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New queer venue set to open in Sheffield city centre

Gut Level's permanent home on Chapel Walk will feature a licensed bar and space for community events.

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An artist's impression of the new venue on Chapel Walk.

Gut Level.

A new LGBTQ+ venue is set to open in Sheffield city centre, after council officers granted planning permission for a bar and events space on Chapel Walk off Fargate.

The new space will be a permanent home for Gut Level, a queer arts collective who have hosted parties, events and community meet-ups at different spaces across the city since 2019.

Taking over the unit that was formerly Andrews Cafe, the building will host a licensed bar but also facilities for cooking workshops, DJ tutorials, book readings and art exhibitions.

Gut Level have today called on supporters to contribute to a fundraiser, with the aim of raising £50,000 to refurbish and open their new home.

“Our dream is to give the queers, weirdos and music heads in the city somewhere cosy, welcoming and a liccle bit freaky to hang out, get creative and enjoy with each other,” said the collective in a statement. “However, the space in its current form needs a ton of work to make it safe and habitable.”

“We’re now looking to Sheffield’s queer, music and lefty communities and anybody who shares our goal to help us crowdfund the capital needed to transform this project from a dream into reality.”

The group, known for their 'Queer Hedonism is Alive in the North' t-shirts, hope to nurture the community they’ve created at temporary homes in Attercliffe, Shalesmoor and most recently at the old Foodhall site on Eyre Street.

They're also currently hosting a photo exhibition at the Barbican in London, exploring northern club culture and "the strength, resilience and queer hedonism of the northern DIY scene."

In recommending the application for the new space, council planning officers specifically cited the community aspects of the proposal – particularly that it would provide a much-needed city centre space for LGBTQ+ people and other marginalised groups.

Gut Level are one of a number of newly-founded organisations bringing a more radical and community-focused ethos to Sheffield's nascent LGBTQ+ scene.

In response to the lack of an official Sheffield pride (by far the biggest city in the UK not to have one), and the corporate capture of events like Manchester Pride, a group called Sheffield Radical Pride have teased their own event on 22 July.

Meanwhile Community Kino, which host radical film screenings, are showing 'Pride', the 2014 true story of striking miners collaborating with queer activists, at Theatre Deli on 14 June.

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Gut Level.

Back on Chapel Walk, Gut Level say they’re planning a series of fundraising events with the aim of raising enough money to carry out works including soundproofing and installing a new PA system.

“This bar will be a members club, taking inspiration from traditional labour clubs and socialist drinking holes of the 19th century,” they said. “Booze will be as cheap as we can possibly afford whilst ensuring we meet our basic costs and pay our staff a fair wage.”

“The space itself will be available for members to request the use of, at low cost, for their own wholesome social events, radical organising activities and deviant parties. It will be queer, but not tacky. Sometimes sweet. Sometimes sober. Always horny.”

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