Jump to content

The Sheffield gay scene part 2

Recommended Posts

The Sheffield scene is in a total mess. I have stopped going out to Dempsey's most weekends now, just for the fact that the prices do nto reflect the establishment. The place although slated for many different reasons does give something back. It's the only gay bar that actually is open every day and has people in and has something different on, so suppose you can't knock it for that. I think I have stopped going in as much is due to it being the same old people.

 

Everything is becoming tiresome unfortunately. And as a 20 year old, it's just becoming boring and dull and even the highlight of Shefield gay scene (Climax) is becoming just as dull.

 

The only thing that can help is if Fuel re-opens, because for such a big city, it deserves a better scene. Unfortuantely it will take at least £200k for someone to have a good go at it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Finnon 83, you're dead right about the need for something better on the local gay scene. As everyone knows, I'm longing for a proper Drag Showbar with drag shows perhaps once or twice every week rather than the very sporadic, often non-existent drag entertainment at the few local bars which do it.

 

I doubt Finnon83 was thinking of a stereotypical camp drag bar, which would probably stay open for a week then close due to the fact that drag bars went out of fashion 20 years ago.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey there, I’m new on this forum and just wanted to say a bit about my thoughts on gay life in Sheffield. So....I’m a student here, just finished my first year, and have to say I am really disappointed with the Sheffield gay scene. :( Particularly when I was so excited to be leaving home and to have the chance of exploring the big gay world and meet gay people for the first time!

 

I have been to Dempsey's, Lions Lair, Sanctuary and the one time ‘Kwier’ event at Penelopes. I have to say the decor and general appearance of the venues really shocked me.

 

The venues are in need of serious refurbs, especially the loos in Dempsey’s + Lions- they looked like the devil had come in to the decorating; black scratched paintwork, red paint smeared on the wall! - all very sinister.

 

It also concerns me that the gay scene here, whether consciously or not, hides away. Dempsey's is in the middle of nowhere and hardly appealing to look at from the outside, Lions Lair does not show from the outside its purpose as a gay pub, neither do Sancturary or Affinity.

 

Dempsey's membership policy also confuses me; it turns people away who are not members - it surely must be losing out business by doing this? It means for example I couldn't take my straight friends there, or friends visiting from home because they are not members.

I come from Leeds and the gay area there is:

• In more desirable/accessible/fashionable area

• Has bars/clubs that due to their interior decor and outwards appearance attract many people, gay and straight.

• Obviously gay signs- rainbow flags etc.

Surely if there is any chance of a gay area or better scene being built up in Sheffield we need to address issues such as:

• The lack of stylish gay venues

• The lack of a gay club in a good, accessible, central city area

• The lack of a welcoming, non threatening, comfortable environment (personally I do not find any of the venues in Sheffield fulfilling any of the above)

 

I've always thought the Devonshire Quarter would be a great place to have a nice, stylish gay bar/club. Its got lots of alternative/arty shops and bars there already and a gay bar/club would fit in nicely. It would also be more accessible and generate more business. It is a nice area and has a lot of foot traffic. (Somewhere like Lion's Lair for example is tucked away and therefore can't really benefit from passers-by)

On the topic of the Devonshire Quarter- Tramlines has just very successfully been held there. I wonder whether this space could potentially be used for next year’s Pride? I realise it has been held in Endcliffe park since its creation, but could the Devonshire Green be a better space? I'm sure none of the shops/bars along the Div. St would complain from the boom in business. And perhaps its central location would make it more popular?

 

I apologise if this minor rant does offend anyone, but from the point of view of a younger gay person (aged 19) there does not seem to be anywhere for me to go and meet other gay people, certainly no gay specific venue that many students regularly go to. The few other people at university who I know that are gay/bi (it’s been very hard to meet people due to the lack of a gay scene here) have tried the scene maybe once or twice but like me have been very put off by it and since have stuck to going to 'straight' clubs.

 

My one positive about the scene here would be Climax. This is well attended and generally a good night. I wonder why there are no other gay nights at other clubs in town.

• In many other cities 'straight' clubs have a gay night once a week/month.

• Say for example if Plug did a gay night - would people attend that?

 

Ok. So i think I'll end my essay there - I really don't mean to offend anyone, I just wanted to express my views and disappointment about the gay scene in Sheffield and some suggestions for improvement.

Would appreciate thoughts and opinions in response to this :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Sheffield Gay Scene will never improve because its not supported at all, Climax is very busy, but where do they all go after that ?, certainly not the gay scene.

 

People complain about the state of the toilets, and yes they have a valid point, but why should the owners do anything when business is not good.

 

People complain why is there no suitable venues ?, they would be but maybe the owners realise that the gay scene isnt supported and probably thinking - not many people would go ?

 

Sanctuary could have been a good gay bar, but its been through many owners I am lost to know who owns it now, its a place not advertised very well.

 

Affinity is a nice bar but its in the wrong place.

 

Xes has just deteriated drastically, i was there a few weeks ago and it was "try and spot the gay", its nearly gone straight.

 

Dempseys plods along, they dont improve the place because they know they can get the people in, yes price hike has happened in drinks, and why not, people stil go there.

 

Lions Lair yes the toilets are prolly the worst of the lot, but at least its the only pub out of the above that gets my custom on a regular basis.

 

Drag queens - OMG thats sooo 20 years ago.

 

Look at Sheffield pride - was well attended, but why are they not supporting Sheffield Gay Scene ?

 

Fuel re-opening - is that a good move ?, look what happened last time, if they had not split the room into two I think they would still be there.

 

Sheffield will never get the bar we require because no one supports the gay scene on a big scale. People just moan about it instead. :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's chicken and egg, the bars are crap so people don't go, becasue people don't go they don't have the money to improve the bars or open any new ones.

 

Also, the gay scene (in Sheffield) has historically always been run by people in it to get as much money from the customers as possible while providing as little as possible in return, they open, milk the punters dry and then leg-it with the money.

 

I totaly dissagree that you are obliged go to gay bars if you are gay just to support them, regardless of how grotty and horrible they are.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I have been to Dempsey's, Lions Lair, Sanctuary and the one time ‘Kwier’ event at Penelopes. I have to say the decor and general appearance of the venues really shocked me.

 

 

If there is not a lot of money going in there will never be much reinvestment. Dempseys has been so successful on what it currently provides, why would it spend money on something that isn’t broken?

 

 

It also concerns me that the gay scene here, whether consciously or not, hides away. Dempsey's is in the middle of nowhere and hardly appealing to look at from the outside, Lions Lair does not show from the outside its purpose as a gay pub, neither do Sancturary or Affinity.

 

Hi visibility means high rent. The fact only one of them has very high turnover would limit the ability of others to open in areas like you suggest later in your post. Straight venues are currently struggling to survive, Ruby lounge, cellar 35 and Sylvesters have all closed in the last 3 weeks and they have a market of 450,000 to aim at!

 

 

Dempsey's membership policy also confuses me; it turns people away who are not members - it surely must be losing out business by doing this? It means for example I couldn't take my straight friends there, or friends visiting from home because they are not members.

 

It is not strictly adhered to. If you are a regular or are happy to go in the day your friends could join. Its sole reason as far as I am aware is to stop trouble. As nobody would visit a gay venue where he or she felt threatened.

 

I come from Leeds and the gay area there is:

• In more desirable/accessible/fashionable area

• Has bars/clubs that due to their interior decor and outwards appearance attract many people, gay and straight.

• Obviously gay signs- rainbow flags etc.

Surely if there is any chance of a gay area or better scene being built up in Sheffield we need to address issues such as:

• The lack of stylish gay venues

• The lack of a gay club in a good, accessible, central city area

• The lack of a welcoming, non threatening, comfortable environment (personally I do not find any of the venues in Sheffield fulfilling any of the above)

 

Sheffield is not as cosmopolitan as Leeds is. Look at the venues that open for the more discerning customers, Crystal & Sylvesters etc they all struggle and end up going down the ‘Student’ route or close. Restaurants have a similar problem, look at Leeds for eating out compared to Sheffield.

 

I've always thought the Devonshire Quarter would be a great place to have a nice, stylish gay bar/club. Its got lots of alternative/arty shops and bars there already and a gay bar/club would fit in nicely. It would also be more accessible and generate more business. It is a nice area and has a lot of foot traffic. (Somewhere like Lion's Lair for example is tucked away and therefore can't really benefit from passers-by)

 

See my previous comment re costs!

 

On the topic of the Devonshire Quarter- Tramlines has just very successfully been held there. I wonder whether this space could potentially be used for next year’s Pride? I realise it has been held in Endcliffe park since its creation, but could the Devonshire Green be a better space? I'm sure none of the shops/bars along the Div. St would complain from the boom in business. And perhaps its central location would make it more popular?

 

Having been to the meetings for Gay Pride it has something to do with the size and the council, not necessarily a lack of willingness from the committee.

 

I apologise if this minor rant does offend anyone, but from the point of view of a younger gay person (aged 19) there does not seem to be anywhere for me to go and meet other gay people, certainly no gay specific venue that many students regularly go to.

 

Lions Lair when I ran it tried to have a lot of involvement with the students and the union, it is difficult to keep the new recruits coming year after year if the momentum is not maintained.

 

My one positive about the scene here would be Climax. This is well attended and generally a good night. I wonder why there are no other gay nights at other clubs in town.

• In many other cities 'straight' clubs have a gay night once a week/month.

• Say for example if Plug did a gay night - would people attend that?

 

I have stated this before about Climax, if anything it possibly detracts from the scene as a whole. It means people save up all week by not going out, then blow their money at Climax therefore not going anywhere after or on the following Saturday. I am also unaware of anything it may do to enhance the scene other than it’s monthly night, does the union just keep 100% of the profit or is anything put to LGBT projects? I don’t know, correct me if I am wrong.

 

Rumour has it Plug are looking in to doing a night possibly. The other clubs are just too big, Embrace with 30 people in is probably not much fun! And it is not worth their time to do anything when they already busy, their previous attempts have all been on Sundays when nobody, not even the gays will show appreciation for putting a night on, contrary to straight club mentality gay people have jobs on Mondays too!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I supported the Sheffield Gay scene for a long time - going to Dempseys year after year. Buit not seeing it upgraded and deteriorate was depressing. The Pinkpangolin who posted above is right. The toilets are a disgrace. The seating, cheap formica tables and decor are from hell - truly vile.

 

It's a real shame that the money a venue like this makes isn't reinvested in the venue as a thank you to their loyal customers who do want a viable gay scene in Sheffield. And to entice potential customers in too.

 

It will always be DUMPSEYS

 

Affinity is decent and at least they are making an attempt to get custom - although I fear it may be too late.

Edited by Mister M

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This month at least you have Gay Pride Leeds Sunday 1st

 

Then Manchesters Week long pride at the end of the month.

 

You are better off saving money that you dont spend going out here and jumping a train to any other city within an hour and a half, Manchester/Leeds/Birmingham etc.

 

All roughly £15 return or go with friends and get an etap for £30, it almosts costs no more than going out here!

 

Or save £20 a week and at the end of the year you will have £1040 to spend on San Francisco or any other long haul gay vacation!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it's more fun to go to Leeds/manchester/Birmingham/London for a weekend away than to stay in Sheffield.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks everyone for the feedback :)

 

Dempseys has been so successful on what it currently provides, why would it spend money on something that isn’t broken?

 

The one and only time I went to Dempsey's myself and the group of about 4 others there were the only people in the whole club. I know people who have said they would never go there because of how horrible it is, maybe they are happy with the way things are going for them, I just can't help but think they could do so much better for themselves.

 

Rumour has it Plug are looking in to doing a night possibly.

 

That's very exciting news!:D where did you hear that rumour from?

 

I think it's more fun to go to Leeds/manchester/Birmingham/London for a weekend away than to stay in Sheffield.

 

While this may be true, it still saddens me that Sheffield has so little to offer that locals must resort to travelling elsewhere :(

 

I wonder why people do not support the gay scene, it makes no sense to me personally when every other big city, and many smaller ones have very active gay nightlife.

 

If this Plug rumour is to be true then surely the best thing we can all do is to get in contact with Plug and show our support for the creation of a gay night? If they see the demand, and are altered to the gap in the market they may pursue the idea. What do people think about that?

 

Personally the only way I can see for the seemingly longstanding issues with the Sheffield gay scene to be resolved is to have proactive people demanding for better. Where there is demand people will surely move in to take advantage of this? Or perhaps this is my idealistic naviety talking?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

That's very exciting news!:D where did you hear that rumour from?

 

I wonder why people do not support the gay scene, it makes no sense to me personally when every other big city, and many smaller ones have very active gay nightlife.

 

If this Plug rumour is to be true then surely the best thing we can all do is to get in contact with Plug and show our support for the creation of a gay night? If they see the demand, and are altered to the gap in the market they may pursue the idea. What do people think about that?

 

 

I know a lot of Bar and Club people in Sheffield, it comes from the few times they ran Fuel nights when it initially closed. I have also spoken to one of the biggest club night promotors the city has, about the possibility of using a smaller room at 02, we are currently looking at availability and costs.

 

I am not sure as to how far they have taken this current interest, but as long it wasn't on a Sunday they should get some reasonable response. I am not sure why they would target a gay night as such though as if you go in there on any night along with corp there are always a lot of Gay people that you would recognise if you went out a lot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I know a lot of Bar and Club people in Sheffield, it comes from the few times they ran Fuel nights when it initially closed.

 

Oh so no current plans with Plug then?:( Its a shame cos its a nice venue, which as I've been saying is what we need really.

 

I have also spoken to one of the biggest club night promotors the city has, about the possibility of using a smaller room at 02, we are currently looking at availability and costs.

That sounds really good, Propaganda at the O2 is a popular and well advertised night so hopefully the O2 could give the same sort of publicity if anything does materialise.

 

I am not sure why they would target a gay night as such though as if you go in there on any night along with corp there are always a lot of Gay people that you would recognise if you went out a lot.

I can only speak for students but every one of them I have spoken to has said they wished a good gay night/club existed in Sheff so I guess people do want to go to those things.

As for useless gay-dar lacking people like myself I wouldn't be able to spot these people anyway!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.