This weekend the gang at the White Swan are celebrating an incredible 32 years as a gay venue. The weekend will include everything we love about this East End institution including hot club nights, amazing cabaret and a mega friendly vibe. Dave Cross had a catch up with DJ and PR Manager Stevie Tee to find out more.
Hi Stevie, how’s life at the White Swan in 2017?
Life’s good at the White Swan thank you. We have had a busy year with top promoters and club nights, as well as top cabaret entertainment. The Swan had a great refit a few years ago, and we are enjoying the new look as well as the great events and sound.
We know you as a DJ but you are also working on promotions, can you tell us about that and how did you get involved with the Swan in the first place?
I have been a DJ for 25 years. I started at Septembers Bar in Hackney, which has been knocked down and turned into flats. I was always a customer of the Swan and dreamed of one day working there, which happened after the venue was taken over by Anarge Ltd and I asked for a DJ job. I was given the Wednesday amateur strip night with Saucy Sophie and Candy Slag in Drag as hosts. I then became one of the weekend DJs and was asked if I would like to take over the promotions side of the bar, looking after and booking acts and promoters.
Over the past couple of years the Swan has brought in some exciting new parties such as Cybil’s House and the Klub Kids, can you tell us about this?
We, and I mean the great team at the Swan had found that the LGBT boys and girls were not coming out to their local bars, so we found some great party nights for them. Nights such as Cybil’s and Klub Kids as well as a new Bollywood fusion night called Masala Club and a POC night with top hostess DJ FKA, who is also our resident DJ on a Saturday night. These nights work really well alongside our scene cabaret and big acts such as Ceri Dupree.
It’s the venue’s 32nd birthday this weekend, can you talk us through the plans for the celebration?
32 years, I think that’s a record in London, what with the amount of independent venues closing down. For more than three decades the White Swan has been a big part of the London gay scene, and we are proud to say that we are an LGBT venue. Last year we got Joe and Jake to perform for our birthday and this year, on Saturday, we’ve got the gay scene version of them, the brilliant Heart & Soul, all hosted by the East End’s very own and very funny Saucy Sophie. The weekend kicks off on Friday with Klub Night followed by the big birthday party on the Saturday and Klub Kids with top DJ Pearl, from RuPaul’s Drag Race on the Sunday.
32 years is a big achievement, what is the venue’s secret to success and longevity?
A smile and a warm welcome to everyone, great entertainment and great management. The White Swan has always given back to the gay scene, from top entertainers to new talent over the years, we are here for the boys and girls who like a good show and dance.
What else is coming up?
Apart from the amazing birthday weekend, we have great acts coming up including Miss Terry Tour, Ceri Dupree on 30 September, 2017 Drag Idol winner Tracy Barlow, Dr Woof, Sum Ting Wong and more. Plus there’s our party nights, Cybil’s House, Masala Club and Klub Kids.
Is there anything else we need to know?
Once upon a time the White Swan was the number one gay cabaret and entertainment venue in the East End and we are looking to make it that again. We have an amazing team who work for us and we are very proud of them. We are looking for more promoters to bring us top nights as well as big acts to perform at the venue. The White Swan will go from strength to strength and be the best entertainment and dance venue in East London.