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London queer venue Her Upstairs abruptly forced to close

Nick Duffy August 8, 2018

London queer cabaret venue Her Upstairs has announced its sudden closure.

The popular Camden Town venue, posted a statement on social media confirming it has closed effective immediately.

The reason for the closure was not given “for legal reasons.”

The statement says: “It is with great sadness that as of today Her Upstairs is no longer open for business at 18 Kentish Town Road.

“For legal reasons we cannot share the details of this sudden closure.

“We regret that we have had to do this so abruptly and without giving our incredible community a chance to say goodbye to the space.

“Our queer spaces are so vital, but it’s the people, not the bricks and mortar that make the space. We may be lacking in a physical space but we feel each and everyone of our family with us no matter where we go.

“This is a goodbye for the present but not a farewell.

“With love from the Her Upstairs family, stay tuned and we’ll see you very soon.”

It added a video of Cher performing “You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me” in the film Burlesque.

It appears the premises has been rapidly vacated, according to several messages.

Joseph Lycett-Barnes, who performs as drag act Ophelia Love, wrote: “I am beyond gutted to be writing this but last night, we had to empty our ‘home’ Her Upstairs.

“I am so devastated by what has happened and to see it being ripped apart was truly heartbreaking, I took massive comfort by being surrounded by some amazing people who I’ve called family for a year and a half now!

“Home is not a building it’s a community and the people who are in it, we will be back stronger than ever I have no doubt but that doesn’t stop me feeling broken about this situation. I have grown as a person so much in these last couple of years and it’s massively to do with this place and the people that have created it.”

George E. Gibson added: “A very small chunk of the massive family were there last night, as we emptied our beautiful home together and spent one last evening in the four walls of Her Upstairs.

“The messages of support and love today from those who the news had trickled to has been a comfort. This affects more than the family, it affects the community. I am heartbroken. I am truly crushed.”

The LGBT venue, which operated at the site of former venue Bloc Bar, had been hailed as a crucial addition to the London LGBT+ scene when it opened at the premises in 2016.

London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan and Night Czar Amy Lamé previously vowed to support the shrinking scene amid rises in property prices that forced a number of venues to close.

A description states: “This is a bar run for queer people by queer people. Queer, for us, is a about a radical togetherness and as such everyone is welcome in our space, as long as you’re not an a**hole!

“Identity is never a barrier at Her Upstairs, and we welcome everyone and anyone who wants to enjoy our bar, enjoy our shows, and enjoy our and each other’s company.

“We have a packed schedule of queer entertainment, bringing you high-quality, engaging, political, and fun performance work.

“We want to encourage and support new and emerging artists, as well as working with our existing drag and queer royalty.”

More: bar, Gay, Her Upstairs, LGBT, London, London, venue

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