Beers for Queers (BFQ) is one of the Baltic Triangle’s most vibrant event nights. It is a monthly social hosted at District and has been a vital addition to Liverpool’s LGBTQ+ nightlife scene.
It’s a come one, come all (and come as you are policy) and is essentially a disco night for the LGBTQ+ community and their friends and family. There’s always a selection of great DJs playing eclectic tunes from every musical era of the last 60 years. It’s all about feeling the love, hanging out and having a good time.
BFQ has been enjoying the Thursday night slot but its rate of evolution and popularity means they’re now ready for the next big challenge as they move into the coveted Friday night slot. We caught up with BFQ founders Linster Sangster and Dan Taylor to discuss how BFQ came about, why they chose District and the Baltic Triangle and what to expect as BFQ grows into a new decade.
How did you come up with the concept of BFQ and what were you hoping to achieve?
Dan: Linster is a musician and a DJ and had been running club nights in London at places like Dalston Superstore and Royal Vauxhall Tavern, venues that were associated with a wide range of cool and experimental club nights, and not just for LGBT+ nights. The idea behind BFQ was to do a really relaxed monthly social in Liverpool for queers and allies to “chat, mingle, dance, stare and laugh” and it’s been really successful in achieving those aims — I think we really think we’ve pulled it off.
Linster: As Dan says I had been doing nights in London and most of these places have really cool branding and flyer designs that are eye-catching and inspiring. Dan is an amazing artist / graphic designer and has worked on films, advertising, designed record covers. He is instrumental in creating a look and feel for the night with the amazing posters he designs. I wanted to hit the floor running as well with the name so it’s deffo a Queer night. We were not gonna be polite or hedge our bets it was a statement name, of course everyone is welcome.
What was your relationship with District and how did you decide to go with that venue?
Dan: Linster had known Jayne (Casey) for a long time, and so when we came up with the idea of running regular club night, one of the first places we took the idea to was Jayne and Eric at District. They were super enthusiastic and dead supportive and we all just clicked, so that was brilliant. Plus, when we first started up the idea, we loved the whole Baltic area and District just seemed the perfect venue — post-industrial, just out of town, it represented a clean slate to us.
Linster: Yeah Jayne and Eric have been amazing and are still super supportive. With a nod to our friends Sonic Yootha who had been doing their night at Kitchen Street for two years before we started the area was deffo the place to be. It reminds me of the early days of East London very cool and exciting. There’s so much going on around the Baltic so many cool nights and an exciting vibe around the streets there. District is also accessible which was important too.
What does BFQ add to Liverpool’s nightlife scene?
Dan: It’s added a chilled, relaxed and fun vibe to going out, and it really is a great place to meet and chat and dance. Our music policy is really wide-ranging – from disco/funk to vintage classics, hip hop, post-punk, 80s electro-pop, soul and newbies.
Linster: The music policy is eclectic and we pride ourselves on keeping it exciting. Also, a lot of the village gay nights are heavy on the commercial dance stuff and don’t play any guitar music or different genres. We like the element of surprise.
We also wanted to reach out to a wide age group too get people out who are over 50 and younger people mixing together. Liverpool is good like this anyway but the Gay Scene doesn’t reflect that. Older Queers generally don’t go out clubbing anymore.
How did yourself and Dan meet?
Dan: Even though we’re similar ages we never actually knew each other in Liverpool back in the day, even though I had seen Linster play in bands back then. We met about five years ago when we were both living in London at a monthly play-yer-own vinyl-records social event called Vinyl Therapy (coincidentally run by another ex-pat Scouser). I used to design and make a fanzine for this social and consequently we got to know each other really well.
Tell us a bit about the history of BFQ so far, what has been achieved and your upcoming move to a Friday night?
Dan: We both moved back to Liverpool three years ago and we really wanted to start a night off, it just seemed like there was a real need to have a non-scene night and to have a night that had a really varied selection of music that kind of pushed the envelope a bit. It’s funny that the three nights that really represent the queer scene in Liverpool are all in the same locality off Jamaica Street — BFQ, Eat Me and Preach (who followed us to District they were at Sound before) and Sonic Yootha at Kitchen Street.
We just celebrated our second birthday last November. We’ve been on a Thursday night so we’ve had to live with having to finish early on a school night so we’re really looking forward to moving towards staying open later.
Linster: Yeah, it’s been growing and growing. We’ve collaborated with other nights like Eat me and Preach and queer groups like Mersey Bears and The Liverpool Queer Collective. We ran a few alternative Pride nights and a couple of Queer Halloween nights, so we knew it would work going on until later. Plus, the Thursday night felt like it ended too soon at 12 midnight. It felt like people were just getting going. So, we just thought let’s move to Friday and see how it goes. We’re really excited about it.
BFQ launch their 1st Friday night social at District 7th February. Just £5 on the door.