Fox & Badge - Where the line between theater and revelry perfectly intertwine
During this time of isolation, the thought of a night out may seem like a far-off, distant memory of another place and time. However, even though it may seem unfathomable now, rest assured that nothing can stop London’s nightlife and event scene from returning, just as wild, creative and over-the-top as ever. To tide everyone through these trying times, we thought we’d release a post about an event new to us from last November.
We had first heard of the independent event company Fox & Badge after going to a couple of Burning Man pub nights and decided to go after hearing about the meticulous attention to detail and immersive, community-focused ambiance that they put into their events. The theme? The Beautiful and Damned, aka Roaring 20s. Now if this immediately conjures a flood of cringe-worthy memories of high school dances and cliched Halloween parties, leave those at the door because this exceeded all my expectations. This was not a typical club night but rather an elaborate production, both in terms of environment, costumes by the attendees and the variety of music and performances involved.
The venue was The Steel Yard, a beautiful space located in the heart of the City of London and set across three railway arches beneath Cannon Street Bridge. Think beautiful vaulted ceilings and lots of exposed brick. The downside? The venue is much taller and longer than it is wide, which can lead to some bottleneck situations when full. Queues for the bathroom and cloak room in particular seemed interminable. However, with four rooms spread across two floors, it never felt suffocating or overflowing with people. As usual for central London, drink prices were also pretty inflated.
Upon entering, we were immediately greeted to aerial and hoop performances by incredibly captivating aerialists decked out in glittering ensembles. There were chandeliers everywhere refracting light and illumination to give you that perfect Instagram-ready glow. It was clear that everyone had got the memo to dress on-theme, and there was a whole range of glamorous outfits. Now if art and fashion aren’t really your thing, don’t worry you’re not alone. I’m no fashionista or particularly crafty so I just found the most flapper-ish dress I could at my local thrift store and a rhinestone headband and still fit right in.
There was one main dance floor that played melodic/ambient house and techno which isn’t usually my preferred genre. However, this was broken up by amazing burlesque shows and other live musical performances that occurred periodically throughout the night. Audience participation was frequent, contributing to the Burning Man ethos of communal, unstructured and spontaneous creation of art and entertainment. This was further emphasized by the inclusion of chill-out spaces where some life-drawing and other art-centric workshops were being held. It was a welcome and very unique respite from the dance floor. Now I won’t show you my awful rendition of what was a stunning model, but I had fun drawing!
The overall feel of the event really did capture the debaucherous, glamorous excess and sensuality of Hemingway’s “lost generation” as cheesy as that sounds. The venue was beautiful, the performers captivating and all the fellow attendees I spoke to were lovely. It felt very much like I was at somebody’s elaborate and very decadent dinner party, the likes of which would have made even Gatsby envious. At the same time though, there were moments where I wasn’t quite sure what I was supposed to be doing and ended up just sitting, people-watching and taking everything in. Now that I think about it, that may have been exactly the point.
Although there’s no way to say when the next Fox & Badge event will be for now, definitely keep an eye on them on Facebook and Instagram, you won’t regret it. For now, stay safe and take care of yourselves in whatever ways make you happy. Here’s to hoping we can meet again in the fields soon!