Up The Alley, the brainchild of Laura Honeker and Seth Corbin, is a weekend supporting local trans and queer talent. After last year’s inaugural success, the pair has teamed up again, presenting Up the Alley II, Sat 23 – Sun 24 June.
A homegrown event like this unites people at its core. Laura tells us their ethos comes from “the power of community and the possibility of change through grassroots action so wanted to create a fundraising event to bring folks together, hear each other’s stories, share each other’s artwork and skills and empower and uplift each other.” Platforms like this are becoming more regular, especially in Brighton, though there’s something special about this weekend-long mini event. Seth’s focus was to ensure it stayed DIY, “with a real punk/activist slant”.
Up The Alley might be one of the only events of its kind, held in an unconventional venue – Laura’s house. It seems to compliment the idea behind the event: people attending will feel as comfortable and safe as at home. But there is another reason for it being there. Seth remembers, “It actually came about after a conversation I had with Honk that I thought the alley where they lived would be perfect to hold a mini market. Then Honk got super excited about having a gig at their place – and here we are today.”
Laura continues, “Up The Alley is held in my home and as such racism, transphobia, ableism, bigotry of any kind and Tories will not be tolerated. This is for us to hold space and connect with each other and we will protect it.”
So, on Sat 23 June, just off St James’ Street, the LGBTQ+ community are invited to live performances from acts including Subira, Chuck SJ Hay, and Sea The Poet. There are open mic slots available afterwards, too.
On the Sunday, from 12-5pm, the house is transformed into an art fair. Expect vegan treats, zines, art and even workshops. Enjoy getting to know beautiful art from the likes of Hannah Forward, Frankie Fagerty Evans, Clit a Dit and Georgia Flowers, and shirts and merch from Sad Punx Clothing. There will even be haircuts by donation. This year, all proceeds to LGBTQ+ charity, Allsorts.
Above all, though, the pair have put inclusion at the forefront of their event. It’s something both are super passionate about, as Seth explains:
“There’s a real emphasis on understanding accessibility needs of people, especially at a queer event. A lot of us, myself included, have struggled with mental health and/or addiction issues so there are a lot of things we were able to consider due to personal experiences when offering this event up.
Last year, for example, we ensured we had a quiet space for people if they needed a break, and also there was an emphasis on being aware of alcohol consumption etc. Our main ethos is really – to be conscious and kind to others, respect each other’s space/needs, and most importantly to feel able to reach out if there’s anything you need at the time.”
Up The Alley comes to St James’ Court, Brighton from Sat 23 – Sun 24 June.