Many years have passed since this fabulous event last happened
in Brockwell Park and there really hasn't been a gay festival that
has matched it in London since. It just seemed to hit the right
spot for atmosphere and fun as it brought all the best of London
clubbing to one place and one time.
Summer Rites was created in 1996 by Candy Bar founder Kim
Lucas and her pal Wayne Shires. At that time the national Pride
event, which Kim Lucas had been a co-organiser on since the
mid-80's, was doing a fabulous job at being just that - a national
Pride event - and at the same time, cities throughout the UK were
just beginning to have their own Pride events, too. Club promoters
Shires and Lucas realised there wasn't a gay event that represented
London, so Summer Rites was born.
DJ Miss Bailey, who'll be working her magic in the Sunday Happy
Day/Bootylicious bus remembers it well: "What I loved about the
first Summer Rites was that it was an extension of the after-party
of Pride and it wasn't particularly commercial and everything was
in one place. There was a real sense of community - more than we
have now, I think."
Co-organiser Kim Lucas says: "Our first year in Kennington Park
reached a capacity crowd of 20,000 so the following year we moved
to Brockwell Park, where we stayed for four years and left things
on a high with 80,000 capacity in 1999. I strongly believe these
events should not be dragged out year after year for the sake of
it, until they end up in inexperienced hands and are run to ground
and the community do not support them anymore. Soho Pride, Summer
Rites and pretty much everything I have created and run until I
have decided its enough, have been left with the possibility to
return in the future, and going on the very, very positive reaction
to the return of Summer Rites, this has proven to be true."
This year's event will do the same, but in 2011 style: "London
clubbing is always leading the way in the UK, and possibly the
world, and I am pleased to see that things are mixing up so much
more and the whole gay community is clubbing together. The need for
separate gender clubbing is much reduced - very metrosexual! Summer
Rites is doing its best to reflect this trend," she adds.
Situated in Shoreditch park - one of London's trendiest
locations - the day features a great selection of clubs to enjoy
such as Sunday Happy Day, Bootylicious, DJs from the George and
Dragon, Guttersluts and Kimono Krush. There are three lady-loving
DJs: DJ Philly, MC Brandy and the awesome Miss Bailey (DJ-ing from
1-2 and then 3.30 for 90 minutes).
Summer Rites takes place on Sunday 10 July from midday to 10pm.
Tickets are £10 entry and rumours are that it's selling out fast.
If you haven't already bought tickets, go to www.summer-rites.com now or
Prowler SOHO before you miss out. See you there!