By Emma Joliffe

Like A Pier 
A pier is a structure that shouldn’t really exist. Rusting metal legs, extending into the sea – it’s a completely mad Victorian invention, and the beautifully rich history of ‘end of the pier’ variety helps to make them a focal point for seaside fun. I can’t help but feel that Wayne, George and the wonderful team at Fountain on Queens and Trinity Townhouse are a little bit mad themselves in putting on a show like this in a summer full of uncertainty – in a pandemic. 

And yet, what is it they say about madness and genius being close together? In this instance, their gamble paid off. As it turned out, this was to be the first major outdoor event after the new ‘unlocking’ date of 19th July. The morning brought thunderstorms, but the skies cleared, and the sun started to burn through the mist just in time for the first DJs. The pier began to fill with people, some of whom had booked the fancy gold tier tickets and earned themselves a sit down, and some of whom were content to mill around in the spacious, breezy back end of the pier – all the more room to dance.

I Wanna Dance with Somebody
And dancing was the order of the day. From local legends Lovinia Belle and Paris Grande, through to Queer royalty such as Princess Julia and the Brut DJs, the crowd was on its feet and dancing and singing along to every word. Brilliant hosts Holestar and Louis Cyfer kept the energy up and the proceedings moving, introducing every act with affection and generosity. 

Baby I’m A Star 
The biggest ‘star quality’ was arguably provided by the talented queens from Ru Paul’s Drag Race UK: Ellie Diamond, Tayce, AWhora and Baga Chips. This was a cleverly curated lineup, with every performer bringing something completely different. Baga’s chatty, naughty warmth contrasted with Awhora and Tayce’s poised dance moves to create a really impressive display of UK drag talent. The crowd went wild for every single turn by the TV stars – each one left the stage to screams and roars of approval. 

What a Feeling
What made the day memorable for me was not one performance, or even all the performances, but the atmosphere of the whole event – which really was more than the sum of its parts. Being surrounded by beautiful, shining queer family, friends and allies, and experiencing the energy and power that created, was something truly magical. That’s what will stay with me and is what made this event one for the Hastings history books. 

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