Radiant Love is a party. It is a collective and it is a platform for art installations and performance art. It is vibrant and it is loving. Radiant Love has many shades. For many, it is among the most forward-thinking and progressive spaces in the city’s rich tapestry of nightlife. On November 30 Radiant Love will open its doors again, but where, we won’t tell you because it just doesn’t work like that. The collective brainchild of DJ Byron Yeates, performance artist Amelia Emma Forrest and booking agent Jochem van Bruggen, Radiant Love is a beacon for what the clubbing scene could, and should, look like.
Did you know what the party scene in Berlin would be like before you came?
The year before I moved here I was coming very regularly to Berlin, sometimes every six weeks, so I had a fair idea of what was going on. That changes a lot when you live here, and the rose tinted glasses come off a little bit. It became something that I and a lot of my friends couldn’t really relate to, and it was mainly cis male-dominated.
Is Radiant Love a response to that?
For sure. I came because I was attracted to the nightlife. We don’t really have many clubs in Ireland like here in Berlin, and particularly with regards to the music. Radiant Love is a reaction to our experiences in nightlife spaces, there’s a bit of darkness to a lot of what’s out there, and that doesn’t speak to us. I think our party is super femme, but it’s diverse across the board. It’s friendly and there’s a real loyal following but plenty of new people, which keeps it fresh. It’s for a lot of people who want to participate in this scene but don’t necessarily feel welcome elsewhere.
Is it a queer space?
The language is an interesting one. I’ve always not really felt the need to say it. If you go you kind of just pick up on that. Sometimes queer is used as a branding tactic, and what’s branded as queer is really just one version of queer. I don’t think that’s what Radiant Love is, it’s super open. I think it speaks for itself. This culture of care is our number one priority when we’re throwing a party. The big thing is for there to not be any judgement, you never know what anyone is going through in a space.
But it’s an underground party, so it’s not for everyone either.
No, it’s not for everybody. We’ve had to figure this out as we have progressed and it’s not about being trendy or cool. For us, word of mouth is the most important tool we have to encourage people to come that will enjoy Radiant Love to its fullest. Perhaps people can see it as exclusive, but it’s more about keeping that sense of excitement and mystique. It builds a community and that is so important. At the last party, I took a minute before I DJ’d and I was a little in awe of these people that have faith in what we are doing. Everyone looking after each other, it’s sacred.
There’s also a family aspect here.
Amelia’s mum, Evelyn, does the cash desk and she’s done it since day one. I really wanted her to be involved. From the second you walk in there’s a mum there. It sets a sense of respect.
What’s the artistic direction for Radiant Love?
It varies. Sometimes it’s people we know and want to give a platform to, but it’s also people that have inspired us. We want more than four walls and a DJ. We want to challenge people, so that they go away with more than just music and conversation. You’re not going to expect to find someone tied up in an old WWII bunker for example. We’re creating different forms of stimulation. Still, the dance floor is the beating heart of the party and everything else is a bonus.
Does Berlin need Radiant Love?
If Radiant Love means something to someone, no matter how many people that is, then absolutely. It’s not just us though, there are friends of ours that run amazing nights and have been a big influence. Lecken, Dump, and Climax are all quite femme-forward spaces and we share a lot of the same morals. Friendliness, openness, and no hierarchy. Those things should be everywhere but sometimes it gets lost in Berlin.
Radiant Love | ORWOhaus, Marzahn. Nov 30, starts 23:00.