New review: Pussy Whipped 2014

Liz Ely revisits Ste McCabe’s queer alternative festival and is not disappointed.

In 2012, I was lucky enough to review Edinburgh’s first queer alternative festival, Pussy Whipped, curated by rising local electro-pop star, Ste McCabe. When I was invited to attend and review the 2014 sequel, I jumped at the chance. The first Pussy Whipped festival was a good time with good politics so I had high hopes for this second outing.

According to the programme, Pussy Whipped exists because alternative music culture “often feels like a big, heterosexual boys club”. The festival is open for everyone to attend but the stage is reserved for queers and women in a bid to redress this imbalance.

The Wee Red Bar is once again the venue for the Friday night part of the festival. The Wee Red is a grimy art college bar and well known as the only place in Edinburgh for non-commercial indie discos. This dank venue will be familiar to many; the flickering red lights, cans of Red Stripe and sweaty vintage cardigans are a feature of many a misspent weekend. Though familiar, this Friday The Wee Red is subtly different: from the radical zines on the door to the freshly liberated unisex toilets. The programme promises: “Harassment or meanness of ANY kind will mean your bum flies out the door.” Pussy Whipped is about fun, but fun for everyone and it is obvious that the organisers have put some serious thought into making the night a properly inclusive good time.

Perhaps as a result, the crowd is not quite the usual Wee Red brigade. The grimy art school disco has been occupied by queers – and is all the better for it…

Click here to read the rest of Liz’s review and comment

Image description:

A view inside The Wee Red Bar through the glass. Hanging inside on the top left is a piece of black and red fabric, showing a grinning cat with ‘Pussy Whipped’ written in its mouth. ‘The Wee Red Bar’ logo is stencilled in red on the top right side of the glass. There are bikes just visible outside (at the bottom of the picture). Casually dressed people can be seen inside, chatting to each other as they wait to go in. There are desks just in front of them and noticeboards full of flyers.

By Chris Scott, Literary Paparazzo, used with permission.