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Music, art & queerness at Brixton's new HEDONIST Festival

Next week London's newest music festival is taking over Brixton. It's going to be visual, it's going to be queer and it's going to be sexy. We spoke to the creators of HEDONIST Festival about why you shouldn't miss it!

What is HEDONIST Festival?

HEDONIST Festival is Brixton’s first Queer Dance & Electronic Music Day Festival. Taking over three spaces connected by an expansive courtyard, including a disused railway arch, and a mini-theatre - the festival will bring together established and upcoming names in electronic Music, alongside a heap of performance including gogo dancing, burlesque and interactive pieces - the perfect recipe for the queer community to come together to celebrate the start of Pride month and get sweaty!

The festival combines an all-queer DJ line-up with visuals and performance art. What kind of music can people expect to be dancing to, and what kind of artistry can people expect to be surrounded by?

The response from queer DJ’s, performers and artists who have become believers in our Hedonistic mission has been something we never imagined would happen for our first event! Our lineup includes DJ’s have played at events such as Riposte, Body Movements and Mighty Hoopla, but we’ve also created space for new and emerging queer artists and DJ’s, including one performing their debut set at Hedonist!

Between this awesome, all queer lineup, revellers can expect two rooms filled with music, that we’ve called TRIP and FADE. TRIP DJ’s will perform a selection of pop, dance, 90s, disco and even RnB - while in our FADE room, will see the heavier ravey sounds of house, techno and trance. One DJ has even invented their own genre "Fggt Hypnosis” <— If you think you can handle it!

It doesn’t stop with the music though, and we’re building an immersive experience into the event. Our TRIP room will have hints of grandma’s 70s living room - a melting pot of vintage furnishings, psychedelic visuals and performance art, drag and clowning.

Meanwhile, our FADE room, a brick-clad disused Victorian railway arch, will be lit purely by red tinted sunlight until it gets darker as the festival progresses - just you, the music and sensual projections among Queer bodies and our gorgeous gogo dancers.

Inclusivity is really important to you. How can queer spaces be more inclusive, and how is this manifesting at the festival?

For us, it begins before you even arrive at the festival. We don’t want someone to feel like they can’t attend our events due to lack of money, a space that is inaccessible, or doesn’t allow them to feel safe and free. To ensure this, we’ve made our pre-event ticket prices lower than most flagship London events, and teamed up with SafeOnly, an all queer peer-to-peer welfare and SIA provision.

And, I’m sure we’ve all felt this, queer events sometimes feel ‘homogenous’ and uniform - in the sense that they’re only catering to one kind of queer person. Sometimes this works. But sometimes even ourselves within our own community forget that we are a broad broad spectrum of people that is anything but homogenous.

We are one, and we should support and look out for each other. There is no room for egos at HEDONIST festival. HEDONISM for us is about being able to be your truest, freest self, no-judgement here only love, support and maybe some sweat from all the dancing.

HEDONIST Festival is a product of two queer collectives, STOGGAF and SODOMITE, coming together. Can you tell us a bit about each of these collectives and how this collaboration came about?

In short, we’ve known each other for years, since we were just 18. Having grown up in London, we raced toward the scene and started attending mainly kink events, where we’d don shiny rubber and latex. We all split off and went to university doing creative courses like acting, music, fashion, photography, art.

Somehow along the way we both ended up starting two collectives. Kieran, started Sodomite in Manchester back in 2020 toward the end of drama school, to support and nurture queer actors. This expanded to host scratch nights and cabarets, before blurring the lines into nightlife. Kieran debuted a couple of self-written plays which received arts council funding, and later curated performances for Homobloc and Warehouse Project.

Meanwhile STOGGAF (read it backwards, dare ya!) was started in 2021 by Seb to support a growing number of our queer kink artistic friends to showcase their work. STOGGAF held their largest event late last year where over 300 people came - we couldn’t get them to leave! So we decided to come together to combine artistry, performance and music into what we’re calling HEDONIST.

How can people get their hands on tickets?

There are two ways, they can navigate to our website or hit up Outsavvy here:

Our Second release tickets are nearly sold out, but we have low income ticket options starting from £7 and group ticket options too.

We will have around 50 tickets available on the door as well.

All pleasure seekers are welcome at HEDONIST Festival!

HEDONIST Festival is taking place on Saturday 10th June, 11am-11pm at ARCH55, Brixton.

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