I was out yesterday – well I’ve been “out” for many years, but you know what I mean. After my rant last week about how crappy Pride has become in London it was both refreshing and reminiscent of better, bygone days to be at Summer Rites Remixed yesterday.
Summer Rites was last seen in London at Brockwell Park in 1999. That was until yesterday when 10,000 people descended on Shoreditch Park in East London. My boyfriend, Michael and I got there around 3.30pm when the park was still pretty quiet, but within the next hour it was heaving. Although there were a lot of people, the space was perfect to sit, dance, drink and chat without it feeling too crowded. London’s gay scene was heavily represented with clubs, bars and stages to cater for all walks of gay life. We spent most of our time between the bouncy XXL tent and Salvation outdoor stage. The sun shone brightly down on us until we left at 9pm and are still smiling about it today.
The vibe was incredible and the event was really well organised. There were plenty of bars, toilets, eateries and even booths with cash machines and cigarettes. No expense seemed to be spared on the sound systems and stage set ups either; the music pounded through the park lifting people’s moods and getting those toes a tapping. Looking around at all the smiling people, dancing in the afternoon sun I had a flashback to the late 90s. The Pride events I went to back then were very similar to Summer Rites Remixed, and although I was at Brockwell Park 12 years ago, I honestly didn’t think it would be as good this time around. I was wrong – it was better!
When you have huge events like Pride and Summer Rites happening year in, year out – people become complacent, knowing that if they miss this one, there will always be another the following year. But now there hasn’t been anything like this for such a long time, it was like a real breath of fresh air. This is what gay events used to be like – not piled on top of each other in the crowded streets of London like Pride has now become. It’s a shame that we Londoners became so complacent and have had to wait so long for a major event like Summer Rites to resurface and fill the void once again.
Michael and I (pictured above) had an amazing time and looking at the Facebook comments today, so did all of my friends who were there. With it being such good weather, we had our tops off most of the time and at one point were laid out on the grass cuddled up and listening to the pumping house music from the Salvation stage.
My only gripe is that it didn’t take place on a Saturday as I feel rough as a dog today and extremely tired. Even so, I’m still smiling about how fantastic the day/night was and just hope that Wayne Shires and Kim Lucas decide to bring back Summer Rites as an annual event.
I am considering sending them an email – Dear Wayne and Kim, London has missed Summer Rites so much! We’re sorry we took you for granted before and we promise to attend every event from now on until our legs give in through old age. Just please don’t take it away from us again!
Hope that works!