A city-centre nightclub has launched a series of LGBT club events with their first night attracting nearly three hundred Lancashire LGBT residents & students. Popular hot spot Roper Hall joined forces with the guys behind Hangout Harry – who helped set up Preston’s first Pride event in 2012, and went on to do many other activities within their community…
The new gay night, branded Dirrty Harry’s, launched as part of the Preston Pride 2016 weekend with their next event for Halloween on Friday 28th. One of the DJ’s from the event, Ryan Bangalter, who started his DJ career on Preston’s gay scene in the Hangout, now Tonic, emphasised the fact that the events are open for anyone (18+) ’Some of us who identify as LGB or T, and even people who don’t, sometimes need an environment where we feel totally safe, regardless of our age or confidence. This serves that purpose. Many people feel completely fine in mainstream venues; I do too, but sometimes it’s nice to really let your hair down & immerse yourself in the moment. The great thing about [Dirrty Harry’s] is that nobody cares. Someone could walk in wearing the craziest outfit or completely lose themselves in the music on the stage or dance floor – and nobody would bat an eye lid. In fact, they’d probably make friends from it!’
These series of gay nights seem particularly appropriate given the significant increase in LGBT hate crimes reported for the last quarter (up 147%)
One of the event volunteers, Gill Barlow told us ‘The great thing about Dirrty Harry’s is it isn’t just a club night, it’s a community coming together. Also, profits are being reinvested into our community to support us – we’re launching a new campaign & website soon to encourage victims of hate crime in Preston to report their incidents. With it being National Hate Crime Awareness Week we thought it ideal to announce this now. We’ve also just broadened the website to allow for other event organisers to sell their tickets & thus market their events to our community members & followers; this service is free for charity events in Preston. There’s so much going on, and so much for people to get involved with if they want to!’
Roper Hall GM, Daniel Hayes told us, ‘I know Roper Hall came top in a recent poll which targeted the local LGBT community as the venue they felt ‘most safe in‘. And this is understandable; we’ve hosted & helped promote LGBT safe spaces in Preston for many years & Dirrty Harry’s is just one more way for us to continue this. We used to house UCLan’s LGBT society too & would be happy to offer our venue for any other group that wishes to explore options.’
Daniel continues, ‘It was the Hangout Harry team who first called a public meeting for Preston Pride, which took place in this very building. With respect to Dirrty Harrys, after the initial feedback came through in the summer, I know the guys chose to target the more mature market; Lancashire’s LGBT professionals & those who want decent events – not just cheap cheap cheap. The launch event was far more successful than we in the Dark Room [upstairs area of Roper Hall] anticipated; the number of community members who flooded in within the first 30 minutes was incredible. We can’t wait for the Halloween or Christmas specials. I expect the New Year’s Masquerade Ball will be pretty big too. It’s a pleasure to be part of this.’
The next Dirrty Harry events are:
For more information on the upcoming LGBT events & to book tickets visit www.dirrtyharrys.co.uk. Alternatively follow Dirrty Harry’s on Twitter and Facebook. Staff Christmas parties in Preston are advised to make contact in advance if they wish to make the most of what’s available on December 3rd. Otherwise, advance tickets bought online, or wristbands collected from Roper Hall, all come with free fizz on arrival. Please drink responsibly.