This research project focuses on nightlife spaces important to London's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and other (LGBTQ+) communities since 1986.
Initiated in 2016 by Dr Ben Campkin and Lo Marshall, in collaboration with community groups the Raze Collective and the Queer Spaces Network, this research project focuses on nightlife spaces important to London's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex (LGBTQI) communities since 1986.
The project uses surveys and archival study to map the breadth and diversity of the LGBTQI scene, gathering additional data from community members, venue managers, event promoters and performers through surveys, workshops and interviews. The research highlights the diversity of the capital's LGBTQI nightlife, as an important contributor to neighborhoods and the wider night-time and cultural economy. Through survey and interview data it also shows the importance of these spaces to community life, welfare and wellbeing.
The research looks at London since 1986 - when the Greater London Council was disbanded, marking a shift in urban regeneration policy - to the present day - a time of wide reporting and activism around the closure of commercial LGBTQI spaces.
- Briefing note: LGBTQ+ Spaces in Camden, 1986 - present (April 2020)
Commissioned by Camden Council, this report highlights some of the most innovative LGBTQ+ day-time and night-spaces in the London borough and the ways in which they have served different groups and purposes.
- Full report: LGBTQ+ Cultural Infrastructure in London: Night Venues, 2006-present (July 2017)
In July 2017, we released our full report from the project, which showed that the number of LGBTQI venues in London has fallen by 58% from 125 to 53 since 2006. Reasons given for this fall include the negative impacts of large-scale developments on venue clusters, a lack of implementation of safeguarding measures in the existing planning system and the sale and change of use of property by landlords whereby venue owners, operators and clients have severely limited negotiating power compared with large organisations.
The Mayor of London has supported this work as part of the development of a Cultural Infrastructure Plan. This is a manifesto commitment by the Mayor and will be published in 2018. The Plan will identify what London needs to sustain and develop culture up to 2030. The collection of quantitative data on venues openings and closures will be reflected within this as part of the capital's cultural infrastructure. In making this commission, the Greater London Authority (GLA) note the 'significant work' published in our interim report.
- Read the report: LGBTQ+ Cultural Infrastructure in London: Night Venues, 2006-present (pdf)
- Read the Executive Summary (pdf)
- Read the Appendices (pdf)
- Interim report: LGBTQI Nightlife in London: from 1986 to the present (November 2016)
In November 2016, we released our initial report from the project, which confirmed London's LGBTQI nightlife spaces have seen a recent intensity of closures, with the largest threats to the most longstanding venues, and those catering to women and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic LGBTQI people.
The report urges politicians and policy-makers, including the Mayor, to positively respond to closures and pressures on venues and other spaces by building protection and promotion of LGBTQI spaces into the London Plan and local borough plans and policies.
- Read the report: LGBTQI Nightlife in London: from 1986 to the present (pdf)
- Urban Pamphleteer #7: LGBTQ+ night-time spaces, past, present and future (July 2018)
The seventh issue in UCL Urban Laboratory's publication series Urban Pamphleteer stems from the LGBTQI nightlife research project. In the tradition of radical pamphleteering, the intention of the pamphlets is to confront key themes in contemporary urban debate from diverse perspectives, in a direct and accessible - but not reductive - way. The broader aim is to empower citizens, and inform professionals, researchers, institutions and policy-makers, with a view to positively shaping change.
This issue gathers perspectives, provocations and vignettes on London's LGBTQ+ night-time spaces, past, present and future. We are interested, in particular, in the different tactics being used to queer night-space. We feature a diversity of examples that together suggest how and why different venues, events and clusters are produced; how, when and why they have opened or closed; the scenes that have recently emerged, or are imagined, and how these connect with historical ones, and with other places.
- Paper: London's Nocturnal Queer Geographies (Autumn 2018)
Ben Campkin and Lo Marshall, ‘London’s Nocturnal Queer Geographies’, Soundings, 20, Autumn 2018, 82-96.
London’s LGBTQ+ communities are rapidly losing their nightlife premises. There was a stark drop of 58 per cent between 2006 and 2017, partly because of property development and processes of gentrification. Behind this headline statistic there is a more complex picture of differential access to nightlife within the LGBTQ+ communities, and the article reflects on what exactly has been lost, and why. How are past and present struggles embedded in the fabric of night-spaces? How important have these been to constructions of individual and collective identity?
- In the media
- Somewhere to go: the fight for London’s queer spaces (Huck, 21 April 2020)
- Going to the Gay Bar (BBC Radio 4, 14 September 2019)
- The Fight for London's LGBTQ+ Spaces (The Huffington Post, 28 June 2019)
- Queer today, gone tomorrow: the fight to save LGBT nightlife (The Guardian, 3 April 2019)
- London's Gay Bars Are Alive and Well (Vice, 22 January 2019)
- Number of LGBT venues in London increases for first time in a decade (Pink News, 5 July 2018)
- Queer, New Urban Agendas (Urban Omnibus, 20 June 2018)
- These Activists Are Fighting for London's LGBTQ Spaces (Into, 8 April 2018)
- What Europe's 'Night Mayors' Can Teach New York (The New York Times, 30 August 2017)
- Council Rejects Redevelopment Proposals for LGBT Venue Joiners Arms (The Guardian, 9 August 2017)
- Queer Venue Must Open on the Site of the Historic Lgbtq Pub the Joiners Arms (I-D, 7 August 2017)
- Joiners Arms Development "Must Include LGBT Venue" (BBC News, 6 August 2017)
- These LGBT Clubbers Say They Feel Shut Out Of The Scene Because They Are Disabled (BuzzFeed, 5 August 2017)
- Luxury Flat Development of Legendary London Gay Bar Must Include LGBT Pub, Planners Say (The Telegraph, 5 August 2017)
- You Must Include Gay Venue on Site of Joiners Arms, Planners Tell Developers (The Guardian, 4 August 2017)
- Architects Call on Developers to Protect London's LGBT+ Venues (The Architects' Journal, 26 July 2017)
- Night Czar Offers Recipe for Saving London's LGBT Venues (The Planner, 24 July 2017)
- London's Night Tsar urges councils to help save LGBT venues from closure (Attitude, 23 July 2017)
- Mayor of London Pledges to Protect LGBT+ Nightlife (Out Leadership, 11 July 2017)
- This Map Shows How London's Insane Property Market Has Helped Kill off LGBT Venues (Business Insider, 8 July 2017)
- Mayor Pledges Action after Half of London's LGBT+ Venues Closed Their Doors in the Last Decade (Getwestlondon, 8 July 2017)
- LGBT venues in London hit by decade of closures (The Guardian, print edition, 7 July 2017)
- Combating the Death of the Gay Bar: London's Mayor Sadiq Khan and Night Czar Amy Lamé Reveal Their Plan to Bring Back Our Lesbian Venues (DIVA, 7 July 2017)
- Sadiq Khan Bids to Protect London LGBT+ Venues (Development Finance Today, 7 July 2017)
- Amy Lamé: Take Pride in London's LGBT+ Scene and Keep Its Venues Open (Evening Standard, 7 July 2017)
- More than half of London's LGBT pubs and clubs have closed in last decade - report (Reuters, 7 July 2017)
- London's LGTBQ+ venues 'halved' in a decade, says report (BBC News, 6 July 2017)
- London has lost 58 percent of its LGBT+ venues since 2006 (Time Out, 6 July 2017)
- Mayor calls for urgent action to save London's LGBT venues after report reveals more than half closed in last 10 years (Evening Standard, 6 July 2017)
- LGBT London's LGBT+ Venues in Crisis, with a 58 per Cent Loss of Spaces (Gasholder, 6 July 2017)
- Night Czar saves London pubs' LGBTI status (Gay Star News, 6 July 2017)
- Shocking report reveals more than half of London's gay bars have closed down in a decade (Gay Times, 6 July 2017)
- London-Based LGBT+ Venues Halve within a Decade (Morning Advertiser, 6 July 2017)
- More than half of London's LGBT+ venues have closed in past decade, 'with more still at risk' (ITV News, 6 July 2017)
- London's LGBT Venues in Crisis, with over 50% Closing in the Last 10 Years (Winq, 6 July 2017)
- Mayor of London Sadiq Khan calls for urgent action after half of London's LGBT venues close (Pink News, 6 July 2017)
- London's LGBT venues in crisis, with over 50% closing in the last 10 years (Attitude, 6 July 2017)
- More than Half of London LGBTQ+ Venues Closed since 2006 (Not Television, 6 July 2017)
- LGBT London: what venue closures mean for the capital's future (The Guardian, 21 April 2017)
- Night Czar Amy Lamé Answers Questions from the Scene (Boyz, 15 April 2017)
- What Does London's Night Czar Do All Day? We Chat To Amy Lamé (Refinery 29, 15 February 2017)
- The Mayor of London's Strategy to Revive LGBT Nightlife (Vice, 12 December 2016)
- Mayor of London to invest thousands into keeping LGBT venues open (Pink News, 11 December 2016)
- Mayor of London to spend £10,000 on research to help LGBTI venues stay open (Gay Star News, 11 December 2016)
- Amy Lamé is London's Night Czar - so what happens next? (Attitude, 9 December 2016)
- Out with the old, in with the new (The Economist, 14 November 2016)
- What's happening to London's LGBTQI nightlife spaces? (UCL Events Blog, 15 September 2016)
- Events and exhibitions
Event Venue/organiser Date Queer Spaces: London, 1980s – Today (exhibition) Whitechapel Gallery 2 April - 25 August 2019 London Lesbian and Gay Centre documented conversation Gay's The Word 18 October 2018 Urban Pamphleteer #7 launch: LGBTQ+ night-time spaces, past, present and future Museum of London 14 July 2018 Centre Pieces: a public, documented conversation on the London Lesbian and Gay Centre Museum of London 14 July 2018 LGBT Place-making Planning Out 10 May 2018 Queer(y)ing London Livingmaps 22 March 2018 International Women's Day Feminist Teach Out 52 Club / University College London UCU 8 March 2018 The London Salon: queer night moves Museum of London 13 February 2018 Night Moves UCL Transport Institute 17 October 2017 Never Gonna Dance Again National Trust, Sutton House 20 September 2017 Emerging queer spaces, Uniqlo Lates with Camp-er-Van Tate Modern 28 July 2017 Queer Fun, Duckie and Queen Mary, University of London Royal Vauxhall Tavern 10 June 2017 Researching LGBTQ+ Night Scenes, Science Museum Lates, two public talks Science Museum 6 June 2017 Cities After Hours UCL Festival of Culture 6 June 2017 Nightlife Spaces and the Future City The Bartlett Future Cities Doctoral Network 22 May 2017 LGBTQI Work Life/Night Life qUCL 2 May 2017 Night Scenes: Mapping London's LGBTQ spaces and events New York University in London 12 April 2017 Transient Spaces Open Lecture Chelsea College of Arts 6 February 2017 Safe Space Unhinged: London's LGBTQI Night Scenes Goldsmiths, University of London 24 October 2016
Royal Academy of Arts
UCL Urban Laboratory
10 October 2016
19 July 2016