It isn’t often that you see an over 25s event taking place in East London so when DIVA After Dark popped up I was at first a little unsure. I don’t see myself as young enough or trendy enough to spend time around Shoreditch and it certainly isn’t an area I will often go, however my friend was running the event so I wanted to support her, and as a new event, I also wanted to check it out for all the Planet Nation readers.
Now it is important to say that this event wasn’t run by DIVA Magazine, however it was classed as a pop-up, in that DIVA supported it (there was branding on the night promoting the magazine).
In a gorgeous venue, that by day is a wine bar and restaurant, a number of women got together for what I can only describe as a fun, friendly and intimate event.
Entry was £10, which is pretty standard for London events given venues often have high minimum spends or hire fees. There was a DJ for the first part of the night, and then we were treated to a live music set from Lots Holloway. Lots Holloway (aka Charlie Rundle) is probably most well-known for being half of hip-hop duo MK1 on X-Factor in 2012, however she has now for a number of years been operating as a solo artist and has been seen at a variety of lesbian events including L Fest and several Prides up and down the country including London and Manchester in 2017.
Lots still has the same look with her beaming smile – it is clear that she absolutely adores performing – and it was great to hear that she is releasing a new EP called Slow Down on 4 October.
Lots Holloway performed two sets during the evening, as well as some big tunes (What’s Up by 4 Non Blondes, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, Valerie by Amy Winehouse, Tainted Love by Soft Cell and Shut Up and Dance with Me; we were also treated to some new songs from Lots Holloway’s new EP which included Berry Bones; Love Me, Though I’m Not Right; Slow Down and Stay a Little Longer, which is the current single and is out now.
In between Lots Holloway we were treated to DJ Vylit. I hadn’t seen DJ Vylit before, and when I arrived I was sitting in the second area by the bar talking to some friends as well as some new women I had just met so I didn’t get to see who was DJing, but the tracks were great and everyone was loving the vibe. It was a tough start, as no-one was on the dance floor, and due to the venue layout, the DJ couldn’t see any of the women so had no feedback as to whether the tracks she was playing were going down well or not.
As the event moved on, more and more women arrived and the venue quickly filled out. During the second DJ set I made my way with my girlfriend to the dance floor, and it was then that I realised that I knew the DJ! The dance floor was heaving all night, and everyone was dancing and chatting. I wouldn’t say this was a normal crowd – I go to A LOT of events in London, and this crowd was very mixed – there were a few women I knew, a few from different places, but most I didn’t know. It was refreshing and a good place to go if you wanted to expand your social circle.
Around 10pm, Diva Magazine Editor Linda Riley turned up with Insta poster and androgenous model Rain Dove. At a very tall 6ft something, they towered over the crowd of lesbians and so grew an instant crowd. I guess the combination of some women recognising Rain, and others just drooling over the beauty who was clearly not from around these parts meant that Rain was an instant hit.
For a first event, Diva After Dark was a resounding success… with a location not frequented by many over 25s, an unnamed organiser (the event kind of read like it may be the venue organising it), a little-known DJ on the scene and a £10 price tag there was certainly some challenges to get women along to this event – my experience is that LBQ women like to know the face behind an event, and also tend to stick to their regular locations – however this event just clicked and it worked.
I’m not sure what the future plans are for DIVA After Dark, whether this organiser will do another event, or whether someone else will approach DIVA Magazine to do a pop up; I guess time will tell.