Fag Tag celebrates three years this weekend

Fag Tag celebrates three years this weekend

Fag Tag, the wandering theme night taking over straight, out of the way and new venues, will celebrate its third anniversary this weekend by taking over a new venue in the Rocks.

The Third Birthday at the Argyle on Sunday completes a list of 30 venues visited by the monthly, generally free event.

Founder Tim Duggan said it started as a bit of a joke, but the founding night at Chinese Laundry in 2004 appeared to touch a nerve among disaffected young people on the gay scene.

“Any gay guy who’s been out for a while tends to walk the same well-worn path. Yet there were a lot of really great venues that weren’t being used,” Duggan said.

Each event now attracts upwards of 1,000 people, Duggan claimed, built on viral marketing and word of mouth.

“I sent out an email to just 80 friends and created a really basic website where people could sign up for the mailing list. Within a week we had over a 1,000,” he said.

Duggan said the need for the collaborative exploration wasn’t just boredom. Aside from the excitement of going to new venues, there was safety in numbers.

“We’ve never had an incident, never any violence. There probably are places we wouldn’t go, but we’ve educated the venues and we pick venue down times,” he said.

And he said the clubs are being more open to the idea of a gay invasion now the event comes with a track record and references from venue owners.

The future of Fag Tag could include heading west – although Duggan said he’s a little hesitant – but certainly the regular influx of new straight clubs in the east.

While some venue owners are afraid the new smoking ban will reduce numbers, Duggan said Fag Tag was unlikely to be affected.

“We tend to choose outdoor venues anyway, but I don’t think there’s a smoking culture at Fag Tag. We’ll wait and see.”

Fag Tag’s Third Birthday will be held Sunday 22 July, 4pm, at the Argyle in The Rocks. For more information visit www.fagtag.com.au.

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