Listen to Memories from the Dancefloor, a new podcast about the UK’s queer club spaces

The new Acast podcast is hosted by Derry-born journalist and publicist Damian Kerlin.

Memories from the Dancefloor delves into the significance of club spaces for the UK’s LGBTQIA+ community. Each podcast episode focuses on a particular venue, documenting stories and anecdotes via first-hand accounts and on-the-ground reporting from different queer nightlife spaces; places that act as vital hubs for the queer community but that also remain under constant threat – with 60% of London’s LGBTQIA+ spaces having closed down in the past decade.

The first episode of Kerlin’s podcast is about London’s Heaven – which opened in 1979 and was Europe’s first super-club. The episode sees Kerlin speak to founder Jeremy Norman and also London’s Night Czar Amy Lame to understand the problems facing queer venues today. Forthcoming episodes will journey from The Vauxhall Tavern and The Black Cab to Manchester’s Canal Street and cover pertinent topics within this – including the AIDs epidemic, trans inclusion, political elements and the iconic fashion moments.

Speaking on the importance of these queer nightlife venues, Kerlin said: “Being from Northern Ireland, where it was hard to grow up gay and where many LGBTQ people leave and never come back, I had such little access to queer spaces. It’s in you to just feel like an outsider, doubly so. My writing has always been about LGBTQ+ social affairs, and importantly, celebrating queer life and culture. This idea has just bubbled in me for some time.”

Explaining what drew him to documenting the UK’s LGBTQIA+ clubs in this format, Kerlin continued, “I want people to hear the real voices of the workers, artists, and party people, it helps it to feel as lively and accessible and as gossipy as it should! Everyone deserves a share in this history.”

“I want this to serve as a community binder, education, and reminder of the importance of these spaces.” Kerlin said, “It feels so necessary right now – there is an obsession in the right-wing media, and in-fighting, that’s fracturing our community. Most of all, it’s about a loud, proud celebration that will hold generations today close and unite future ones.”

Memories from the Dancefloor is part of Acast Amplifier’s incubator programme. Listen here.