TV & Radio
London gay clubs reopen after attacks
Ben Townley, Gay.com U.K.
Friday, July 8, 2005 / 03:43 PM
SUMMARY: London's thriving lesbian and gay scene will open its doors Friday night, in a show of defiance against Thursday's terrorist atrocities.
London's thriving lesbian and gay scene will open its doors Friday night, in a show of defiance against Thursday's terrorist atrocities.
The capital's major clubs and bars will open their doors, with the majority of promoters and owners saying they will be pushing for "business as usual."
At the Scala, the home to gay indie and alternative night Popstarz, the crowds will be welcome as usual, a spokeswoman told Gay.com. The venue is across the road from King's Cross, where one of yesterday's tube attacks took place and from where a large number of revelers arrive for the popular night.
"We're in the heart of where it all happened yesterday," the spokeswoman said," but it will be business as usual. You just can't let it get you down."
Those behind Fiction, which takes place at King's Cross venue The Cross, said they would also be open and welcoming the crowds.
At Heaven, in the heart of the capital at Charing Cross, organizers of the new Bang night said they had contemplated postponing the launch out of respect, but felt they had to go on.
"We've just to get on with it," promotions manager Gavin Nicholls told Gay.com U.K.
"We were considering shutting the night down, but that's what those behind the attacks would have wanted. That way they would have won," he said.
Kim Lucas, owner of one of Soho's biggest lesbian venues the Candy Bar, said the popular haunt would also be open, despite being closed the previous night.
She told Gay.com that Thursday night's decision was taken so as to encourage people to stay at home and allow the transport network to come under control. She said also that she had difficulties getting staff to the bar.
However, both Candy Bar and Delicious at Crash would be open for "business as usual," she said.
Gay district Soho, in the heart of London, is still quieter than usual, with some reports suggesting the number of commuters traveling into the city may be down by 50 percent. Numbers were expected to pick up later Friday, authorities said, although they are not expected to hit the capacity seen on a normal Friday night.
Gay London Returning To Normal
by Peter Moore 365Gay.com London Bureau
Posted: July 8, 2005 5:00 pm ET
(London) Subway stations in the heavily gay central London and Soho areas remained closed Friday in the aftermath of Thursday's terrorist attack, but life has slowly begun returning to normal
"Me gran was in the blitz," said Bradley Newcomb on Oxford Street. "She used to say how people would climb out of the shelters after the attacks and go on. These bastards aren't gonna stop me either."
Yet, despite the determination of Newcomb, and countless others like him, there remained an eerie quiet throughout the day. Shops reopened but even clerks in stores spoke in softer more deliberate tones. People on the streets appeared more vigilant, taking note of people and things they would normally not notice.
There was a much heavier than normal police presence in the area Friday night. Slowly over the course of the day gay bars and businesses reopened. The big clubs, each within steps of where the bomb blasts went off, were open, although early crowds appeared to be smaller than usual.
“Everyone is being very, very vigilante and looking around checking for any suspect packages," Gaydar Radio's Yannick Lawry reported from Old Compton Street .
The official death toll stands at 49, but authorities say it is likely to rise. An unknown number of bodies are trapped in a subway car deep underground at the Russell Square station.
More than 700 were injured in the attacks - the worst in the city since World War II. One hundred remained in hospital Friday night - 22 of them listed in serious condition.
The Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles and other members of the Royal Family made separate visits to bombing victims at various hospitals in the capital.
The Queen expressed her admiration for all the Londoners who "are calmly determined to resume their normal lives."
Authorities have said the attacks had the signatures of the al-Qaida terror network and counterterrorism specialists said they were taking seriously an Internet claim of responsibility by a little known group calling itself The Secret Organization of al-Qaida in Europe.