London has experienced a dramatic decrease in LGBTI venues over the past few years, with spaces for queer women being especially affected.
The capital of the UK is far from being the only big city seeing its number of queer venues disappearing. Despite still boasting several queer spaces that are really popular on the scene, none of this is specifically aimed at queer women.
LICK is a venue for women
Being home to a buzzing population of women and non-binary people identifying as something other than straight, London needs more than just one night a week or a month catered to LBT women.
And former model turned entrepreneur Teddy Edwardes is here to step up the game with LICK. Started as a monthly night three years ago, LICK will now have its own venue in Vauxhall, South London.
On Pride weekend the LICK afterparty opened its doors to a 2,000-strong crowd.
This proved London’s queer womxn are asking for a permanent space. And Edwardes listened.
Edwardes’s club – a space ‘for queer womxn by womxn’ – will have resident DJs playing hip hop and R&B, live music nights, and performers. There will also be an outside bar with a garden and food vans.
It will officially open with a party on Saturday 13 July. The nightclub will be initially open on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, with more days added as it gets busier.
Empowering women and enbies
‘We’re here to empower womxn,’ Edwardes told GSN.
‘LICK has always been a space for womxn only. We are open to all womxn but prioritise the space for queer womxn. The world is dominated by male spaces whether that be straight bars or gay bars. It is important to have a space just for us.’
Clubbing as a queer woman or a non-binary female-presenting person can feel a bit alienating at times.
Many womxn feel they’re not fully welcome in gay spaces and definitely not free to go to straight bars without having people assume they’re straight and there to find a guy.
‘I don’t remember the last time I went to a straight club and didn’t receive harassment of some kind,’ Edwardes said.
‘My most recent experience was during a friend’s music label launch. Within ten seconds of walking into the club, my ponytail was yanked and I was dragged backwards to the bar by a drunk who “just wanted to buy me a drink”.’
She then added: ‘Gay bars are just as bad but usually because they want you to prove your identity and sexuality on the door before you’re allowed in.’
Entry for the party on 13 July in Vauxhall’s Fire and Lightbox complex will be £5 on the door.