The must-visit LGBTQ+ venues in the UK

A paid for ad feature for viagogo.

Two of the biggest tours of the years – Beyoncé and Madonna – have been celebrations of queer communities, love and freedom.

READ MORE: Beyoncé live in London: joy aplenty at the summer’s glitziest tour

While Beyoncé’s ‘Renaissance’ tour “embraced the transience of the dancefloor” and the marginalised groups who pushed the genre forward, Madonna’s ‘Celebration’ tour made space to showcase drag amidst a career-spanning greatest hits. Both tours also saw huge portions of the crowd expressing themselves through fashion.

It was a similar story for Sam Smith’s ambitious ‘Gloria’ run and Lil Nas X’s headline-making appearance at Glastonbury Festival while Rina Sawayama used pure fury to further emphasis the importance of queer joy.

While all those shows were huge events, the same sense of community, safety and freedom can be found at numerous venues across the country and we’ve partnered with viagogo to highlight some of the very best LGBTQ+ venues around.

Heaven, London
What: One of the most historic queer-friendly spaces around, Heaven hosts the legendary G-A-Y nightclub which regularly attracts surprise performances from stars such as Lily Allen, Charli XCX and Lady Gaga, while also operating as a beloved 1000-capacity music venue
What’s on:
November 30 – Underscores
December 06 – Hannah Diamond
December 07 + 08 – Chapelle Roan
Check out full listings here.

Charli XCX performs at G-A-Y Club Heaven on August 26, 2017 in London, England. CREDIT: Jo Hale/Redferns

Revenge, Brighton
What: During Brighton’s annual Great Escape Festival, Revenge usually plays host to pop and rock artists who sit at the cutting edge of genre but away from that, Brighton’s Number One LGBTQ+ club puts on a range of different nights with the R-Bar offering the best in cocktails, food and queer art.
What’s on:
November 13: The Big Queer Quiz
November 14: Glitch Silent Disco
November 23: Ru Paul’s Drag Race Viewing Party
Find out more here.

Yes, Manchester
What: Located just around the corner from Manchester’s iconic Gay Village, Yes is a community space that hosts the best in upcoming music as well as offering food and drink throughout the day.
What’s on:
November 12 – Chai
November 16 – Ratboys
December 04 – Militarie Gun
Check out all the details here.

Credit: Fiona Garden for NME

The Golden Cross, Cardiff
What: A previous winner of Best Gay Pub in the UK, The Golden Cross advertises itself as a safe space for all. It may be Wales’ oldest LGBTQ+ venue, but the boozer hosts a fresh mix of cabaret, karaoke and special guests.
Check out what’s coming up here.

Queens Court, Leeds
What: The biggest gay club in Leeds hosts a variety of DJs and themed nights throughout the week across two floors while just around the corner is The New Penny, one of the UK’s longest running LGBTQ+ venues.
What’s on:
November 15 – Rock and Roll Bingo
November 23 – Thirsty Thursdays
December 03 – Franny Dainty Sunday Sesh

CC Blooms, Edinburgh
What: Buzzing, unpretentious gay club split over two levels with regular cabaret nights, CC Blooms is named after  Bette Midler’s character from iconic 1988 film ‘Beaches’. “Modelled the venue around Bette herself; we’re as old as Calton Hill, a bit fiery, plenty of comedy value, star of a few tragic stories, hostess to many, and altogether a roaring success,” say the long-term owners.
Check out the website for all upcoming events.

Clapham Grand, London
What: London’s “iconic palace of modern variety”, the Clapham Grand regularly hosts drag brunches, singalong cinema experiences and stand-up comedy.
What’s on:
November 10 – Sing It Del Rey: A Lana Del Rey Karaoke Party
November 24 – Live At The Clapham Grand With Sam Campbell
December 07 – Billy Bragg
Check out more details here.

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