New LGBTQIA+ bar CAMP set to open in Cliftonville

CAMP is being set up by Sophie Brown, Jess Hall, Olivia Lloyd, Jessica du Preez and Derek du Preez

A new LGBTQIA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual ) venue is launching in Cliftonville.

CAMP will be opening its doors at 125 Northdown Road this May.

Five friends living in Margate have come together to create the new queer space for LGBTQIA+ residents and visitors which will be an inclusive, safe environment for queer people to come together and have fun. There will be a bar serving drinks from Wednesday to Sunday every week, as well as a karaoke room for private hire.

CAMP will also be entertainment-led, with a dynamic programme of the country’s best queer drag, cabaret, comedy and performance art.

CAMP is being set up by Sophie Brown, Jess Hall, Olivia Lloyd, Jessica du Preez and Derek du Preez – all Margate residents for a number of years. After a string of hugely successful pop-up events at Margate Arts Club, the CAMP team decided it was time to find a permanent home.

The friends will be pulling together a programme of diverse talent that aims to reflect the full spectrum of the LGTBQIA+ community – kings, queens, trans talent and non-binary finery.

A crowdfunder has also been launched to help with renovation costs of the venue. The team are investing all their savings in the project – £25,000 in total – but after a string of rejections on other properties that needed less work, a decision was made to throw everything at an empty unit that has a huge amount of potential and is in need of a little love.

The crowdfunder is operating as a raffle with the opportunity to win a £1,000 bar tab at CAMP, once it opens its doors. It costs £1 to put your name in the hat for a chance to win – or you can share the crowdfunder page and tag CAMP on social media for a free entry.

The venue will be a space for the whole community.

The CAMP team said: “With up to 60% of LGBTQ+ venues closing their doors since 2006, CAMP is a necessity. Margate has a thriving queer scene and lots of queer visitors every year, so we think there’s an opportunity to create something really special.

“After two difficult years and a lot of gloom, we feel like now is the perfect time to create a safe space that lets people come together in person, be their true selves, and most importantly just have a lot of fun. We want to dance!”

The group is currently renovating the venue and submitting the necessary licensing and planning applications to Thanet council. It is hoped that this will all be completed within six to eight weeks, with CAMP ready to open its doors by the end of May.


  1. Interesting, I have been told there is a bisexual club for females opening in Thanet, is the above that club or are they different venues. I’ll be particularly interested in the over 50s meetings. If the bisexual club is not one of the same does anyone know the location.
    Good luck to them I wish them every success.

  2. Is it on Alphabet Street? Isn’t there a U in the ever changing Scrabble Game as well in recent times?

    • Steve, nobody is asking you to go. Just be happy that vacant spaces are being used for fun, happy reasons. You don’t need to be part of it, you just need to be tolerant.

    • Agreed.

      Back in the day, those with alternative peccadilloes were termed as queers. Then somebody deemed that word as offensive and we were not allowed to use it.

      Now we have come full circle and those in the LGBTQ+++++ community are proudly promoting themselves as queers and opening clubs in which to promote themselves as queers.

      Whilst I have no problem with this – I do wish they would not keep changing the rules as to the terminology . . .

      • ps

        Similarly the words ‘camp’ and ‘gay’ were frowned upon and regarded as terms of derision. Now they seem to be acceptable – and indeed their use actively promoted.

        Is it any wonder that as an old, straight, white guy – I get confused ?

        • Hi John. All the bad things people have said about us over time are part of the language we can chose to reclaim and own to remove that stigma. I sympathize with your confusion because there was never any reason to brand us with slurs in the first place. Have a lovely evening and I hope somebody you know enjoys this space.

      • You have to remember the rules change on a weekly & sometimes daily basis, on a whim, to where even the wokies who lap this stuff up cannot keep up & it only takes one slip for anybody-even a long-time supporter who are feted by the Alphabet Crew to be cancelled for ‘misgendering’ or being somethingorotherphobic.

        New ‘gender identities’ are being ‘discovered’ all the time & there will have to be a new alphabet created to cope with the demand at some point in the next 5-10 years as they run out of letters to add.

      • Like the “N” word Queer has become a term that can only be used by the group it identifies. Some sort of odd power play where the group in question can use a term freely but the rest of society are berated if they do so. A sort of ” we don’t want you to see us as different but we are and don’t want to associate with you”. Some sort of divide and conquer plan.

  3. Hang on Dumpton – are you still allowed to say ‘wedding tackle’ ?

    It may have been ok in the olden days when people got married and were pronounced man and wife – but now they are pronounced husband and husband or wife and wife it is all too confusing
    Don’t ask me how all this works when one or both of the parties self-identifies as something other than it says on their birth certificate – that gets far too complicated for me to comprehend.

    • OMG you are so phobic. Next thing you will be fat-phobic & be telling 600 pound people with a BMI of 100 plus they are unhealthy, just like those prejudiced doctors, when we all know healthy at any size & 160 odd genders is a reality in Clown World. Here’s hoping that Asteroid doesn’t take too long hitting & the next lot make a better go of things.

      • Don’t worry Steve – I have been fat phobic for years . . . and more especially now with all those sitting on their sofas complaining that their thrice-daily delivery of takeaway food has not turned up from Grab, Deliveroo or whoever !

  4. Consider the people like you that you enjoy spending time with. Now consider the places you can go to meet those people and feel comfortable. Now consider leaving queer people to have a small number of similar places.

    We go to lots of the same places as you and we are integrated in your normality, but sometimes we want to be with our own like-minded friends.

  5. I’m really glad to see it and so proud my community are pulling together to produce something for us.

    Those that are confused, perhaps just appreciate that this isn’t for you and let it go. For those who want to understand, we hope you’ll become an ally. For those who are just happy, I’ll see you at CAMP!


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