Have you ever wondered how LGBTQIA+ people used to party and socialise in Dublin in the 1980s? A series of events in May will transport you to Flikkers, a nightclub formerly located in Hirschfeld Centre on Fownes Street in Temple Bar. It used to be a place where our community had fun, made friends, fell in love, and could be who they were. Flikkers remained open until 1997 when a fire irrevocably damaged the centre.
The project "Flikkers: Come as You Were" is part of Age & Opportunity's Bealtaine Festival 2022, in association with Outhouse, the Gallery of Photography, Project Arts Centre and the Irish Museum of Modern Art. It is supported by the Arts Council and Dublin City Council.
The series of events takes off on May 12th with an in-person discussion at the Gallery of Photography called Subversive Signs, where the journalist, activist and former Flikkers DJ Tonie Walsh and the researcher and curator of the LGBTQ+ strand of PROTEST! Brendan Maher will discuss the coded language in the album artwork and club flyers from the 1980s queer music scene.
Later on the same day, Outhouse will be the stage of Fabulous Flikkers, launching an exhibition of photos, scrapbooks, clothes, vinyl records, flyers and other objects collected from Flikkers’ former regulars.
“The exhibition shows what it was like to be an LGBT+ young person back in the late 1970s to early 1980s, what it was like socialising, what kind of music they listened to, the fashion, what it was like being a queer person in Ireland back then.” - Francis Fay, Fabulous Flikkers curator. Fay says that the exhibition proposes a conversation between the past and the present.
While the launch night itself will be a private invite-only event, the exhibition will be open to the public at Outhouse from May 13th to May 28th.
Also, on May 13th, the Project Arts Centre will run an in-person and online panel discussion named Queer Spaces, Queers Utopias. The event will discuss the importance of vibrant spaces like Flikkers and other community-led places within the LGBTQ+ history of activism and socialisation. It is free, but you will need to book a place to attend the panel.
Lastly, a big party called Flikkers: The Flashback Ball will close the events on May 20th. It will have two live events in tribute to the 1980s LGBTQ+ dance scene: a Tea Dance with DJ sets and record sales from 6 pm to 9 pm in the IMMA (free, but the booking is essential); and the Club Event with former Flikkers DJs and live performances from 10 pm to late at the Cellar Bar, the Church (€ 10).
May 12th, 1:15 pm
Gallery of Photography, Dublin 2
Free (booking essential)
May 13th - May 28th, 12 am to 6 pm
Outhouse, Capel Street, Dublin 7
May 13th, 6 pm to 7:30 pm
Project Arts Centre, Dublin 2 (GCN live stream)
Free (booking essential)