A teeny tiny gay nightclub is opening in Leeds – for three days only

The One in, One out offers visitors a five minute nightclub experience

Camp, glitz, shiny walls and dodgy disco lighting. These are the things that come to mind when we hear news of Leeds’ new, minuscule gay bar.

Opening on Wharf street at the end of this month, One in One out gives visitors the experience of a queer nightclub – something that’s been out of bounds for over a year now. The catch? It has to be experienced in isolation.

Squeezed into a space barely larger than a telephone box, in truth, it’s more art installation than functional bar with room for just one viewer at a time.

Popping up for three days only, it’s the creation of artist Lucy Hayhoe and has been commissioned as part of 2021’s Complex Festival.

Photo: Lizzie Coombes

Offering a five minute night out, your coat is taken by a bouncer before you’re ushered in and offered a drink. There’s room to dance, but you can only dance alone – prompting the question, ‘what makes a place gay if not its clientele?’

The show was made pre-Covid, but after a year of isolation feels more significant than ever following the closure of a number of gay bars in the city.

“The number of gay bars in Leeds that have closed due to Covid,” Hayhoe says, “is proportionately way above the numbers of the straight places that have closed. They seem to be much more quickly susceptible to the economic downturn.”

Returning access to queer space that the community has been missing out on for so long, even if it’s only for a number of days, is such a hopeful and positive act.

All visitors are welcome, but Hayhoe is particularly interested in welcoming queer guests to the space. The One in, One out opens May 28th – 30th, 12pm – 7pm.

Feature image – Lizzie Coombes

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