Brandon Gay day: the safest mosh in the world
Lisa, Jor and Viole (*) found each other hand-to-hand with their peers in the middle of a wet bustle that was breaking up the city nights at the disco. Being a lesbian, at that time, became that weekend mouth-to-mouth that brought them together and stirred them into an under- queer shaker filled with other ways of existing. Anyway, like anything well enjoyed and well danced, that same transit began to open other questions.
Wednesday Gay Day. Like this, with “gay” well placed in the middle of a name that – seen from this path of deconstruction – seems to fall short of identity but which, in that flyer distributed two decades ago, face to face and in the light of day, was the first political manifesto for us to continue celebrating ourselves today, now, with all our names.
“We used to walk around with heavy backpacks handing out flyers and printing out discount lists in a call centre, do you remember? says Lisa. The talk gets lost, they name dates, places, they wonder where this or that was, they order and mess up the chronology, they correct themselves and propose an 18th anniversary without having this coming of age totally resolved. “Much love and work” summarizes Violeta as she throws back her head and smiles, in a gesture of tiredness and satisfaction. They are two friends in a time machine. Better still, they are three friends, because at one point everything else disappears and Jor’s laughter is heard again.
What was different about “Brandon Gay Day” was that it was not only a party but it was closer to the concept of “festive curatorship”. It sought to respond to those concerns that left other spaces open. All the concerns, not just the one of meeting. The first thing was visibility, the need to openly expose the existence of a space that could be freely attended and that, by welcoming with a rainbow flag on each side of the door, also pushed you TO BE
and to name yourself freely.
It is this search for another language that motivated that every single detail of that party – even if it changed days and places the bigger it got – was not by chance. Brandon Gay Day proposed a two-room space in which many types of simultaneous encounters could take place, in which people could talk and sing and look at each other and dance; it also proposed an aesthetic that was closer to the notion of community, other colors, other figures, a more naive way of telling our story. The environment was moved away from the commercial proposal and was left in the
ands of real music creators and emerging artists who today are names that resonate widely on the local scene.
It seems that this celebratory formula has not only worked over the years, but has also resisted the setbacks of the convulsed and capricious city that serves as its home. After one of the saddest summers in recent decades – that summer where kids died in the República Cromañón nightclub fire – the new regulations forced Brandon Gay Day to stop and rethink itself: the spaces for meeting and discoveries became the beloved heart-roofed house of Villa Crespo and the night opened up completely for that party that, even today, is awaited with a sea of anticipation.
Brandon Gay Day continues to be attended by its owners, continues to meet the same friends as always, continues to welcome anyone who wants to and knows how to join the only thing that has remained truly unchanged: the Brandon code. In times when the counterculture seems to be taking care of itself and loving itself well, there is a party in which
– “…anyone could jump in to mosh with the absolute certainty that someone is going to catch them.”
(*) Lisa, Jor and Viole are Lisa Kerner, Jorgelina De Simone and Violeta Uman, Brandon’s founders. Jorgelina died on September 18th, 2017 at the age of 44, after 8 years of being diagnosed with breast cancer. We love her, we embrace her and we live the rest of our lives on this plane always militating one of her last words: with joy, my friend.
The first party was on May 17th, 2000 and since then they have been working uninterruptedly on the Brandon project.