Last Saturday saw 10,000 souls embark upon Depot, Mayfield for the much anticipated debut of Homoelectric’s Homobloc Festival.
With arguably one of the best line ups of the year, Homobloc promised a queer block party for all, complete with no height restrictions, no fakers, mugs or thugs, but rather an ethos to simply “come as you are”.
It was clear from the outset that this was no ordinary event, the venue predominantly populated with people dressed slightly different to the standard clubbers. As well as the overly flamboyant, the crowd boasted a number of party-goers dressed in everything from upfront fashions, more functional sportswear and little to absolutely nothing at all.
This open-mindedness is was what dominated the evening and made it so special. 10,000 grinning clubbers moved between four rooms, which boasted music policies of techno, house, disco and pretty much everything, in between.
As well as the music, the performances were also something to behold, featuring leather clad dancers and trans belles, each holding signs with a series of messages such as “GOD LOVES POPPERS” and “ALL BLACK LIVES MATTER BITCHES”. Although it was all very “tongue in cheek” the messages were real, heartfelt and reminded partygoers that at Homobloc, anything goes.
Musical highlights came early on with a live set from Crazy P. More than a mere disco band, the outfit was an absolute madness. Featuring Danni’s soft vocals, and a keyboard that wouldn’t leave your attention alone, their rounded performance was noteworthy on its own. It’s was a joy to think that this was just the beginning.
However, the real highlights of the night took place in Concourse, with standout sets from Jayda G, Midland and Hunee.
Jayda G’s DJ set saw her run through the gamut of what she’s known for: rare soul, disco and funk tunes, and house. As the crowd jostled for territory throughout her set, Jayda subtly and seamlessly flowed through genres to show off her impressive repertoire, dropping in odes to her influences as a producer in the form of old-school Chicago and Detroit house. And to top it off, she’s got some moves – Vogueing her way through the tracks, which got the crowd going even more.
Having previously seen Midland play sets more centred around disco, it was refreshing to see him work some harder, darker selections over the course of his hour and a half long set. That being said, he still dropped a few of his trademark disco-house classics which we were definitely pleased about.
As always, Hunee immersed the audience into an aura of house, disco, techno and everything in between as he took us on an emotional and somewhat spiritual journey through music. It’s safe to say the Homobloc crowd and Hunee perfectly complemented one another; Hunee was ready to DJ and the crowd were ready to dance to whatever he was offering.
Finally, it wouldn’t be a true “queer block party” without an appearance from The Black Madonna, who closed the night in Depot. While she’s known how to party for a long time, it’s only been in the last couple of years that the rest she’s really become admired for her vision of a more unified, utopian dance floor. As anticipated, she delivered a highly colourful, eclectically sounding set. The Black Madonna fully brought the funk, and every person in attendance left feeling better off for it.
Overall, Homobloc promised a lot and delivered EVERYTHING. It was one of those nights where openness isn’t just celebrated, but is demanded. The night was dedicated to diversity and pushing the boundaries and it delivered one of the friendliest crowds we’ve seen in a long, long time. People were just there to absorb the music and to dance and it was possibly the best representation of what Manchester is really all about. No pretentions, no aggro, just good people having a good time.
In the words of Homobloc “Pitch it up you jazzy c***”. Until next time…