Legendary Edinburgh gay club JOY returns for 25th anniversary party
- Arusa Qureshi
- 17 September 2018
Featuring original DJs Maggie and Alan Joy, Trendy Wendy, DJ Michelle and more
The origins of dance music can be traced back to LGBT+ communities, whose creation of spaces in which marginalised voices were safe to express themselves freely had much to do with burgeoning club cultures around the world. In the UK, Section 28 of the Local Government Act of 1988 did much to galvanise lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender people into action against the discriminatory activities of the UK government, creating a real sense of community as people banded together with the common goal of fighting oppression and prejudice.
Edinburgh club JOY was founded both in response to the widespread anti-Section 28 movement and the shared feeling of hope among those eager to nurture this idea of community. What started off as a one-off event ended up running for 13 years as founders Maggie and Alan (Joy) succeeded in establishing a night that provided the Edinburgh LGBT+ scene with something a little different.
Combining Edinburgh's gay club scene with the excitement and atmosphere of the Scottish rave and techno scene, Maggie and Alan's first night at the Calton Studios proved popular enough for the duo to agree a regular date with the venue, with 80 people soon turning into 200, and the club eventually taking over both floors of the Studios.
'Starting in 1993, JOY was a massive part of my life for nearly 15 years.' Alan says. 'I still feel incredibly honoured that so many people came along to the club week after week, creating the unique atmosphere which meant, by each Wednesday, I just couldn't wait for Saturday night again. On top of that, people seemed to love the same kind of music that I did. Amazing!'
After a roaring 13 years at the helm of Edinburgh nightlife, they decided to call it a day when it was announced that The Venue, their final home, was to close for good. But as we arrive at the 25th anniversary of the club in 2018, it seems only fitting to do it all again and bring everyone together to celebrate both the phenomenon of JOY itself and all that has been achieved within the LGBT+ community since 1993.
'JOY is a truly unique club in recognising equality, diversity and fairness way before it's time,' Maggie explains, 'a club that brought everyone together under one roof, forging lasting friendships that people wouldn't have thought imaginable in the early 90s.'
JOY will be using both La Belle Angèle and The Mash House for the big celebration, with four different music rooms plus a chill-out room to check out on the night.
'JOY 25 will be like a massive reunion with a few dance shuffles in between catching up with old friends.' Maggie continues. 'We even have a silent room serving prosecco just in case the music is too loud for some of our less hardcore clubbers!'
JOY 25th anniversary, La Belle Angèle / The Mash House, Sat 22 Sep, 10.30pm, £15. Tickets available now.