Long-running queer night Club Kooky celebrates a milestone this Saturday night, with a 15th birthday bash planned at the University of Sydney’s Manning Bar.

Kooky organiser and DJ Seymour Butz, who’s been involved with the events since the very first party in June 1995, let the Star Observer in on some of the secrets to the event’s impressive longevity.

“It’s about bringing people together to share unique sounds, alternative performance, brotherhood, sisterhood and foster a real sense of family for all. It’s not about ‘no attitude’ – its really about ‘good attitude’,” he said.

With many friendships forged on the dance floor over the past 15 years, Butz said the events were now an opportunity for long-time clubbers to catch up.

“They are a family reunion, plus a pick-up joint, where people come from far and wide to see people they’ve bonded with under the mirror ball.”

Originally borne from a need to provide an alternative to the a ‘musical cul de sac’ happening in Sydney in the mid-90s (“there were three types of music – hi-nrg, higher-nrg and highest-nrg”), Kooky soon flourished as a place where the queer scene’s most uninhibited partygoers could be themselves.

“Kooky’s seen some of the most explicit performance art anywhere in the world: piercings, bloodlettings, brandings, and everything you’ll see only on the internet these days,” Butz said.

“We have seen some truly amazing debut performances of bands, discovering such acts as The Presets, Scott Matthew, Wolfmother, Midnight Juggernauts, Cut Copy…”

It’s also been the hangout du jour for visiting celebs looking to let their hair down.

“Nick Cave slow dancing with Rufus Wainwright is an image I’ll always remember from the dancefloor,” Butz recalled.

This Saturday’s party will include shows from Bleepin J Squawkins and Dallas Dellaforce, plus DJ sets from Butz, DJ Gemma and Stereogamous, but Butz was keen to point out that above all else, it’s Kooky’s revellers that make each night a success.

“The most important element of Kooky is its people. Some original Kooksters may have morphed into bears, some may have changed gender,” he said.

“We may change on the outside but a love of togetherness keeps the family together. For many Kooky was the first place they could truly be themselves – then they took it to the streets.”

info: Club Kooky is on Saturday from 9pm at the Sydney University Manning Bar.

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