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Monday 23 August 2010

Queeruption — opening party and base camp

Yesterday late afternoon we left the Peace Garden in St. Peter’s Square and walked along to Rusholme for the Queeruption Opening Party.

Apparently the original plan was to host it in an old building, but that fell through and the replacement was Saki Bar which is on the corner of Wilmslow Road and Moss Lane East. It’s a grubby and run-down venue in a building that, not many years ago, was a branch of Barclays Bank. Back in February it was reported that it had lost its licence because it showed a ‘blatant lack of concern for its neighbours’.

I would like to write something positive about the Opening Party but it’s going to be difficult.

One person who had travelled from elsewhere in Europe for Queeruption was livid to discover the event was in a commercial venue: ‘this is not what I came here for,’ she told me and other people expressed similar concerns.

When so much of the gay scene centres around alcohol, can any night in a club buying expensive drinks ever really be considered ‘alternative’ or inclusive, whatever entertainment is put on? When asked, on the Queeruption Facebook page, about people who might have little or no disposable income, the response from one of the organisers was: ‘who goes for a night out without any money?’. So some might say a former bank was an appropriate venue.

At Get Bent! in 2007 one or two events were held in a bar and club but most were in alcohol-free spaces — a good balance.

The bar is located at the beginning of the ‘curry mile’ and the entrance is shared and overlooked by a cafe where Asian men hang out. If you happen to be gay and Asian this may not be somewhere you feel comfortable.

Going in you were hassled for a donation and had your hand stamped as if you were cattle. Entertainment was up two flights of stairs, so tough luck if you couldn’t manage to climb those. The sound system (provided by Queeruption) was poor. I could hardly make out what was said much of the time I was up there. But I didn’t hang around for long as there were only a couple of chairs, so nowhere to sit as you watched.

Performer at Queeruption 2010

One performer made me laugh when he claimed a well-known but not exactly well-loved local politician had given him a sexually transmitted disease. He certainly had his act off pat. However all deserved a much better location.

Many of the usual-suspect hipsters who to tend hang around at Contact Theatre and similar venues were there getting sozzled on booze. When does ‘alternative’ just become a marketing strategy to attract people to another night in a ‘vertical drinking‘ establishment?

Two of us went over to Tesco, bought some food and water, and sat at a picnic table at the rear of the building chatting.

Then at about nine o’clock about ten people who were planning to camp, left the bar and we headed off towards the chosen site. About seven tents were put up — which is easier said than done in the dark — and food was cooked and shared. The pole of a freedom flag was used to stir a pan because cooking utensils had been forgotten!

Stirring the food with a freedom flag at Queeruption 2010 base camp. Someone forgot the cooking utensils!

Again it began to feel more like an alternative to the mainstream. It would have been great if some of the performers had been there instead of in the bar. But I suspect one of the reasons why that doesn’t happen is because drinking alcohol in public places is banned in Manchester and many of the hipsters just can’t enjoy themselves without it.

So there you have the elephant in the room in all this: the British obsession with drinking these days and the dominant force in so many things now.


Filed under: Gay,LGBT,Manchester — GS @ 3:07 pm
Wednesday 18 August 2010

Alternatives to Manchester Pride happening this month

Reclaim the Scene aims to build on last year, which was its first event, with another post-Pride-parade picnic and (Out of the) Village Fete. This year we’re promised it will be ‘bigger and better than ever, with free food, performers, live art, stalls, music, and kids’ entertainment!’

(more…)


Filed under: Gay,LGBT,Manchester — GS @ 5:24 am
Thursday 2 April 2009

Conditional server side includes and cookies

I can’t write PHP or Javascript. I could learn, but I don’t have much interest. Most of my websites are good old-fashioned static HTML and I use server-side-includes a lot.

I thought I would write, in simple terms, about some of ways I’ve used them. (more…)


Filed under: Net & technology — GS @ 12:24 am
Sunday 18 January 2009

Manchester Pride offers £7,000 fund for community events

Manchester Pride is offering grants of up to £500 to individuals and organisations. The aim is to help ‘raise the quality and diversity of events’ that take place during Pride 2009 this summer.

The total pot of money available is £7,000. Further details and the application form can be found here. The deadline for applications is 2 March.

This would seem to be a response to the protests that happened last year and we look forward to seeing who and what is chosen to receive the cash. However, getting into bed with the current organisers of Manchester Pride (eek) could be a step too far for some.


Filed under: LGBT,Manchester — GS @ 1:33 pm
Wednesday 6 February 2008

A property development too far

It seems that Manchester’s Afflecks Palace has been saved.

(more…)


Filed under: Buildings,Manchester — GS @ 2:06 am
Thursday 16 August 2007

Get Bent Film Festival showreel (video)

Get Bent website.

Get Bent! Short Films

Date: Friday, August 31, 2007 20.00 – 00.00

Location: Contact Theatre, Oxford Road, Manchester.

Description: The cutting-edge of underground queer film-making from across the country and beyond comes to the Contact Theatre. Get Bent! has selected ten cinematic gems that explore the darkest and most humorous recesses of contemporary life. The evening rounds off with a special performance by instrumental four-piece, 7 Hertz accompanying a black and white queer cult classic. Followed by DJs and late bar.

Warning: Contains explicit material.

This event is wheelchair accessible. Please contact filmfest (at) get-bent-manchester.com for any further information.

Get Bent! Documentaries: Life in Motion

Date: Saturday 1st September 13.00 – 19.00

Location: Council Chambers, Manchester University Students Union, Oxford Rd.

‘Life in Motion’ is a wheelchair accessible event. Please contact filmfest (at) get-bent-manchester.com for any further information.


Filed under: LGBT,Manchester,The media,TV & film — GS @ 2:10 pm
Friday 10 August 2007

Get Bent — Manchester’s Alternative Community Pride Summer Festival 2007

Get Bent - Manchester's Alternative Community Pride border=

Preparations are well underway for Get Bent. An answer to the commercialism of Manchester’s mainstream pride event.

A weekend of free events, food, music, film, art, discussion and fun! Standby for the full programme of events, coming in the next few days. Everyone is welcome (see below).

During and after Get Bent there will be video coverage here on g7uk and on the Get Bent YouTube channel.

Website | MySpace | YouTube | Facebook

Happening: Friday 24 August – Sunday 2 September 2007

Grab a flyer or graphic for your website here.

What’s the thinking behind Get Bent?

    * Get Bent is a safe space for all genders and sexualities and seeks to engage with and foster the possibility of creating queer-positive spaces.

    * Get Bent challenges the notion that you have to act or dress a certain way to be accepted.

    * Get Bent follows a DiY ethic, creating wide variety of programming by supporting diverse people to create diverse events.

    * Get Bent provides an alternative to commercial gay spaces by creating a queer autonomous space that is sex-positive without being sex-centered, doesn’t depend on alcohol to have a good time, and is unafraid to put the politics back into pride.

    * Get Bent fosters a sense of community by being inclusive: all ages, all incomes, all abilities, all ethnicities and cultural backgrounds, regardless of HIV status, those who are comfortable in commercial gay spaces and those who aren’t.

    * Everyone is welcome to participate in this celebration of queerness!


Filed under: Fun,LGBT,Manchester,Politics — GS @ 12:33 pm
 
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