Monday 8 June 2020

5 years of Margate Pride

Take Pride 
Writer: Amy Redmond 
Published in: Margate Mercury Summer 2020

Margate has an interesting history of prides. The gaypevine weaves tales of a soggy Bucks Fizz singing on the seafront (after organisers forgot to check the tide times) and of the pride shark that ran off with the fundraising money. 

I’ve spent many years at prides across the world. Dancing on a float with drag queens dressed as Eddie and Patsy, with actual Eddie and Patsy, was a particularly meta pride moment! The work I do centres around providing a safe and wonderful space for women and LGBTQ+ people. When I got involved with the 2016 edit of Margate Pride, I knew it had to be community focused, grassroots, trustworthy and full of love.

While it remains illegal to be gay in 69 countries, and kids are still rejected by families because of their sexuality or gender identity, we will always need Pride. The only way we can provide a pride for everyone, is to talk to as many people as possible. That is just one reason why I have felt honoured to speak to Thanet’s LGBTQ+ community.

Roger is founder of Thanet’s 50+ LGBT group. He describes Thanet in the early years as “grim. You had to be careful. There were a few bars, but it was open the door, look both ways and go straight in. People in the area got to know, so there was always the possibility of danger.” He continues: “In the early days when Margate Pride came into being, it was a poor thing in many ways. Two years ago I was on the parade and I thought ‘this is really nice. What felt so good was the same sort of atmosphere I’d known some years before was there. That sea of people coming down Fort Hill, that told you everything.” 

Founder of LGBT History month, Sue explained, “The early pride marches I went on we were marching for our human rights. Now we have our rights, Pride’s job is very different. London Pride is very commercial, which I’m not comfortable with - we’ve lost the politics. How much do those floats cost? For one afternoon? I could use that money to fund so much work over the year. What’s very important is to involve the community, that’s been beautifully and cleverly managed with Margate Pride”, she reflects. “When you consider that Nigel Farage thought his base was here, with that level of homophobia and racism. What you have proved is that he is in a minority, and what we’ve actually got is a community that is much more inclusive than anyone imagined.” 

Ronnie, who is at school in Westgate, told me: “My first Margate Pride I hadn’t come out yet. I was 13, and I was there with one of my best friends. I was like ‘what just happened? I’ve never seen my town feel like this!’ The last pride, I was there with a girlfriend and it felt like mine; it felt more personal. Pride made me see there is a community behind me. I can be the most honest person I am there; I wore a full rainbow suit! It’s the sort of pride I want to be at.” 

Gina has a bakery in the Old Kent Market. She came to Margate to transition in 2008. “The first three years were hard,” she explains. “I needed to get myself sorted in my head. Getting help was hard at the beginning. Margate life is amazing - I got the bakery in 2016 with my best friend Anita and her kids. I’ve got a good support network here - Margate is like that, that’s why I love it. Pride is just a way of telling people you are proud to be who you are, showing we’re here, we’re part of the community. It’s the people standing alongside us, the grandparents, small children, everyone watching, the whole town gets involved.” 

Alison and BJ remember the Prides in the 80’s: “Lesbian Strength, Hyde Park, always political. Then the creeping crawl of commercialisation, Absolute Vodka, B.A. the RAF. Then off to Brighton, great times, then admission fees, Virgin Atlantic, then ENOUGH.” Last year’s Margate Pride was Alison’s 50th . She reflects: “We all had a stonking good time. Everybody LOVED Margate Pride, the non-commercial, homegrown thing reminded us all of the good old days!” 

Nathan, aka Victoria Carriage said, “Last year was my second Margate Pride. What an incredible day. And for me personally it was the first time my parents had seen me perform on stage in drag. They loved it! I have a real issue with prides at the moment, throwing a pop star on stage, no, that’s a concert. Pride is still a protest. We need to keep it community based. I want family areas at prides, teaching love and acceptance from a young age - ignorance is learnt. Margate Pride is camp, fun, colourful fabulousness. If you want a really good, wholesome, inclusive, vibrant, family, pride by the sea, that’s Margate Pride.” 

Homophobia starts young, so our support of LGBTQ+ people has to start early. A group of local artists started a youth group in 2016, making costumes and floats for pride. It is now run weekly by Kelie at the Be You project, and open to 13-18-year olds. There is also a closed Facebook group called LGBThanet+ run by 18-25-year olds that meet for regular socials. It is such a joy to see these groups thriving. When we all march together at pride you can really feel the community spirit, a genuine support network is forming and it’s incredible. 

Margate Pride will happen in some form on August 8th, no parade, but lots of
community, art projects and outdoors socially distanced events. 

See and follow @margatepride for more details.

Amy Redmond is founder of queer club collective Sink The Pink and Margate Arts Club. She is a member of the Margate Pride committee alongside artist Dan Chilcott, musician Tommy Poppers, event professionals Mia Pollack and Alex Menace. Pride was formed as a collective, with art, community, DIY, grass roots, creative energy at its core.  

Further interviews at her podcast

Wednesday 4 May 2016

Margate Arts Club

We've done it.

We are about to open the doors of Margate Arts Club!

May 2016, the beginning of a big summer for us in Margate.

Look out for incredible events, DJs, performance, dinners, parties, exhibitions and fun times.  We have SO much wonderful goodness planned.

Our first resident artist is my friend, idol and drag mother Jonny Woo, I couldn't be more proud!

Check out to find out more and find us on socials @margateartsclub


Friday 5 April 2013

Sink The BBC

I've just come off air with Annie Mac.  I love live radio.  The buzz of the red light, the liveness, the connection to the listeners, it is a dream job.  I feel euphoric after a live show...

I have a deep connection to the BBC, I am obsessed with its incredible output, made by its incredible people; the radio is the best in the world.  I have been lucky enough to produce BBC radio over 8 years!  WTF!  I can't even believe that is real.  Every time I walk into a BBC building I look around, thinking 'I'm still getting away with it', fooling them into thinking I am worthy of making radio in this grand building.  In and out of contracts, freelance, casual, staff, I've done it all. I'm a BBC slut, I play the field, I've worked everywhere, on almost all the networks but the one thing I can't do is say a full goodbye.

For me leaving the BBC is like breaking up with a first love, SO FREAKING DIFFICULT!  It is comfortable, reliable, and sturdy, but can also be destructive, abusive and, when you're truly honest with each other you can see the spark between you has gone out.  It's a turbulent time upon these shores; redundancies, press hate, fights for jobs.  :(  The truth is, I've done everything I ever wanted to do.  Produced my radio idols, presented festival reports, been the voice of social media for the Hackney Weekend, enjoyed a decade of festivals, live broadcasts, one big weekends, snogged my fair share of pop stars and, most importantly, had the honour of working with the best in the business.

It's not a total goodbye, I don't think I'm ready for that yet.  But it's time for me to let the freelance shifts go to the hungry new kids that want/need it more than me and for me to focus on my baby, Sink The Pink.  Who knew that the thing I started for fun with my best friend could possibly become our full time world.  I am ecstatically happy and proud of STP and what we have achieved.  

The brand of a club night doesn't often leave its immediate circle, fading as its key members leave or go their separate ways.  Especially as the world of club promoting can be so painfully unlucrative and disheartening.  I can honestly say Sink The Pink wouldn't exist if it wasn't me and Glyn, as a team, maintaining other-worldy optimism in the face of ridiculous hurdles.  Five years of hard work have brought us to where we are today.  And I attribute that to the community created around the club, its not just me and Glyn anymore, its the family, our Pinkers.  The wonders of the STP family, aka the misfits, freaks, creatives and underdogs, who have found their home in our space.  This makes me so happy I could burst!  The clubs energy, positivity and welcoming vibe brings people from outside our scene to want be a part of it too.  Sink The Pink is for everyone.  It is at its core, innocent, childlike fun, which at its base level is what we all want to return to after a working week.  I, after years of juggling full time work alongside the night time world, can vouch for this more than anyone.

This place to escape never resonates harder than when spending a long week with stressed people at desks in black jeans and hoodies, with the weight of an office on their shoulders.   When I arrive at the club to my family of freedom, self expression, colour, dancing and laugher and I gaze in wonder at the new levels of ridiculous outfits, I am filled with inspiration and drive.  I can't say I get that feeling anyday working for the man.

I am never prouder than when surrounded by my crew, and bringing our Sink The Pink energy to new audiences.  

So, for now its bye bye office work (and all the other joys of my BBC years) and hello festivals, leotards, colour and the exciting freedom of the unknown.  This isn't a total goodbye, I don't think I can ever do that fully.  But it's me on a drip, weening myself off the greatness that is walking into Broadcasting House every day, not being thrown out, but being a part of one of our countries finest assets.  Along side rolling hills, the NHS, Carry On, tea and Su Pollard, the BBC is reason enough to make me well up with British pride.

Its a happy predicament to choose between two dream jobs.  So for now I'm going to mince about in lycra for a few more years/as long as I can get away with it, until I come knocking at the doors of BH one day to bring a bit of camp colourfulness back into the building!  I must have the faith to flock the nest that helped form me, because I have built my own from the strength it gave me, and its much more colourful
and i'm the head bird!  Ahh exciting!!!!  Thank you BBC, I will love you forever xxx

Wednesday 16 January 2013


So, if you know me, you know I cycle everywhere.  My boyfriend is Bike Boy, he put together my every day bike, which I ADORE, it is my daily mode of transport around our crazy city.

Today I was riding down Holloway Road, a car decided to jump a red light, knock me off my bike, drive through a group of pedestrians crossing at a green man, then speed off.  Not cool.

My immediate reaction (after getting out of the road and realising I was ok) was shock.  So many lovely people stopped to check I was alright and one managed to get his number plate as he drove away.  They all said they'd be witnesses and that I should tell the police.  My ridiculously British reaction was 'oh the police have more important things to worry about, i'm unharmed, its ok.'  

'Don't you value your life?' a lovely woman asked me, taking my hand.  I thought about it and it made me cry!  The kindness of strangers was overwhelming and it knocked me harder than the car had.  

I walked to the local police station, who were lovely to me, filled out lots of forms and drew a dodgy diagram of what had happened.

I do value my life.  I just wish this didn't even have to happen.

Londoners should feel safe getting on bikes, FULL STOP.  It won't stop me riding everywhere, but its stories (mine is a lucky one) like this that put people off even getting on bikes.  

Cycling is the most logical, wonderful way to get around.  Its check list of positives goes on and on...

*Its free
*Its fitness
*Avoids expensive, smelly, unreliable public transport
*You can accurately time your journeys 
*London becomes smaller and more enjoyable
*Time alone to think on a bike is a form of therapy!
*The people I have met through the bike community are the kindest and loveliest

And that's just a few!

But what is putting London off getting on two wheels?  

Have you seen what its like in the rest of Europe?


How many more of my friends would cycle if we had a cycling infrastructure like this???!!!

A lil google later and I found and signed this, please sign up too.... 

Holloway Road, like many London roads is CRAZILY BUSY-ALWAYS.

It is a death wish that our government expect us to risk our lives everyday just getting around.
We need to put a pressure on making cycling a priority.
As a result the roads would free up, as more people would feel safe to cycle.


Today I did yoga with Grimmy and Charlie Sloth

I got Grimmy in the tree this morning and then tried to make Charlie the best looking FIT guy in the universe, i've become the Radio 1 and 1Xtra go-to yogi.....send help!

Wednesday 8 August 2012

Turner Contemporary Youth

I have been working with young people in Margate at Turner Contemporary Youth, using Social Media creatively to document all the great stuff they have going on there.

Here's some of the posts from our adventures at the Beach Blast 2012.

Face painted duck makers! (Taken with Instagram)

Monday 9 July 2012

Hackney Weekend

As BBC Radio 1 social media producer have spent the last 6 months using social media to bring together young people in Hackney for our Hackney Weekend.
My plan was to:
-Engage young Hackney
-Create community spirit
-Celebrate young Hackney in a positive light to the rest of UK

Building hype around ticket registration I got artists to tweet about the Hackney Weekend, eg Nas tweeted this to his 700,000+ followers:
I visited local groups in Hackney and created fun content made by them that they shared on their social spaces to get the word out about the academy
Check all the films out on the YouTube Take It On channel

Throughout the academy, the social action was HUGE! Live streams, twitter Q&A's, massive guests, real talk, live lounges, all from the Hackney Picturehouse, all being talked about massively on twitter and facebook.
At the Hackney Weekend I took 6 local young reporters and they created a Tumblr page documenting their weekend. I also used Storify to pull together some of the coolest UGC from the weekend.

It has been a 'full circle' experience for me as I met young people working at Break FM, a radio station in Stratford that I worked at over 8 years ago!

It was a joy and an honour to bring such an incredible project to the area that I live and LOVE! 
I was walking home in Dalston 2 weeks after the Hackney Weekend and I heard ‘Amy!’ shouted from a chicken shop, it was a group of young people I’d been working with at the academy. They were energised, positive and singing the praises of the BBC and all we did in Hackney.  I was overwhelmed with pride, for me it is such a wonderful personal journey as it is my home too. 

Tuesday 3 July 2012

Radio 4 Listening Project + UK drag doc

To celebrate Radio 1’s Hackney Weekend, Radio 4 broadcast conversations collected in Hackney.

I produced a few, including this one with Ashley and Raj, two young men discussing their friendship since childhood and how it will play out into middle age and beyond:

I was also interviewed for this Radio 4 doc on the UK drag scene:

Friday 9 March 2012

Five Essentials: Creative Director - Ideas Tap

Five Essentials: Creative Director

Five Essentials: Creative Director

Amy Redmond is the Creative Director of London nightlife collective Sink The Pink, which has organised events at Glastonbury, Bestival, Lovebox and the ICA. She tells IdeasMag why she can't work without Facebook, fancy dress and a sense of humour...

Full name/age/job title:

Amy Redmond, 30, Creative Director, Sink The Pink.

What does your job involve?

Promoting and hosting regular club nights, events, performances and DJ sets at venues across the country and international music festivals.

Press, PR, promotion, marketing, DJ mixes, booking acts, booking venues, building strong relationships with acts, pluggers, festivals and venues – everything it takes to run a successful club night!

Five things you couldn't work without:

1. Facebook

It is the key to talking directly to our Sink The Pink family. Facebook events are our main promotion tool for the club.

2. Fancy dress

Each night is themed, so we prepare loads of fancy dress, make up and homemade outfits and props for each party. People know to expect outfit changes and mayhem when they arrive at the club.

3. My iPhone

We tweet and Facebook pictures during the night, and upload and add pictures of people. I am always on the go and couldn’t live without checking my emails and Facebook constantly all day. The kind of work I do means being contactable all the time!

4. A sense of humour

At the end of the day, we are just running a club – it’s not life or death. It is the calm, fun, relaxed vibe that keeps people wanting to come down and be a part of the fun. No one wants to work with a boring person, and definitely no one wants to go out partying with one! Being fun and having fun makes my job more successful and fun; it’s a win-win.

5. Glitter

We believe that glitter makes everything better. I always have pots of glitter on me, for making people up, or adding glitter to sets, costumes or props. Also the eBay app because I am constantly buying glitter on eBay!


Monday 10 January 2011

Sunday 28 February 2010

The Guardian Guide

I did some bits of writing for The Guardian Guide this week, which will be in there over the next few weeks, theres some bits here:

5 years of Margate Pride

Take Pride  Writer: Amy Redmond  Published in: Margate Mercury Summer 2020 Margate has an interesting history of prides. The gaypevine weave...