The Future of London’s G-A-Y and Heaven Nightclub has Finally Been Announced
Are the famous venues about to close?
The pandemic has done a lot of irreversible damage to London’s queer nightlife. Even before the pandemic, clubs and bars were closing down, and some of the capital’s most important venues were being sold off to the highest bidder. Fortunately for many, it seemed that queer favorites, Heaven and G-A-Y managed to weather the storms. But over the past couple of months, Jeremy Joseph, the club’s founder, and the owner has been teasing “big changes” to the two venues. So what’s going on?
Foruntaltey, London’s LGBTQIA+ community is able to breathe a sigh of relief, as Jeremy announced that G-A-Y and Heaven will not be sold, despite the many fears from the dozens of drag queens and performers that rely on the venues for income. In a social media post, Jemery shared his vision for the clubs, stating that the clubs will have a greater focus on mental health and support for the community that so desperately needs it. “I made a decision to create a long-term future for G-A-Y and heaven, to be more than a business, to actually achieve something and change lives,” he said. “It was why we set up the G-A-Y Foundation, to support people so they can live their true lives, including those within the trans community.” The foundation aims to offer a range of support that exceeds providing mental health relief, but also helps couples fund IVF treatment, and also helps those suffering from eating disorders – which are disproportionately prevalent in gay men.
For Jeremy, the transition to a foundation was a no-brainer, as it’s incredibly personal. In the post, Jeremey shared his heartbreaking mental health struggles which were exacerbated by the pandemic and the pressure from carrying a venue that so many people rely upon: “For a while I felt like I had no purpose, I was going down a one way street, in a rut, allowing social media and LGBT media to push me into a depression.” He explains further, “owning an LGBT business is more than a business. Its part of a community.”
Heaven, the larger of the two venues, is described as a “super club” due to its colossal capacity limits, and multi-floored dance halls. It is based in Charing Cross and opened in 1979. Since then, it has been the go-to club for young queer people looking for a fun and safe night, dancing to pop anthems with like-minded people. In the past couple of decades, Heaven has invited some of the biggest gay icons, like Adele, Miley Cyrus, and Charli XCX to perform on their fabulous stage. Performing at Heaven is seen as a privilege, and so, is a hot milestone for any artist.
Heaven is still at its peak, and hopefully, the new direction allows for a bright future. “The future of G-A-Y and Heaven is to change lives,” says a passionate Jeremy. “I hope that this announcement for the future of G-A-Y and Heaven is something that you will be as proud and as excited about as I am. Fingers crossed we get the go-ahead to make this happen.”