WUT?CLUB: meet the new kings and queens of london's lgbtqi nightlife
Come here often, bbz? You should.
Anthony McGinley, aka ABSOLUTE, started WUT? off the back of the weekly drag and club kid London haunt, Super Electric Party Machine. The collaboration with nightlife icon Larry Tee (Larry, we love you, Rupaul loves you, the world loves you!), led to nights and DJ productions at London's XOYO, Dalston Superstore and many a fabulous Bethnal Green Road basement. With Larry relocating to Berlin, Anthony went on to create WUT?Club with Cain Jennings, and many a friendly dance floor face followed him.
At a time when we are both celebrating and fighting for LGBTQI rights and freedoms, WUT?Club offers a community space hopes to engage and challenge homophobia and transphobia. This year at London Pride they did just that; the WUT? float ruling the roads. People came from far and wide to shake a tailfeather on the low-loader during the day, and at their Pride official after-party with queen Amanda Lepore at night.
The lols, the looks, the laughter and the literal pride. WUT?Club and its solidarity is here to stay. They'll be banging out the best in sex and tech house this weekend at Milkshake Festival in Amsterdam, with a stage that includes Heidi, Larry Tee, Amanda Lepore, Nimmo, and more, as well as the debut of Anthony's new live show. Come here often, bbz? You should.
This year's WUT?CLUB float at Pride was quite incredz… and now you are here at Milkshake.
It's such a moment and being able to extend our WUT?CLUB family to the amazing crew from Milkshake Festival -- it's the biggest open-minded dance festival in the world and is a massive highlight. They're our like minded big sisters from Amsterdam, where the festival celebrates love, freedom, diversity and tolerance.
What do you love about London and its LGBTQ scene?
You can literally be whoever you want to be in London without prejudice, that's so liberating and hugely important, especially for those who might not have access to events, networks or safe queer spaces that we're fortunate enough to have here.
There's still so many people who don't have the basic freedom for things as simple as holding hands with the person they love without prejudice, bullying or abuse, and sadly some people still live in fear for their lives for just being who they are. Until all LGBTQ+ people have those freedoms everyday, we have to keep pushing things forward.
What makes WUT?CLUB so amazing?
The people are the stars, just as much the big international guests we book. We have the most epic looks, friendliest crowds and the artistry that goes into the outfits is genuinely awe inspiring. We're always striving to provide something alternative and exciting.
You have been regulars at the WUT?CLUB from the start, and walked with the float this year. What was your stand out moment?
Seeing the young families and oldies in the crowd -- they all have their own stories, but they are united in love and support of the LGBT+ community -- it's about visibility and awareness. Sure it's a party, but for some people it's their first encounter with the community. It's potentially life changing for that young kid struggling with their identity to experience the love, acceptance and celebration that is this club and realise there are other people out there just like them and that they are not alone.
Why does WUT? Hold a special place in your heart?
I have had to pleasure of knowing the WUT?CLUB for many years, I love the space they've created where we can actually do anything you want and it always goes. It's also a great place to spin some new productions as the crowd is open to hear new interesting sounds.
Why is Pride so important?
It allows -- and shines a spotlight on -- empowerment, unity and acceptance. It's so easy to forget how lucky a percentage of us are, days like Pride remind you how vital it is that we push on, be loud and fight for what every single LGBTQ+ person deserves.
What are your constant inspirations behind WUT??
The people. Whether they are behind, on or in front of the DJ booth or stage: every single person involved in WUT?CLUB is an artist, whether it's visually or musically. WUT?CLUB gives people a platform to express and explore their abilities and identities to the fullest potential whilst having fun.
What's the naughtiest thing you have planned for Milkshake Festival?
I've spent the last few weeks making outfits for our WUT?CLUB stage, so I'm not going be happy unless I see twenty drag queens crowd surfing in them!
WUT?CLUB has a stage at Milkshake Festival Amsterdam on Saturday 29 July with Heidi, ABSOLUTE., Nimmo, Girli, Wax Wings, Larry Tee and the WUT?CLUB family. They are back at the Arcola Theatre, London on Sunday 27 August for their annual Slumber Party Extravaganza, limited tickets available here. ABSOLUTE.'s new Mind Control EP is out via Love Fever on vinyl now and digital Monday 31st July, his new live show debuts at Milkshake Festival Saturday 29 July.
Text Bojana Kozarevic
Photography Louie Banks