Getting Bi-Festive

Big bi days out in Cardiff, Leicester, London and Manchester

This Spring sees a quartet of regional ‘bi events’ around the country.

Day-long BiFests return to London (after quite a gap) and Swansea (where it’s a more regular thing) while Manchester had a big bi bash for LGBT History Month and Leicester is about to have its annual Big Bi Fun Day family-friendly picnic, on Saturday May 13th which you can read more about on the Bi Noticeboard on page 2.

BiFest Wales takes the basic formula of daytime workshops and chat space and really goes for it with the evening entertainments; lots of live music rather than just a disco and a bit of a dance space.
The event has been going since 2010 and has benefited from the support of YMCA Swansea since 2014. It’s back on Saturday 13th May in two segments: the daytime opens at 12 noon, first workshop 12:30pm and ends 6pm.

Then it’s doors open 7:30pm until 11:30pm for the live, alternative evening music event.
Daytime only: £2; Evening only: £4; Day and evening combined tickets are £5. Under 16s free, must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

The daytime programme includes:

  •  Refreshments
  • Bi themed workshops
  • Craft, games, and getting to know you workshops
  • Social space
  • Community information
  • First workshops confirmed include:  Games; make your own cat ear headband; fitting and misfitting  All about bisexuality; bisexuality in Welsh history; getting involved
  • Evening live alternative music gig includes Catherine Elms, dark cabaret singer-songwriter and pianist; DJ Draken from DrakenWerks.
  • And there’ll be a raffle, which proves it’s a community fair more than anything else I’ve ever heard of at a BiFest. More details online at www.bicymru.org.uk/bifest-wales

London’s BiFest drew a busy crowd despite the shift to Kingston-upon-Thames rather than going for a city centre / “zone 1” location. Many bi events, most noticeably BiCon, have run sliding scales of attendance fees and waivers to make taking part easier for people who might otherwise not be able to take come along.

London BiFest built on this with a new addition. Advance publicity explained that bi spaces “are a very white community, with all the problems that can bring. In an attempt to work towards redressing this balance, in consultation with the facilitator of our Bis of Colour session, and following initiatives such as Con or Bust, we’re pleased to announce that London BiFest will be offering free entry to all people of colour/BME people.”

Manchester’s LGBT History Month talk pulled in just shy of 100 people for two hours of lecture and story sharing.

It was held at the People’s History Museum, whose six-month exhibition of LGBT community history opened that weekend and includes a fair few bits of bi ephemera. “Never Going Underground” shows a marked contrast with the neighbouring city of Salford, where an LGBT History Month talk at the Working Class Movement Library drew protests about biphobia and transphobia at the start of February.