With just one designated bricks-and-mortar lesbian bar in London (She Soho – which, by the way – is in a basement), we’re not shocked that club nights welcoming specifically lesbian, bi, queer and trans women and non-binary folk can be hard to find. Most are collectives or host nights and events at changing locations rather than permanent venues. We’ve saved you some time and picked out our favourite queer club nights for women in London for you to start making plans for goin’ aht aht with your favourite queers.
Google lesbian clubs in London and you’ll most likely end up going to Soho, where you can find Heaven, G.A.Y and so on – a hop, skip and a saunter from She bar. No doubt, they can be fun too. But these clubs are often marketed for – and mostly populated by – a more mainstream crowd. In a very central and busy location too. Besides She Soho, queer bars for women are few and far between in comparison to those for men.
Most venues lump in all the letters of the acronym into “gay” bars. They tend to be dominated by a cis male majority and don’t facilitate the nuanced dynamics, requirements and safety – or just ‘the right vibe’ – of everyone within the LGBTQIA+ community. But the “straightification” of Soho (thanks, developers) is forcing even the gay venues of Soho to close their doors. Higher rent prices push the queer nights out for clubs that make more profit from the straight mainstream crowd.
A queer club night for everyone
Life hit the queer nightlife scene hard in recent years. But, many previously “lesbian” nights have expanded their audience to be more gender-inclusive. New queer collectives and nights are hitting the scene, inviting a more inclusive crowd of party-goers to the floor. So, if you want a more inclusive, diverse, authentic, accessible and safe night to dance, snog and feel sexy, our suggestions below might work for you ravers and misbehaviours. See you there, shlags!
Queer House Party
This fabulous collective of five originated from the pandemic days. It started as a live stream from their kitchen while they were frontline workers during COVID-19. Now it’s a full-scale party IRL and online. This is a rebellious punk party celebrating queer joy for everyone in eclectic pop, house and disco mixes from iconic DJs and hosts, bringing their values to the forefront.
For those who can’t or prefer not to attend IRL, most of their events are live streamed and have access services available such as BSL [British Sign Language] interpretation, closed captions and audio descriptions. For an inclusive rave that’s vocal about its values and anarchic in nature, Queer House Party is for you. Get your tix for their next event this month and enjoy this Queer House Party mix to get a lil taste for this radical party that pops tf off. Said so themselves, “If I can’t dance, it’s not my revolution ✊”. Cop a ticket for their NYE party. Is there a better way to kick off 2023, other than by kicking off with the queers?
Big Dyke Energy
Iconic in name and vibe, this is a tech rave for all genders. It began in good old southeast London to address the lack of queer spaces and events for queer women, non-binary, intersex and trans people in this special part of the city. Headed up by talented DJs & founders Melo & Elliott, this hedonistic night often at the treasured Venue MOT (but not always) is where you step into the freedom of everything you are. They even have their own record label too.
They hold their values at the heart of the party with a ‘zero-tolerance policy to bigotry, discrimination and harassment, including racism, transphobia, homophobia, fat-phobia, sexism, ageism and ableism.’ They also know how to throw a fucking good rave too. Don’t miss their 2023 events.
This bi-monthly ‘dyke-centred’ event celebrates butch lesbian subculture in a safe and hedonistic haven that is the iconic Royal Vauxhall Tavern. Welcoming all lesbian, trans and non-binary people, expect fun performances, fab DJs and huge dyke energy. They do Thursdays and Saturdays! See for yourself.
This inclusive and raucous night – “for women, by women”, strictly celebrates womxn and non-binary people in a huge party of queer chaos. You can expect hip hop, house, garage and R&B accompanied by wild and sexy performances, from fire-breathing to pole dancing. This is where womxn truly take centre stage. Get hot and heavy without the lurking presence of men’s eyes. Whether you’re here to pull and snog, dance and chat, it’s never felt so safe and effortless at Lick.
This slaggy queer party celebrates LGBTQIA+ people of colour in a welcoming, no-pressure environment that encourages you to be yourself. Prioritising “equity over equality,” they use a tiered pricing system as a suggested guide for their tickets, which encourages white and straight attendees to pay a few pounds more than LGBTQ+ and PoC attendees. For a queer party brimming with joy, love, self-expression and allyship, don’t miss a Pxssy Palace event, often at Colour Factory in Hackney Wick. Especially don’t miss their kink night this weekend!
Hosted in Dalston’s queer sanctuary across two floors at Dalston Superstore, this night offers a party for queer girls, fèmmmes, butch, trans, non-binary, and everyone in between. Whether you want the unst-unst-unst vibes of heavy techno, house and acid to make you sweat, or you’d rather get that trash-pop pleasure in, this fabulous venue with iconic hosts and big name DJs can offer you both. Whichever vibe you want, you can decide when you’re there, but whatever you do, just don’t miss out on making it to the party. The likes of Honey Dijon, Joyce Muniz and DJ Heather have previously set the tunes there.
A brand new queer party coming to East London (sometimes you just have to say it how it is).
Two More Years, overlooking the River Lea in Hackney Wick, is hosting the launch party, Friday 5th May, 8-12pm. Spread the love, bring your crew, or if you’re coming alone, look for one of the Welfare Officers in QUEER EAST T-shirts who’ll happily introduce you to a very friendly & local community. Let’s kickstart the bank holiday weekend in style, together.
Free entry, unticketed, with love.
“We want to create a safe space for everyone to let loose and have fun, regardless of age, gender or sexuality. I’m 37 (not old right?) but I’ve recently been partying in gay venues where the average age feels 20… We want to raise the bar where everyone feels welcome & supported, so we decided to start our own queer party providing exactly this… Expect high energy in a room full of ecstatic love” – Emma-Jane Nutbrown, Founder of Queer East.
Even more queer club nights to choose from
We hope this gets you excited for dates with mates (or actual dates) as you cop some tickets. Other queer raves and parties worth checking out include Galpals, Aphrodyki, HOWL, Adonis, Chapter 10, Riposte, Bitch, Please!, Nite Dykez, G.IRL, Honeytrap (21+) and Lxz Events. Read up on each one to get a feel for it and see what might be best for you and your pals. Think about the music you like and where you feel safe. If you want to have a read on other London nights out check out our article on The Ultimate Guide to Lesbian Nightlife Hotspots in London.
Look out for queer-inclusive festivals too, like Body Movements with its Winter edition on Feb 4th 2023! Mighty Hoopla is also a fabulous pop festival hailed by the LGBTQ+ community with regular visits from iconic queer idols and collectives each year. In 2023, Standon Calling has a particularly queer line-up including Years & Years and Queer House Party.
Is your fave night missing from our list? Don’t forget to tell us in the comments!
Team Nonchalant x
Last Updated on 1st June 2023 by Nonchalant Magazine