London is a big city, the gay scene is huge and tourists flock here in there thousands. How ever London has been lacking a good old fashioned gay "party in the park" event for many years. As you'd expect hiring out parks in London doesn't come cheap these days! Donations for free pride festivals don't meet the costs anymore so we have to relay on commercial run events to cough up the up front cash, and organizing outside events in the UK with its unpredictable weather can be quite a risky endeavored.
Summer Rites organised a festival last year. This year they will return collaborating with London Pride for one really day day out. So we're really looking forwards to that one too on Saturday 29th June.
This year 2013 it was also great to see Orange Nation putting on a festival of their own.
Orange Nation is the UK’s biggest gay clubbing promotions company, exported worldwide to represent the UK at key gay circuit cities and festivals including Circuit Barcelona, Xlsior Mykonos, Space Ibiza and many more, as well as UK based events such as Manchester Pride, Brighton Pride and London Pride where they host the dance stage.
Their homegrown brands are renowned as being the biggest and of the highest quality with an emphasis on world class DJ talent and stage production, they have led the way on the London scene for over 15 years and include the legendary Beyond, Orange, A:M, Later, Deelooded and Gravity. They also encompass cutting edge nightclub venues Fire, Lightbox, Area, Protocol and Covert in London's Vauxhall. The Orange Nation also presents international brands on a large scale at venues such as Coronet and Electric Brixton, that include We Party (Madrid), Matinee Group (Spain) and Scream (Paris) amongst others.
With all these clubbing brands what better way to bring them together AS ONE in London's Victoria Park. When the date in May was first announced we were a little skeptical as the weather in May can be very risky compared to the summer months. However we must have been blessed by the sun god as the day was one of the hottest and sunniest days of the year.
The most popular event in the park was the Circuit Festival hosted dance tent. The massive tent was packed with London's buff boys and sweet eye candy. The huge LED video screen lit up the inside with delightful visuals as big name DJ's rotated all day and evening. Although maybe they should put the DJ's on a podium next year as all you could see of Boy Gorge was his hat popping up from behind the video wall!
It was great to walk around the park and see the different attractions. The Deelooded dance stage was a popular place to hang out with Fat Tony on the decks and a large video wall sponsored by Desperados. We then wondered by the lesbian tent, village green and tranny tent taking some photos of the colourful energetic characters entertaining the crowds. Clone Zone had a stall in the market area were a sexy lad tried to sell us a leather harness and cockring. Next it was the funfair were we had a wizz around on the bumper cars and a big spinning thing. Just as we reached the main stage Rylan Clark come on, he's been on UK TV constant over the last year from X-Factor to Big Brother and lets face it if wasn't for Rylan's entertainment we wouldn't be watching it. So it was nice to see him in person. It was still early in the day and people were still to arrive, he made a joke about only 40 people were watching him and there were supposed to be 10,000. You did kind of feel sorry for him, but he laughed it off and started singing.
Don't get me wrong the park was busy, there were many thousands of people there, however the space was quite spread out, the organizers were clearly gearing up for a larger turn out. Two dance tents "The best of British" and "Bearracuda" stood in the backdrop unused. Still its better to cater for more people than not enough. For Orange Nations first festival they did a very good job and everyone we interviewed had good things to say about the day.
The main stage finished off with a PA from Rita Ora who was the headline act of the festival. By now it was night time and the stage light up the park with its lights and visuals. Hearing her sing Radioactive was a special moment, the atmosphere of the park ignited. A great finale to a great day.
Craig Elder the owner of Orange Nation said:
“I would like to thank everybody involved in As One In The Park from the Orange Nation team who worked 14 hour days, 7 days a week at times, to the event managers on the day and especially you, I am so proud of the gay scene turning out in their thousands to support the event, it was truly incredible and we can all now shout from the rooftops that we have shown the rest of the world at last that London can put on a gay event to be proud of, it has what the capital has been waiting for and we are all so honored to be a part of it. Rest assured that we are already working on next years event and can guarantee that it will be bigger and better than ever before.”
Log onto www.OrangeNation.co.uk for more photos and video
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