Flesh, the UK’s first outdoor queer music festival, is here to slay

Billed as “the UK’s first queer camping music festival,” Flesh festival is set to take place on May 28th just outside of London. The festival, which is geared toward members of the LGBTQIA+ community, will take place in “a secluded woodland with streams and ponds” in St. Albans. 

The first of its kind, Flesh promises to place emphasis on underrepresented acts in the world of electronic music and looks to create a safe space for queer, trans and non-binary headliners. Speaking to Resident Advisor, the festival organisers expressed their frustration with lineups at other major festivals. With Flesh, they look to “make a radical statement by disrupting the norm and curating the lineup with 100 percent of the artists from underrepresented groups.” And the lineup thus far does not disappoint. Confirmed acts include LSDXOXO, VTSS, Chippy Nonstop, and Ellen Allien. The festival also brings together local queer nightlife collectives such as Lewis G Burton’s iconic Inferno and newer groups such as Pxssy Palace and Big Dyke Energy. See the full lineup as it stands below.

The conception of a festival like Flesh feels like a long time coming. While much of electronic and dance music has been pioneered by queer and P.O.C artists, the form has been usurped in a sense by cis-het white men who have become the regarded as the ‘foremost’ artists in the field. Flesh, meanwhile “will address the long-term issue of male dominated festival programming. Being featured on a major festival line-up will create visibility and generate bookings for the artists involved and set an example for other promoters to follow.” It’s a refreshing and essential turn for festival culture, and one which proposes a more inclusive and diverse future. “One of the driving forces behind Flesh is representation, we want each one of our guests to look at the stage and feel represented, welcomed and inspired,” the organisers further elaborated to Resident Advisor.

Flesh is also committed to developing emerging artists. There will be workshops and panel discussions active at the festival, and Flesh is offering an incredible scholarship programme for QITPOC aspiring DJs. The scholarship includes one-on-one coaching at the London Sound Academy, and will culminate with the recipient performing live at the festival. No previous DJ-ing experience is required, but chosen candidates must be able to attend coaching in Camden, North London. You can apply for a spot with a mix or playlist, here

More information on Flesh, including ticket sales, can be found on their website here