If the thought of another Valentine’s Day surrounded by smooching couples and starry-eyed gazing makes you want to throw up, take comfort in the fact you’re not alone. Tonnes of Londoners share your bitter world view and some of them have even organised parties to celebrate February 14 cynicism. Here are five of the best anti-Valentine’s events.
Wed Feb 11 at The Phoenix (W1G 0PP), Thu Feb 12 at Vauxhall Griffin
Avoid the countless social horrors of pre-organised ‘trying to meet The One’ events at this anti-dating shindig. Get to know other miserable singles in Speed Hating and slag off all the things you hate, or play Blind Hate, where you can find a similarly cynical partner through massively inappropriate questions like ‘If I turned into a zombie which household implement would you use to finish me off?’. The event takes place over two nights, featuring a ‘Gay Down With Dating’ on the second evening.
The Coronet, Fri Feb 13.
Don’t even think of getting soppy with your beloved at this seriously freaky shindig. The organisers want to explore the ‘dark, macabre history of sacrifice and flagellation’ associated with February 14, via a classy, kinky party. Expect twisted performance and dance, cabaret, a nine-piece ‘post-oompah art pop marching band’, NYC electroclash party guy Larry Tee Djing and a Dungeon of Despair, where Mistress Ivy and Captain Crop will explore the pleasure/pain dichotomy – on your very body. Oo-er.
Platform Café Bar and Terrace, Netil House, Fri Feb 13.
This clever-clogs clubbing concept combines the mushiness of February 14 with a great big dollop of scepticism. Taking advantage of the fact that the day before Valentine’s this year is Friday 13 (the date of this party), DJs will start off spinning weird, creepy and freaky songs to tie-in with all the semi-superstitious weirdness. When midnight (I.E. February 14) strikes, the musical mood turns seriously sexy and you can slow dance to romantic jams aplenty until 4am.
Bounce, Sat Feb 14.
No couples. No pet names. No slow dancing. No sharing desert. Them’s the rules at this staunchly anti-Valentine’s event, co-hosted by ping ping/cocktail bar Bounce and the decidedly unromantic app that is Tinder. There’ll be singles and Tinder-themed ping pong tournaments, plus very little light in the venue, meaning you won’t be able to gaze lovingly into anyone’s eyes – but no canoodling in the dark, or else Bounce’s Blackout Bouncers will have a stern word with you.
Sat Feb 14, Moustache Bar.
The popular indie, post-punk and New Wave club night goes in for an anti-February 14 party. Niall McCamley and Anna Cory from punk-pop upstarts The Spook School are the guest DJs, and they’ll be spinning all kinds of unashamedly anti-Valentine’s anthems from 11pm, alongside the usual mix of gems from the likes of David Bowie, Belle & Sebastian, Joy Division and Neutral Milk Hotel. Plus, ’80s classic ‘The Breakfast Club’ will be projected onto the dancefloor: not really Valentine’s or anti-Valentine’s-themed, but hey, it’s a great film, so don’t complain.