Christmas suddenly seems a while ago but OutNewsGlobal had a great time as we popped down to check out Out & Wild’s Festive Surf! For anyone who hasn’t attended a Southbank Surfing event, prepare to wander through the relatively quiet BFI and then when you hit Benugo’s (the back bar), you’ll be hit by a wall of happy, friendly LGBTQ+ women, non-binary people and supportive allies.
It was an impromptu visit for me, after needing to pop into London for another meeting. I don’t think I’ve been to Southbank Surfing for at least 6 years, so I was a little nervous attending on my own – yes me, I might be OutNewsGlobal’s editor and an old hat at queer events but I still get nervous when rocking up on my own. I needn’t have worried. I got as far as the fully accessible toilets outside Benugo’s before I was befriended by some women.
Out & Wild ran this mash up with Southbank Surfing as a free event. I believe they’ll take donations for events like this, so that they can pay their DJ. Despite it being so busy, there was a lovely mix; women up on the dance floor, some women were crowded around the bar and those looking to chill out were on the sofas or outside having a passive puff, where it was a little quieter and easier to chat.
Many women had come straight from work and like me went there with the intention of “just one drink”. However, with DJ Ritu MBE on the decks, even with my tired legs, I was eventually dragged onto the dance floor. It was great to see the diverse mix of ages and culture of attendees. I think I may have travelled the furthest to get there but these London based globetrotters were as varied as DJ Ritu’s music.
Ritu is well known for her ‘Asian Underground’ music, which she combined nicely with classic pop hits. Whatever she played, the music and atmosphere made it hard for me to leave, just in the nick of time for the last train.
Out & Wild Festival will be running 4 Surfing events per year at BFI, as well as running their annual festival, Out & Wild, which is in Wales in June, and some smaller events in other parts of the country.
For more info on Out & Wild Festival and their events at Southbank Surfing: