For many students, the gay scene is something of a myth: not a huge amount is heard about it day-to-day, and many are ignorant of this overlooked area of Nottingham’s night life. Few students know of this hub of bars offering great, alternative nights out should the queue for Ocean prove too long, or the desire for somewhere different prove too great. Impact delves into those clubs that the majority of us are blind to…
Many a Fresher will be familiar with one such venue, situated in the heart of Nottingham’s city centre: NG1, Nottingham’s biggest gay club. A far cry from the standard nights of Crisis and Ocean, it comes complete with wooden floors and a cleaning team that is unconcerned with interrupting your dancing to mop them. Unlike Ocean, you can be pretty sure to return with shoes much the same colour as when you left the house. NG1 hosts three special nights a month: Night Train, Poptastic, and Handbags at Dawn. Held on the first Saturday of each month and aimed for the more alternative members of the gay community (because not everyone enjoys flouncing around to Lady Gaga on the dance floor), Night Train caters for all, with an eclectic mix of music on the main dance floor and chart music upstairs.
In stark contrast, Poptastic is held on the last Friday of each month and attracts the biggest crowds with its upbeat pop, indie atmosphere and free lollipops on entry. But if you want to try something truly different and guaranteed to bring a smile to your face, then perhaps Handbags at Dawn is worth a try. Held on the last Sunday of each month, the bar staff partakes in an outrageous stage show performed in drag. If none of this takes your fancy, you can get free entry and cheap drinks every Wednesday and on regular Friday nights.
Just a short walk from NG1 is a relatively new bar that never disappoints any visitor. Propaganda, with its cheap drinks, heavily made-up hostesses and fun (if sometimes envelope-pushing) themes, is very popular with students and locals alike. If this doesn’t take your fancy, then trying the busy and bustling @D2 night. This wonderful event is famous for its drag cabaret show, held every Sunday night and featuring comedy, dancing and the infamous ‘showgirls’ on stage. But if visiting on a Friday or Saturday, be sure to listen out for a siren, signalling a ‘price crash’, with house spirits and VKs dropping to £1. Soon to arrive, and replacing B Bar, will be Rumours: providing the perfect pit stop on the stagger between Propaganda and NG1, but also a good night in its own right.
Along with the bars and clubs, Nottingham has a variety of gay-friendly pubs. The New Foresters is located just behind the Victoria Centre, close to the heart of the gay scene, whilst The Lord Roberts is renowned for one of the busiest pub quizzes in the city.
So, after months (or years in some cases) of attending every Oceana, Crisis, and Ocean, you may well be feeling the need to break away from the norm and try something new. This collection of venues offer something a little different – it may well be the same tunes and the same drinks, but the welcoming atmosphere and friendly ambience is something that you have to experience to believe, and you never know when the queue in the cold at your weekly favourites may prove a little too long. Don’t believe in any stigma you may hear – these nights are enjoyable for anyone and everyone.
If drinking isn’t your thing, the Broadway Cinema regularly shows gay and lesbian films that are sure to provide entertainment. For further details about Nottingham’s gay scene, check out the LGBT network page on Facebook.