PROUD: 5 minutes with Sheffield’s new LGBT+ club night

“…Those messages of peace, love & unity are exactly the ones we want to uphold – we’re all here to have a good time and spread the love!”

This Friday, Sheffield’s newest LGBT+ club night PROUD launches at the University of Sheffield’s Foundry. The monthly event is setting the bar high with extraordinary attention to detail in making it the safest and most inclusive place for the LGBT+ community in Sheffield and further afield. We caught up with the event organisers to find out more.

We can’t wait for your launch party this Friday! Do you want to give everyone a taste of what Proud will be about?
We can’t either! Proud’s ethos is to provide an exciting & safe nightclub that celebrates the entire LGBT+ community and its allies, offering something the likes of which the LGBT+ scene in Sheffield has never seen before. We have two rooms of music, freebies and all the trimmings that our fantastic 1800-capacity venue, the Foundry, can offer; including a brand new, giant video wall and we’ll also be decorating the venue with as many LGBT+ flags as we can fit. It’s going to be big!Do you want to run us through what bangers will be lighting up the Proud dance floors on Friday?
Well we’re certainly not doing away with the ever-popular cheesy classics, with Room 2 playing all pop by Madonna, Gaga, Prince et al. In Room 1 we’re playing music to vogue to, disco ranging from 70s Chic and 80s Chaka Khan to the contemporary and classic house you’d likely find in some city warehouse raves like Disclosure and Bicep. We’ll also be taking requests in Room 2 for those curve-balls & hidden gems!

Many people don’t realise when house and disco were in their infancy they were heavily dominated by the LGBT+ communities in Detroit, Chicago and New York. Is the music important to Proud? Do you hope to uphold the themes of peace, love, unity and respect championed by Donna Summer and co.?
We think it speaks volumes that two of the most prolific genres in Sheffield at the moment are house & disco and their roots in LGBT+ are something we want to both champion and celebrate with our Room 1 music policy. Those messages of peace, love & unity are exactly the ones we want to uphold – we’re all here to have a good time and spread the love!

“Providing a space that is wholly inclusive and safe has been a passion project more than a challenge.”

You had a massive party in Foundry for Pride back in July, do you feel that the LGBT + community in Yorkshire is getting bigger?
We think the increasing number of attendees at Pride speak volumes and our collaborations with Pride have been among our most successful events. We have a great working relationship with the Pride organisers and we are extremely happy to have their support with Proud.

You’re making a real effort to make the party inclusive for the whole LGBT+ community, with gender-neutral facilities, a time-out space and free safe sex packs. Has it been a challenge to provide all this?
Don’t forget the photo booth area! In the name of discretion we’re doing away with a wandering photographer, so only those who want to grab a photo for our page can feel free. Our facilities and initiatives have been years in the making and are a concerted effort by countless individuals and groups to cater to all of our customers and their myriad needs. Proud is a result of many endeavours to provide exactly this kind of space that we feel is at the forefront of inclusivity within the city and beyond. From our 0 tolerance policy to harassment and assault, to our safe spaces and friendly staff. Providing a space that is wholly inclusive and safe has been a passion project more than a challenge.

LGBT+ events have been in the news a lot in over the past year, following the Orlando nightclub shooting in June 2016. Is making your customers feel safe one of your priorities?
Safety is and always has been of paramount importance to our customers. Our large security team are highly trained and there to keep our venue as safe as it can possibly be. We have the technology to vet who can enter our venue, a brand new CCTV system and will be operating searches at every event. You’d be hard pressed to find a safer venue within the city.Is Proud available exclusively to University of Sheffield students?
Not at all – we feel that there is a big need for this kind of club night in Sheffield and as such we are open to all who are aged 18 or over.

NYC Downlow, Glastonbury Festival’s resident LGBT+ club also made headlines this year with it’s 10th anniversary celebrations. It’s been hailed by Mixmag and Resident Advisor as “the best club in the world”. Could Proud be the best clubnight in the north one day?
We certainly think so, but we’ll leave it to our customers to decide!

Thanks Proud, see you on Friday!
Cheers, have a great night!

Proud has been worked on by Sheffield Students’ Union and the LGBT+ Committee and will run on the first Friday of every month at Foundry – the next events will take place on the 3rd November and 1st December. To contact Proud email or call 01142228565.
Tickets are available now for £5.50 from the Foundry ticket website.
Photo Credit: Elouisa Georgiou Photography & Leo Bojeson

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