Well for Planet London, 2011 has been quite a year. We launched in March following the idea for the site germinating in our minds for a good while, and multiple requests from friends for a good source of up to date reliable information on what’s going on in London for lesbians.
Obviously, the site has grown and developed, form the original ‘events calendar’ seed, and we’ve been excited to respond to requests from Planet Londoners on what they would like to see on the site, and many of you getting involved in reviewing a wide variety of events and activities.
This blog is taking a look at what’s been, what’s come and sadly what’s gone. It’s been a big year for some iconic lesbian/LGBT events and venues closing.
So what did we do then?
Well, when we were putting together Planet London, the Candy Bar was busy undergoing a refurbishment, and also filming its Channel 5 documentary Candy Bar Girls. Whilst the show received mixed reviews, we are always happy to see positive LGBT coverage on mainstream media. And of course, we very much enjoyed our Candy Bar Girls drink game. There was also some other great coverage to note, including a high profile lesbian relationship in Coronation Street and a very well received documentary on transgenderism, My Transsexual Summer, which has done very well to dispel some of the myths associated with gender dysphoria.
It feels like there has been a bit of a sea-change in the types of events increasing in popularity this year, and there is definitely a (welcomed) move towards more intimate, social opportunities to meet friends and new people – such as Southbank Surfing or new events like Bijou, Rainbow Room, Howlers, Blue Monday, Flaunt and Beehayve East, where the focus of the night is not just drinking and dancing. However, there are still some great dance events out there – events like Pout, Lounge, Code are still going strong.
There’s been a rise in the number of one off and special events, that appear to have been a great success such as the Glitterball and the WoW boat party. It looks like pop up and self organised events are the way forward, and websites such as SceneNomad have appeared to support this. And let’s not forget the relaunch of events such as Wig Out and Social Soiree (formerly Usual Suspects)
Sadly we’ve said goodbye to a number of venues for Lesbians (and LGBT people) - First Out, G Spot, The Green venues and GayGirlz have all gone. There is high demand for a new venue – and the community still mourns the loss of a cool cafe style venue.
What kind of co-Founder would I be if I didn’t take a look at the successes of Planet London this year. In brief since our launch in March.
- March 2011 – first newsletter and website launched
- June 2011 – gave 2 free tickets to WOW Boat Party featuring Jill Jackson
Planet London marching at London Pride
- July 2011 – great presence at London Pride, with our 3D planet
- August 2011 – gave a free signed Jill Jackson CD
- September 2011 – gave 2 free tickets to L Talent Final/Glitterball
- September 2011 – Planet London raised £385.00 for Albert Kennedy Trust
- October 2011 – launched 3 new blogs: The Big Bang Blog, Girls on Film Blog by Victoria Broom and I Want to Make a Baby, its just not that easy Blog
- November 2011 – Launched Scene Summary including a DJ Profile and Events Organiser Profile to help support and promote the scene
- November 2011 – gave a free signed Margaret Cho DVD
- December 2011 – launched 1st Lesbian & Bisexual Women London Community Survey
- December 2011 – expanded the Scene Summary to include Venue Profiles to further support and promote the scene
- Donated £12.25 to LGBT Charities from Oystercard and t-shirt sales.
So what will 2012 bring?
It has the potential to be the most exciting year ever for the LGBT community in London – with World Pride and the Olympics. It’s a great opportunity to put on some fantastic events to bring the community together. Keep an eye out for the first ever summer Olympics ‘Pride House’ which promises much for the LGBT athletes, supporters, tourists and Londoners during the Olympic games, on Clapham Common.
Additionally many of the event organisers already on the scene are starting to announce new exciting plans for 2012. The details are still to follow and teaser campaigns are underway but we already know that WOW Events are launching a new monthly Saturday night from January in Chelsea, Lounge organiser Christine is launching a new monthly Thursday night from January in a Volupte in the City, Beehayve West is launching following the success of Beehayve East and L-Wired is also launching in 2012!
Join our mailing list to make sure you hear about all these exciting changes as soon as we do and check our events calendar regularly to find out what exciting nights are on.