One day each year, the Wickham Hotel closes off a street and opens its doors to the most fabulous party this side of Mardi Gras. It was my first time at Big Gay Day and I was excited to hear the early afternoon DJ’s getting the party kicked off. DJ Sveta nailed the right mix of tracks, which unfortunately wasn’t matched by the rest of the DJs. But when you’re off your face by 4pm a beat is a beat, and there was plenty of awesome dancing space inside the Wickham itself.
Samantha Jade made her appearance mid afternoon. A twenty minute set later and I was left disappointed. Perhaps my expectations were too high, but she did not have the drive or verve to keep me dancing. I felt like I was watching a karaoke performance and that’s not a jab at her X-Factor history. But when you’re best song for the day is a Rihanna cover, you might want to rethink your style.
The outrageous Megadrag proved a hit – with a surprising number of drag queens taking to the stage to dance to the hits. It was a well executed performance the summed up the atmosphere for the day: not too serious, full of dancing, and a place to let loose.
Heather Small was the show stealer and rightly so. She performed classic songs from her M-People days including Moving on Up and Search for the Hero. Streamers came floating down from above at one point and the crowd loved it! I went from being a passive observer to enthralled spectator, revelling in the songs I knew from younger days. Whether or not the younger crowd truly appreciated it, who knows? But the intense arm waving speaks for itself.
Big Gay Day was an amazing experience, similar to a festival but without the troublemakers. Just a good place to have a good time with some friends, and I can’t wait til next year’s event!