July was a fantastic month for TRUK and it all started with London Pride……
LONDON PRIDE (6th July 2019)
We had a batch of allocated spaces on the London Pride march and we arranged with supporters/listeners to meet up with the presenters who were marching with us. We met a group of 3 teenagers one of whom had a trans flag and they were just hanging around so we invited them to the march as we had some spare wristbands which they were really excited to do. Lucy started talking to a group near us and it turned out they were a Danish film crew – not sure who they were filming for but we gave them some wristbands and they joined in too and were very excited. We were fairly near the back but that didn’t bother us but it was packed and difficult to find our way to our spot but we made it. We had brought along a large portable speaker on wheels with the intention of playing music however there was a float in front of us that was banging out tunes so we didn’t bother. The speaker seemed useless at this point, little did we know how useful it would be later! At some point we lost the Danish film crew but they had wristbands so we knew they were ok and had probably squeezed in the march somewhere.
We were supposed to start marching at 2pm but it was nearer to 3pm before we left on the long slow walk. We had brought stickers, flyers and cards to hand out along the route as well as a large banner and several flags. The reception from the crowd was amazing and at various points around the route they had people with PA who announced the groups as they went past and we always got a huge cheer. All the crowd were very receptive and lots of people were calling out for stickers. The group of 3 teenagers who were marching with us loved it and one was doing cartwheels and back-flips which the crowd loved – they were really having a great time. Everyone was handing out stuff and Lucy met a lovely foreign couple fairly near the beginning and they were really friendly so she invited them to join in the march with us so they jumped the barriers, popped their wristbands on and stayed with us until the end. They told us that they had the best time being with us in the march.
We all had a fantastic time and finished just after 4pm at which time we all had achy feet and were gagging for a drink. Everywhere was packed and we knew that we would have problems trying to get into a pub so thought we would head into Soho via Trafalgar Square which is where the stage was for the entertainment. As you can imagine the whole area was totally packed so we started to walk down The Strand where we noticed a CO-OP so parked all our stuff up by a lamp post in the pavement on a central reservation and heading in to buy some drinks and food. When we came back we turned on the speaker onto full blast. People who were walking through were stopping to dance. We had accidentally started a TRUK street party in the middle of The Strand! We must have had between 100-150 people at any one time, some came and went but there was a core that stayed with us for hours. At one point we had over 100 people sitting in the middle of the road doing the Oops Upside Your Head dance but to Whitney Houston’s I Wanna Dance With Somebody!
The music and dancing continued for hours.
The speaker was battery powered but at about 6.30pm it died. Lucy went over to Tortilla which was a restaurant opposite where we were camped up and the manager would only let us plug in if we had an extension lead (the power cable would not reach completely out the door) which we didn’t have and at this time there were no shops open that would sell one. Lucy had started to ask around other shops and hotels when the manager changed his mind. He said ‘F#@k it, I will get in trouble for this but plug it in’, so we did! The speaker cable reached enough that we were able to put the speaker to the side of the doorway. Lots of people started dancing and many of the Tortilla staff came out and were joining in; the party continued until 10.30pm. Sadly the evening ended there as someone stole our backpack containing all our promo stuff, flags and all of Avril’s personal stuff, purse, keys, makeup etc. However we refused to let the actions of one person ruin what had been a totally amazing day. The buzz from it all was unbelievable.
The buzz continued for ages and the presenters and supporters continued to comment on what an amazing day it was. Then only a few days later it was Sparkle……
SPARKLE (12-14th July 2019)
We have been going to Sparkle for a few years however this year it was a big one. We were to be opening the stage in Sackville Gardens on both the Saturday and Sunday from midday – 1pm and Lucy was DJing at the Sparkle Ball on the Friday evening and also hosting an 80’s night at TriBeCa on the Saturday night. We also were doing live broadcasts from Via during Friday and doing interviews in the park all over the weekend.
On the Friday we set up an ad hoc broadcasting base from Via in Canal Street. Lucy and Michelle were doing a joint live show from there and interviewing people as they walked past. We had a minor mishap with one of the laptop cables which was swiftly repaired by Sarah Armstrong (one of our presenters) and saved the day!
Friday evening we attended the Sparkle Ball as Lucy was DJing there. It was the first time it had been on a Friday as it is usually on the Saturday which is probably why it wasn’t fully booked due to people travelling to Manchester. There was lots of great entertainment and the food was lovely. Lucy DJ’d from 10.30pm – 1am and got lots of people up dancing.
Saturday morning TRUK was opening the stage in the park at midday. For this hour the stage was to be hosted by Lucy, Michelle-Anne and Sophie Parish (Trans Trucker). The opening song they played was This Is The Greatest Show from The Greatest Showman. How appropriate as it was the greatest show. There was lots of banter between Lucy and Michelle-Anne which is to be expected from those two! In between songs and the banter they explained a bit about the station and introduced some of the presenters who were there. They got a good reception bearing in mind the park had just opened but more and more people came in and moved forward and were dancing to the tunes.
What was amazing was seeing the large screen at the side of the stage with the Trans Radio logo. We also had a couple of our banners up round the park. After Lucy et al had been on stage we wander round the park talking to people, giving out stickers, cards and flyers and watched some of the other acts on the stage.
Later that evening Lucy hosted an 80’s night at TriBeCa. After an initial issue with some of the connections to their system Lucy banged out the tunes. The place was packed and everyone was dancing everywhere and having a great time. people who only intended to stay a little while ended up staying the whole night from 9pm-3am. It was still very busy when she was playing the last tunes. The feedback from everyone has been amazing and it really was a great night. The bar staff kept telling us that it was one of the best nights ever.
Sunday morning we were back at the park again as we opened the stage for the second day. There was more people there earlier than Saturday and they were all singing and dancing along. This time all the TRUK presenters that were at Sparkle came up to the stage and said a little about them and their shows. It was a great opportunity to show everyone what TRUK is about and who we all are.
After we had finished on the stage we all again walked around the park chatting with everyone and spreading the word about who we are and what we do. It had been a very successful weekend and we rounded it off by all going out for dinner in the evening along with a few of our friends.
Think everyone is still suffering from the post London Pride and Sparkle blues!