One of the brains behind Britain’s most inclusive pop festival. From club-nights in Bethnal Green to thousands celebrating freedom, expression, and fun in Brockwell Park. Glyn Fussell of the Mighty Hoopla is all about bringing people together and championing the alternative.
After the past 12 months we’ve had, it’s about time we slapped on some glitter, rounded up the party crew and got ourselves down to a party in a park: cue Mighty Hoopla. The inclusive pop festival that’s set to be the event of the summer. The full-throttle one-day event brings together a collective of pop stars, drag acts and performances from the best names on the LGBTQ+ club scene. The brainchild of the creative duo behind 'Sink the Pink': Glyn Fussell and Amy Redmond.
Before all the fun kicks off on September 4th , we caught up with Glyn to hear on how Mighty Hoopla got started, what we can expect to hear, and on the importance on supporting the alternative.
For those who have never made it to Mighty Hoopla before, can you tell us what it is and how it started?
It’s the UK's biggest and most fabulous pop festival - but it’s also so much more than that. It's a day where you come together with your friends and then lose them all and meet new friends. We take fun VERY seriously, and it’s a super creative celebratory day where everyone really comes together to sing and dance until they drop.
It started with a few crazy London promoters that were running nights that were a little out of the box coming together and asking 'what if?'. We all thought the festival market was getting very high brow and serious, so we decided to sprinkle a little camp magic onto it... then Hoopla was born!
You co-created the party 'Sink the Pink' with Amy Redmond and it’s been a staple of queer London nightlife for over a decade now – what’s been some of the highlights for you?
Wow, we've had so many pinch me moments actually. I think one for me has been when we were the opening float at Pride in São Paulo a few years ago; it was a really challenging time in Brazil with LGBTQ+ people fighting for their rights to just exist. Four million people came out that day and it was the biggest turn for pride ever! The energy was just so powerful and moving, I will never forget it. We also played Times Square and sold out Brixton Academy, we have so many WTF memories, but the best thing is that all of it happens surrounded by friends that will be with me until the end!
When it all began at Bethnal Green’s Working Men’s Club, did you expect it be so popular?
Fuck no. I mean, I've always been insanely ambitious I can’t deny that. The twists and turns could have never been predicted though. It has been such a strangely unique and incomparable ride. The thing that this pandemic has given me which I am grateful for is a moment to pause and reflect and feel immense pride in what me and Amy have created.
Following an inevitable year out, Mighty Hoopla is finally back and is set to be the event to remember this summer – what are you most looking forward to on September 4th?
All of it, It's hard to imagine that many people together feeling immense joy and euphoria. Mighty Hoopla is a space where people live, laugh, love and dance hard, and I think this year it’s going to be the summer of love. Our community needs one another, and large scale events are needed more than ever. You will probably find me sobbing and dancing all day!
What’s the dress code?
It’s a “be your most fabulous self” mantra when getting ready. Also, lots of exposed sparkly flesh as people dance hard and of course bring a fan and a bumbag!
What pop anthems can we expect to be chanting when we’re leaving Brockwell Park?
Well, we have En Vogue playing so 'Free Your Mind', Cheryl will be singing 'Call My Name' and my all time favourite Jimmy Somerville is playing with a 12 piece orchestra so can you imagine 'Smalltown Boy' will also be blasting out.
As clubs and bars return and we can put our dancing shoes back on, what bars and clubs in London should we go visit?
Support the alternative, so head to Bethnal Green Working Men's Club, The Glory and Dalston Superstore. All are run by amazing humans that are integral to our scene.