shit about alternative gay stuff? Or should we just accept Hurst Street for what it is, and get on with the serious business of being ethically minded consumers during our non-working hours, expressing our individuality through the things we buy and eat, as opposed to the music we listen to and the environments we choose to get pissed in?
It’s difficult to identify the ‘real’ alternative from that which has just been marketed as such. The whole concept now revolves around consumption, with club promoters borrowing language from the world of advertising in order to sell their nights. Parties are repackaged and sold on as ‘brands’. Purpose built venues are described in terms of how ‘intimate’ they are, and seemingly everywhere that doesn’t play pop music is referred to as the ‘underground’. Amidst all the talk of bespoke alternative clubbing experiences, it’s easy to forget what it all actually means.
Some might say it’s found in the music, others, especially in the LGBTQ community, explore the alternative through drag and performance. If we’re looking for a definition of alternative in relation to night time entertainment, perhaps it might be accurate to say that it’s about breaking with consensus; the opportunity to experience sights and sounds that you might not normally encounter and if anywhere needs to break with consensus – to challenge the status quo and mix things up a bit – it would be Birmingham’s gay scene.
Tapping into the rich musical heritage of the LGBT community, PRAWN will be launching on Friday 13 November at the Wellington Hotel; an iconic venue famed for hosting same sex marriages before they were legal.
Situated on the edge of the Gay Village, the opening night will feature top Brummie DJ talent in the form of Leftfoot regular, Spinx, and Cache resident, Christie. Artist and A3 Project Space Director, Trevor Pitt, will be donning his ‘TREVA’ alter ego and warming things up with a very special engagement party set.
The music will include stuff you won’t have heard before, some stuff you might have heard before, there will be old stuff and new stuff, and it’s completely free.