My Friends Are Cooler Than Your Friends (Don’t Get Upset Now, We All Have Special Talents – Perhaps Macramé Is Yours)

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Just a quick round up of some of my more fantastic friend news from September-October. Some delicious Ireland and UK based second-hand brags….

BLACK JAM : CURE at the Dublin Fringe Festival

First up is my coven leader, Yemi aka Osaro aka Amanda Azams aka the founder of and driving force behind Fried Plantains Collective (viewers of the performance page may also recognise her as Clarke from 16 & Rising).  Fried Plantains is, to my knowledge, the only organisation in Ireland dedicated to providing a raucous, lit, BYOB sesh celebrating the Afro-Irish community and the black queer artistry in Dublin. It’s guaranteed the best night out you’ll have in this city for a tenner plus whatever you spend on cans (with free entry for asylum seekers and those in Direct Provision).  Deadly DJ’s, subversive merch stalls, gas comedians, male and female and queer rappers and poets, and performances from the likes of Damola, Blackfish Collective and Mai. As expected by FPC cult members such as myself, BLACK JAM : CURE was a sold-out, sweat dripping down the walls,  tits flying and face melting gig.  Yemi threw the best party of the Fringe, and now she shares The Judges Choice Award with Dublin legends Glitterhole.

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OVERFIRED at the Dublin Fringe Festival

Second cool friends of September are the indomitable Stephen Quinn aka Stefan Fae, and the incredible Lady K – winners of the Outburst Queer Fringe Award for their cabaret-call-to-arms, Overfired.  The dynamic duo are heading up to the amazing Outburst Festival of Queer Arts in Belfast this November, and you should go.  Outburst is also a generally amazing performance festival, which gave us so much support during the creation of Aunty Ben. They support (and pay) artists properly, and I have a lot of time for them. So Overfired at Outburst is a coming together of two awesome favourites of mine.  Three, if you count Stefan Fae and Lady K’s version of millenial smash hit ‘Blue’.

Full festival details will be announced soon, watch this space.

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COMPASS FESTIVAL and the wonder of Peter Reed

(Photo – Lizzie Coomber, for Jack Tan’s Four Legs Good)

A good friend of mine, who even managed to wrestle me into a man’s suit as one of the Grooms at his wedding, runs a very prestigious live art festival in Leeds. Not only is is prestigious, exciting, high quality and engaging – it’s also free. You heard me right, totally free for the people of Leeds. This is, or should be, the goal for all who make the arts with an eye to public good, social change, civic engagement.  Do me a favour and just watch their video here, and you’ll fall instantly in love. And you’ll meet Pete! His hair is even redder than mine, but I’m not even jealous, because we’re chums.

The link is also to their Kickstarter which is ending in THREE DAYS (eeep!). I will very rarely do this (and – as a developing policy, only for campaigns with a demonstrable social good, and only once ever per organisation) but if you have a few quid, chuck it Compass-ward.  Link to their campaign here.

S x

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