Bar Wotever is the weekly Tuesday night at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern that has now firmly established itself as London’s premier queer event and space. For all you Wotever virgins out there, this week Jason Reid offers up 17 things you need to know about Bar Wotever…
1) Bar Wotever is part of Wotever World – a Queer & Arts organisation that stages events, talks, clubs and film festivals.
2) The night was created by Ingo Cando, and was launched in 2005 at North London’s Central Station.
3) They chose to stage the night on Tuesdays. Although this is ordinarily a quiet night in London, it is also the night when queer events are traditionally held around the world.
4) After a successful first four years, in 2009 they were invited to join their current home Royal Vauxhall Tavern.
5) The premise of Bar Wotever is that of a social/community meeting place for LGBT/Queer people, performers and creatives from all around the world.
6) ‘Wotever’ means welcoming to all, regardless of gender, race, sexuality, age, social circumstances and financial capabilities. ALL encompassing.
7) There is one strict rule: no homophobia, transphobia, racism or misogyny
8) Bar Wotever prides itself on its non-judgemental, friendly, thoughtful and fun atmosphere, which over the years has enabled easier networking and collaborations
9) Founder Ingo is passionate about their night: “Every Tuesday, just before closing time, I feel such happiness and amazement about what I’ve just seen, experienced and had the pleasure to be part of. Week after week, it’s a pleasure to be a part of”
10) No two nights are ever the same at Bar Wotever, from the style of performance to the mix of clientele.
11) Each month there’s also a different host. Bar Wotever works with some of the best hosts on the scene, including Rubyyy Jones, Dr Woof, Aletia Upstairs, Des O’Connor, Mister Meredith and Virgin Extravaganza. Hosts lined up for future months include: Dusty Limits, Baby Lame and Mrs JonJo.
12) The night begins with an open mic section at 8.30. Anyone can perform a ten minute spot of their choosing. But if you make a mess, you clean it up. In keeping with the community spirit. The host of the evening then takes centre stage to perform their set, before a ten minute interval/mingle break.
13) The second half of the night starts with community news – a live interactive community sharing platform, for events, call outs and interests the audience are involved with and/or think are important. As always, anyone can share!
14) After community news, the host introduces the week’s main act/s. These are the booked acts who may or may not be new to Wotever, and range from spoken word to live music via drag artistry. It’s all about variety.
15) The show wraps up at around 10.30/11. The main DJ then provides the music until closing time (midnight). These DJs are regulars and all have a wealth of experience and music knowledge. At the moment they have DJ Jo Bunny leading the pack, together with Hug the DJ, Joe Pop, Bob’s Funk-O-Mart, Gareth and DJ Malteaser.
16) Entry fee is £5, with a £3 concession. This is to help make it as accessible as possible for all. The entry fee is split with all those involved: crew, hosts, acts and DJ’s. Ingo says: “No one is getting rich from this, but we all feel that we are part of something, and we know our audience appreciate what we do and provide”
17) Bar Wotever is about the people and for the people, and is London’s only weekly queer variety showcase.
• Bar Wotever is every Tuesday at Vauxhall Tavern, 372 Kennington High Street. 11th Birthday Party is on 8th March.