Nights for gay women are few and far between even in diverse, LGBT+ supporting cities like Brighton & Hove. Gal Pals night is the brainchild of Scarlett, the current Welfare Officer at Arts SU, and her gal pal DJ and event planner Candice, who started the night in London. Splitting the tasks, the couple have created this event as a labour of love after wanting a freshers’ night for queer ladies starting at University of the Arts London. Now a multi-city event, I have no doubt after their debut last week they’ll be enjoying and working even harder on their upward trajectory to stardom. We chatted to the pair to find out more about how Gal Pals started and what’s next for these ladies.
Scarlett: We met for the first time at a ‘Twin Peaks’ themed club night at The Haunt, and chatted very drunkenly in the smoking area. Candice doesn’t actually remember meeting me. But we met again nearly a year later at Pride in 2015, outside The Marlborough pub.
Candice: I do remember meeting her that time! I wanted her to come over and talk to me because I thought she was really cute, and she did. Then, I really wanted to kiss her at the end of the night but was too chicken, so ended up sending her a weird message at 5am asking to meet up for sorbet the next day…
Scarlett: We never ended up going for that sorbet. But we did start dating shortly after. I also asked Candice to be my girlfriend by giving her a Gal Pals t-shirt with a note inside saying ‘will you be my…’
When did you start Gal Pals?
Scarlett: I originally came up with the idea for Gal Pals in August 2015 as I’d just started working at my Students Union and we were planning freshers, and I wanted to create a freshers’ night which was aimed at women, and specifically LGBTQ women.
Most of the freshers nights that take place I would never set foot in, I don’t want some guy grinding on me in the club, and I don’t want to have to listen to just the top 40 either. Whilst Gal Pals is unashamedly very pop, we mix it up. I’m a huge fan of 90s girl rock, and Candice loves obscure electro pop music so we try to balance that with crowd-pleasers.
Candice was actually the person who came up with the name ‘Gal Pals’ when I was brainstorming name ideas, and we held the first Gal Pals in October 2015 at Dalston Superstore, which was a massive success. We brought Candice in to DJ it shortly after and it’s just grown from there really.
Is there plan for further expansion?
Scarlett: We’re hoping to make it a more regular night, so perhaps monthly. And I’m also working on a video for Gal Pals as I have a degree in Photography that I rarely put to use!
Candice: We’d love to do a huge Gal Pals, in a really big space, with some incredible women fronted bands or performers. Maybe even the band Gal Pals could come over from Texas! But these are just grand unrealistic ideas that we have.
Are either of you involved in other nights/LGBT+ events?
Candice: I used to run a queer night called OUT at the Haunt with some friends of mine. I’ve DJ’d at a few Traumfrau nights now too. I’m also working on a new night which will be a queer dance party for everyone. This one will have a much more flexible music policy too, so really different every night. I just want everyone to leave their expectations at the door – keep your eyes peeled!
How do we find out what’s coming up?
Expect Beyonce, TLC, Missy Elliott and more, Gal Pals has cemented itself as the queer dance party to be at. Gays, lesbians, bisexuals and allies filled the room and really let go at this girl run girl’s night. The makes this night a full frontal ode to female-fronted music – and at Gal Pals, you can really feel the love and acceptance.