London’s first ever Winter Pride took place last week and we were there to find out what all the hype was about!
It was a long trip to Wapping Tobacco Dock where the party took place but we were definitely convinced it was the right venue when we arrived. Utilising every inch of the Tobacco Dock warehouse Winter Pride certainly did feel like a festival – indoors!
The warehouse was completely transformed with stages, attractions, displays and stalls. A games room complete with ping pong tables was flanked by a mini market and art instillation room. Walking around there were some fantastic acts on stage, dancing or performing burlesque in some amazing costumes. Over the top drag queens and performers roamed through the party giving the place a festival-magic feel.
A range of different rooms hosted some popular LGBT parties including Salsa night Exilio, One Love, Work and – my favourite – Popstarz. DJ El Conchitas kept the party going in the Popstarz room playing some crowd pleasing pop, RnB and 90’s classics.
Refreshingly there were a lot of women at the party, in my view possibly outnumbering the men! This was pretty exciting for me, and is probably thanks to the hard work of event organiser Nicola Chubb (CODE, L-Wired), and her popular lesbian parties.
A couple of things let Winter Pride down in our opinion, firstly the lack of toilets! This was kind of a serious issue with only ten toilets to be found for well over a thousand people. The queues were long, but on the flip side I met some great people – nothing brings people together quite like a long wait in a toilet queue! Secondly the large venue meant that some areas felt empty, which didn’t help with the atmosphere. If Winter Pride carries on however we’re sure it will get even more popular, and these empty areas will be filled. Just make sure there’s enough toilets! (Have we talked about the toilets enough..?)
Overall however we loved the party and had an amazing gay-fuelled night. It was so much like a festival we thought it could have benefited from starting earlier and being more of a day event – with activities and attractions that went into the evening party. Just an idea guys!
We hope Winter Pride will be back next year. It was an awesome party on a scale I’ve not come across before and with so much effort and attention to detail! Organisers should be proud of themselves. They certainly gave Summer Pride a run for it’s money!