An already delayed Pride in London 2021 should have been painted the streets of the capital pink this weekend, with thousands of queer people gathering in quest of more LGBT+ visibility and acceptance, and probably a few drinks and a shag too.
Alas, the ‘rona, up to its usual homophobic tricks (we see you!), had other plans, and this year’s edition of the parade and revels have unfortunately been cancelled, just like last year’s.
Fear not, however! Partying of all kinds is still thankfully and definitely on the cards, and we’ve put together a handy list of some of the best places in town to have your prideful fun this weekend. We can’t guarantee a shag, though.
Ministry of Pride – Party for queer expression
The south London dance music Mecca Ministry of Sound, having teamed up with Fat Tony, is promising us “a Pride event like no other”. Among other tune-spinners, Fat Tony, Jodie Harsh, Jaguar, Nimmo, Chris Brogan, and Raven Mandella will spread themselves and their queer harmonies over no less than four rooms for your aural stimulation. This is going to be big!
Saturday 11th September, 11pm – 6am.
Entry: £26 (£40 VIP)
Address: 103 Gaunt Street, SE1 6DP
Nearest Tube: Elephant and Castle
OUTHAUS: I’m Coming Out – Pride Special!
The night before, and in another part of the galaxy, at the Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club, that is, OutHaus will be celebrating self-expression, and generously fundraising for the Terrence Higgins Trust. Serving the night’s trademark camp carnage mix of disco, house and pop over two rooms, DJ Josh Harrison, Alexis Knox (and others) will provide the soundtrack to sexy gogos and stage outrageousness by the likes of The HAUS, Barbs, Tyreece, Zaki Musa, and Paige Three. It would be rude not to, really.
Friday 10th September, from 9:30pm.
Address: 42 Pollard Row, E2 6NB
Nearest Tube: Bethnal Green (tube or overground)
Feel It – Pride
Feel it, the weekly queerfest at Omeara, will also don its Progress flag to mark the Pride weekend that never quite will be. Joshua James, Princess Julia and Jonathan Bestley will dish out the earworms on the venue’s two floors, while a sizzling team of sensual dancers will provide the eye candy. Though there is plenty of that in the crowd too. You may also bump into local resident and athletic tottie Tom Daley, and get a chance to congratulate him for his recent Olympic exploits (he’s been seen there before after all).
Friday 10th September, 10:30pm – 5am (last entry 3am).
Entry: £10 before 12:30 – £15 on the door
Address: 6 O’Meara Street, SE1 1TE
Nearest Tube: London Bridge
WeParty: The New Era
Let’s face it, it wouldn’t really be a Pride weekend without a chance to rub bulging pecs with the beefed-up crowd in Brixton. And Orange Nation is thankfully not going to disappoint, even less so on this write-off of a year. Under the banner As One Pride, the cavernous Electric will be home to a whopper of a weekend starting Friday night at 11 and moving from one swelteringly hot club night to the next until the wee hours of Monday morning. The DJs for Saturday’s We Party will include Binomio, Tony English and Neil Singleton spinning hours of banging tunes, and we have no doubts there will be muscle-bound gogos gyrating appealingly on stage too. For those who feel like it the night can even segue into Beyond at Fire till 6am.
Saturday 11th September, 11pm – 4am.
Entry: £25 (£35 VIP)
Address: Brixton Hill, SW2 1RJ
Nearest Tube: Brixton
BRÜT – The Return
After a false start back in July, and with more luck than Pride in that respect, Brüt is finally making its beefy comeback to its original venue in three railway arches under Cannon Street Station. The main room will feature house beats under the ministrations of Paul Heron, Ross Jones and LCB, while the Bear Pit will host Ben Jamin, Amyl, Sugar Bear, Rob C and DJ Liam for a camper vibe; and there’s always the capacious bar in the middle to chill out and make new friends among the normally topless muscle bears.
Saturday 11th September, 10pm – 6am.
Address: The Steel Yard, EC4R 3UL
Nearest Tube: Cannon Street/Monument
Pride Federation Brunch
One of the newest venues on the London scene, opened during the pandemic no less, Arch Clapham, together with its sister and neighbouring business Fetch, is organising an all-day garden party to mark what would have been Pride weekend. Unfortunately, this is already sold out. But, and this is why we mention it at all, there is still hope! The Clapham boys are also having a kiki to mark the occasion, and, luckily, purchasing tickets to stuff your greedy cake holes with the welcome pastries and mimosa, and brunch with bottomless Prosecco while taking in a live drag show, also gives you access to the aforementioned, sold out garden party. There! Don’t say we never do anything for you! The dress code for the party is “pink galactic warrior”. No, we neither, but we are guessing the fewer clothes involved, the better. You may just never go home!
Saturday 11th September, 10am – 3am.
Address: Voltaire Road, SW4 6DH
Nearest Tube: North Clapham/ Clapham High St Overground
For 25 years, Duckie’s Gay Shame (now at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern) has been a staple of any London Pride weekend. And they are, of course, back this year, even if Pride isn’t. The general theme is “Narcissus, Crumpet & Chippy”, whereby we are invited to “Take a satirical swipe at the selfie generation”. This should be good! We are promised “street saloon and railway arch roadhouse, with performance art, social dancing, sideshows and turns”… Scottee’s Fat Blokes, Harry Clayton-Wright, Thick & Tight, Sex Music, Figs in Wigs, and Dame Barbara Cartland will all be at hand to elicit maximum contrition to the musical accompaniment of the Readers Wifes, Father Cloth, DJ Ritu, Lea Anderson, and Azara. And there’s going to be free chips! What more could you want, honestly?
Saturday 11th September, 9pm – 4am.
Address: 372 Kennington Lane, SE11 5HY
Nearest Tube: Vauxhall
Not Another Pride Show/Thirst Trap Pride Special
On the other side of town, The Glory, “London’s Leading Queer Venue & Performance Mecca”, is having not one but two events to make sure you get your yearly injection of Prideness this year. The first part of the evening is a good old-fashioned (though probably with more than a twist) drag show hosted by Just May, and featuring Mahatma Khandi, Beau Jangles and Fancy Shews (starting at 7:30). You’ll then be able to shake a leg and throw some shapes to your heart’s content, and on two dance floors! We assume entry to the first event gives you access to the second, but don’t quote us on that. Mike Menace and Dance Armstrong will be serving 80s, 90s and noughties pop realness in the bar, while, downstairs, Molly and Josh Quinton will heat things up with a heady mix of house, disco and italo. Stick that wig on and go be PROUD, we say!
Saturday 11th September, 7pm – 10pm/10pm – 3am.
Entry: £12/ £10
Address: 281 Kingsland Road, E2 8AS
Nearest Tube: Haggerston Overground
Power House – Pride Special
Circa’s regular Saturday night shindig, Power House, is turning on the rainbow this special weekend with a special night and a special guest: Polish dancing drag queen and performer Alexis Saint-Pete, who will be escorted by a no-doubt as delectable as they are lightly-clad selection of home-grown gogos. Overlooking this mayhem from their disco ball DJ booth, James Dawkins and Doug Dee will graciously play on and make sure you all feel special too, and sated on the putative food of love (that’s “music” for you, look it up). That all sounds pretty special to us.
Saturday 11th September, 10pm – 4am.
Entry: £10 – Get half-price wristbands from Circa Soho
Address: Victoria Embankment, WC2N 6PA
Nearest Tube: Embankment
Ku Pride Weekend
Even after all that sleep deprivation and pride-fuelled partying and you’re still raring to go, you can round off this Pride weekend with a visit to the boys at Ku Bar on Sunday. They’ll have been going all weekend themselves but we are sure they’ll know how to make you feel welcome. Ku Bar, Klub, Little Ku and She Soho will all stay open especially late between Friday and Sunday nights, in case you decided to pop into Soho for a quick one with your mates but also secretly felt like a bit of extended partying without actually going out proper. But that’s Pride for you: everybody is welcome to do their thing.
Sunday 12th September, till midnight.
Address: 30 Lisle Street WC2H 7BA
Nearest Tube: Leicester Square
Hope you all have a wonderful and safe pride, in every way you celebrate!