Bealtaine Festival announces unmissable Flikkers themed events

The 2022 Bealtaine Festival pays homage to the iconic Dublin queer club Flikkers with a fabulous line up of events.

Bea;taine announce host of events to remember Flikkers. The photograph of party goers at Flikkers night club in the 1980s
Image: Courtesy of Tonie Walsh

Age & Opportunity has announced the programme for this year’s Bealtaine Festival – Ireland’s national celebration of the arts and creativity as we age – and there’s an awesome lineup of events celebrating Flikkers nightclub and queer social spaces of the 80s and 90s.

This special programme titled Flikkers: Come as You Were will cast a critical reflection on the lack of social spaces for older members of the LGBTQ+ community and what it means to age in a ‘scene’ that increasingly commodifies youth culture. 


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Come As You Were (@comeasyouwere22)

The series will be curated & produced by artist Francis Fay in collaboration with activist and DJ Tonie Walsh, filmmaker Julianne O’Malley and the Visual Art Curator for Bealtaine Monica Flynn.

Francis explains his motivations for the project. “I want this work with Bealtaine to be the start of a conversation about this generation and how it thrived during the ’80s despite HIV, AIDS, resection, emigration and how that generation have stories that need to be told… It’s to give this age group a voice and a presence and for their historical and social experiences to be acknowledged and shared.”

He continued, “When people just going out to a club was a political act, just congregating was a political act, basically socialising with like-minded people was a political act.”


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by GCN (@gcnmag)

“My hope is that the exhibition and the round-table talk to discuss some of the issues will spark a much bigger conversation about seniors in our own community and what do we want as we age in the community? Do we have to follow the heteronormative example or can we carve out our own?”

The first event to kick off the Flikkers series will take place at the Gallery of Photography at 1.15pm on Thursday, May 12. Flikkers: Subversive Signs: a lunchtime conversation with Tonie Walsh. Will coincide with the gallery’s ‘Protest! Photography, Activism and Social Change in Ireland’ exhibition. Brendan Maher, researcher and curator of the LGBTQ+ strand of the exhibition, will chat with Tonie to unpack the coded language and visuals of album artwork and club flyers from the 1980s queer music scene. 

That evening, May 12, will see the launch of the exhibition, Fabulous Flikkers at Bealtaine at Outhouse on Capel Street. The exhibition will feature club ephemera and photographs drawing from donations from those who attended the iconic club and a screening of interviews conducted by Francis and Julianne. 

On Friday, May 13, the programme moves to Project Arts Centre for  Flikkers: Queer Spaces, Queer Utopias, a panel discussion, screening and book sale.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Come As You Were (@comeasyouwere22)

The panel discussion, chaired by GCN’s Editorial Assistant, Han Tiernan will discuss the importance of vibrant spaces such as Flikkers and other community-led social spaces within the history of LGBTQ+ activism and socialisation. 

Contributors on the evening will be David Carroll, PhD researcher on Queering the Groove; Orla Egan founder of Loafers Discotheque Cork and Cork LGBT Archive; Prof. Maurice Devlin former Flikkers DJ and Head of Dept. of Applied Sociology, Maynooth; Luiz Wellington, member of the Gloria Gay Men’s Choir; and Eileen Leah, a former member of the Shamcocks, Drag King group and lecturer at TCD. 

Prior to the panel discussion, there will be a screening of Caroline Campbell’s film Our Love is History (2013), which revisits the politics of the Hirschfeld Centre disco. Following the discussion, there will also be the opportunity to purchase signed copies of Orla Egan’s new book.

The highlight of the series of events will take place on Friday, May 20. Starting in IMMA with Flikkers: The Flashback Ball Warm Up: Tea Dance, DJ Set & Record Sale.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by GCN (@gcnmag)

From 6-9pm the People’s Pavillion will set the scene for the evening’s glorious climax with a warm-up DJ set with Gerry Moore spinning music from the Flikkers Disco era. And to whet your appetite, Tonie Walsh will also be selling records from his cherished vinyl collection.

No Flikkers event would be complete without the legendary ball and the Bealtaine Flikkers: The Flashback Ball in the Church on Mary’s Street, promises to relive all the glory and colour of the beloved club night. Featuring a lineup of spectacular DJs from the old club, Tonie Walsh, Gerry Moore & Brendan O’Byrne DJs, there will also be an extra special performance by queens of comedy The Wild Geese.

This promises to be an unmissable festival and a fitting way to remember the magic and glory of one of Ireland’s most revered queer nightclubs.

© 2022 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

Support GCN

GCN has been a vital, free-of-charge information service for Ireland’s LGBTQ+ community since 1988.

During this global COVID pandemic, we like many other organisations have been impacted greatly in the way we can do business and produce. This means a temporary pause to our print publication and live events and so now more than ever we need your help to continue providing this community resource digitally.

GCN is a registered charity with a not-for-profit business model and we need your support. If you value having an independent LGBTQ+ media in Ireland, you can help from as little as €1.99 per month. Support Ireland’s free, independent LGBTQ+ media.

0 comments. Please sign in to comment.