Cormac Cashman, events promoter for beloved events like Mother, Sweatbox, Pride Block Party and the Love Sensation music festival writes for Culture about his optimism for the future of queer clubbing and events in Ireland.
There is something magic about people being together on a dance floor. It unites us. Whether that dance floor is in a club or in a field under the stars at a festival. That feeling multiplies when as queer people we're surrounded by our community and allies. It's a safe, fun and diverse space that allows us to unapologetically be ourselves. It’s home.
It’s been over a decade since we first opened the doors at Mother. Throwing parties where this is possible is what we at Mother live for and we’ve been so lucky that our small loyal base of regulars, friends, customers and chosen family has grown over the years enabling us to throw larger and larger events, creating new queer spaces across our city.
Ten years ago, we wanted to set up a club night for LGBTQ+ people and their friends with a focus on good music. We played electronic, synth & disco and our door policy was wear what you like, just be sound and be yourself. Since our inception, we’ve worked with Gay Community News, a registered charity and beloved community resource, donating 50 percent profits from our clubs events to them.
There is something magic about people being together on a dance floor. It unites us.
For our first year, the Mother DJs performed to a tiny packed dance floor every Saturday night from decks set up on a semi-circle sofa spun around to resemble a DJ booth. We launched Mother in what was formerly the basement breakfast room of a dame street hotel which had been painted, with a bar and some furniture thrown in to complete the aesthetic.
We didn’t have the cash for high spec lighting, top of the line equipment or even a DJ booth, but we had great DJs and we had a community. It very much felt like a house party that just happened to be in a club space.
Ten years later, our club had settled into it’s third venue, our new Saturday night home, Lost Lane off Grafton St. We were in the midst of planning our tenth birthday party and our tenth Pride Block Party, which was returning to it’s new home, the National Museum of Ireland at Collins Barracks. We were honoured to be the first event of its kind ever held at the beautiful, historic space. Close to 10,000 would attend. While planning these parties we were also working on our second instalment of Love Sensation, an LGBTQ+ music festival we launched on the grounds of the Royal Hospital Kilmainham in the summer of 2019. Our DJs were also booked to play a myriad of stages across the Irish festival circuit and club scene around the country. We were busy and often stressed, but it was exactly what we wanted to be doing and we loved it.
When the lockdown hit, naturally all of our events and plans were put on hold, so for now we’re focusing on the small things we can do to keep ourselves occupied, from selling merch, tops & t-shirts to planning for the future. We’re working away in the background on the Mother of all come back parties so that when it’s possible to meet again, we’ll be ready to turn on the lights, turn up the tunes and reunite on the dancefloor.
We're all currently living a bizarre and unexpected shared experience and in multitude of different ways, times are tough and strange for everyone. But it’ll get better with time and we will eventually return to normality.
Club culture is about shared experience with like minded people through music, dance and a shared sense of community. That’s what we miss most during these strange, solitary times and it’s what keeps us focused on getting things back to the way they were, when it’s safe to do so.
We’re all currently living a bizarre and unexpected shared experience and in multitude of different ways, times are tough and strange for everyone. But it’ll get better with time and we will eventually return to normality.
It’s been an incredible 10 years for the Mother family and we feel so honoured to still be knocking around, doing our thing. I think one of the key reasons we’ve lasted ten years is the crew involved have become such close friends over the years. We call ourselves a family because we are one. We know we’ll come through this together, and we will dance again.
Mother are selling We Will Dance Again merch from their website, with 50 percent of profits going to support Gay Community News. For more information, click here.