BLUF Local: London

BLUF London events traditionally took place at The Backstreet in Mile End, but following its closure, we are seeking new locations to try out. Many members also regularly attend the London Leather Social and meetings of London Leathermen. We also organise a presence at the London Pride Parade. London events are presently organised by OneKinkyGent (4700)

BLUF at Pride 2015

BLUF at Pride 2015


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Backstreet at the Museum of London

When the Backstreet closed, a number of items were donated to the Museum of London. You can now read a history of the club on the museum website.

Categories: venues

Friday 03 March 2023, Nigel, aka SubDirectory (3).


The Backstreet is closing

30 May 2022

We're sorry to announce that Backstreet, London's leather bar, is set to close its doors on 17th July, after 37 years. You can read an appreciation of the bar in our blog post.


BLUF in the London Pride Parade

17 Apr 2022

Once again, BLUF will be marching with London Leathermen in the Pride Parade, which this year takes place on the 2nd of July. If you would like to take part, please either add the event BLUF in the London Pride Parade to your Travel Plans, or email


Backstreet's back

08 Sep 2021

We're delighted to announce that Backstreet, London's leather bar, is open once more, and we've been able to schedule the first London BLUF event in a long time. You'll be able to find BLUF at the club on Saturday 16th October, from 10pm.

Keep an eye on the club's website for detaails of other events - and of course they're open as normal every Friday and Saturday, even if it's not a special event


Register now for the London Pride Parade

16 Jul 2021

UPDATED 6th August: London Pride has again been cancelled for this year. Neither the Parade nor other parts of Pride will be going ahead.

If you're going to be in London on 11th September, don't forget that it's London Pride! BLUF is once again registered as a walking group for the parade, and we have been allocated 50 wristbands. If you've like to join us, please add the event to your Travel Plans. We'll


London... we're waiting

16 Jun 2021

With the extension of the current restrictions in the UK, The Backstreet has announced that they'll not be open until at least July 19th, as expected. We're keeping in touch with them, and we hope to be able to announce some dates for BLUF at The Backstreet later this summer.


Spring Awakening

23 Apr 2021

After a year of on-off lockdown, during which we've been unable to have any BLUF events in London, things look like they're slowly improving, though we're not out of the woods yet.

I thought it was time to update everyone with what news we have, and how we hope things will progress over the coming months.

Support our stores

Across London, we're fortunate enough to have some excellent stores serving the community, and


BLUF at London's virtual Pride Parade

27 Jun 2020

Although London's Pride Parade couldn't take place this year, the capital has still been taken over by the festival. As part of the celebrations, the 'London Lights' advertising screen in Piccadilly Circus was taken over by Pride in London, and featured a slideshow of the groups that would have been taking part in the parade - including BLUF.

You can see our slide in the photo, or


BLUF London online social

11 Jun 2020

Join us for our next BLUF London online social, the night before Pride, Friday 26th of June. Full details are in the calendar: BLUF London online social


BLUF at Backstreet in 2020

20 Dec 2019

In 2020, we're making some changes to BLUF at Backstreet, principally to make it easier for people to know when it's happening. We now have a regular slot, on the first Friday of alternate months, starting in January, so we'll be at the club in March, May, July, September, and November as well.

We'd also love to hear from members who would like to host the events - keeping an eye out for newcomers


Guardian article on the Backstreet

16 Aug 2019

Guardian journalist Rupert Neate has written an article about the Backstreet planning application: London council saves gay fetish club from redevelopment.


Backstreeet: Appeal dismissed

09 Aug 2019

The decision in the planning appeal regarding redevelopment of The Backstreet has been published today (Friday 9th August). The developers appealed against the council's decision not to grant planning permission.

Appeal dismissed

So, the council’s decision has been upheld and the redevelopment of The Backstreet, and the rest of the site, will not be permitted to go ahead. Theoretically, it is possible that the developers could ask


London Pride Parade photos

07 Jul 2019

Check out these photos from BLUF and London Leathermen in the London Pride Parade: BLUF & LLM in the London Pride Parade 2019


London Pride Parade update

10 Jun 2019

28th June: Another update on the London Pride Parade. We are in section C of the parade, at position 115. This means that our arrival window is between 11.30 and 12.30, and all those marching with us need to arrive together. We are next to the Recon group, which is at C114 with their DJ truck.

The expected waiting time in the form-up area is around 90 minutes, and the march will


Backstreet: the planning inquiry

22 May 2019

The planning appeal for redevelopment of Backstreet started, long time followers of the saga may remember, back in January. It was scheduled for five days, then adjourned until 15th May, when two extra days were set aside to finish things up.

I attended on Wednesday 15th May, to speak about the importance of the club; I didn’t stay for the whole of the day - a lot of what was being discussed


London Pride Parade

03 Mar 2019

It's time to register for the London Pride Parade, and once again we're planning a joint presence with London Leathermen. If you'd like to take part, please add the event - BLUF in the London Pride Parade - to your Travel Plans, so we can estimate numbers. As in previous years, a wristband is required to take part, and so we need to know who's coming in advance. Non-members can email to


Backstreet update: On and on and on

28 Jan 2019

I had hoped by now to have an update on the planning appeal for Backstreet, with at least the possibility of a date by which the decision would be made. In retrospect, I should have known better.

For those coming late to this, the planning appeal that was held in late January was the latest stage in a very long saga. The formal planning application was submitted in May 2016 - though the design


Backstreet: How you can help save it

03 Dec 2018

If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve seen a call being circulated on social media to help try and save the Backstreet from closure. I’ve gathered together some information here to help you make the most effective submissions.

What’s happening?

In January of 2019, a planning appeal will be held that will determine whether or not The Backstreet continues in its present form. The appeal is a public inquiry, into a planning


Another Backstreet update

17 Aug 2018

A little while ago we reported that the developers who own the building containing The Backstreet had lodged an appeal against the refusal of planning permission (see here). We can now update you with a little more information.

The chief aim of the planning appeals process isn't to re-make the arguments, but rather to see if the decision was made correctly based on the evidence presented - so we didn't ask everyone to


Backstreet: developers are appealing

14 Jun 2018

I last wrote about the planning application for The Backstreet in November - Planning wheels grind exceeding slow - when it had been formally rejected by the Tower Hamlets planning committee. In fact, the official refusal notice wasn't issued until the 14th of December. As I noted at the time, there is a six month window in which the developer can launch an appeal, which means that today - the 14th of June 2018


Get ready for London Pride

04 Apr 2018

There are just three months now until London's Pride Parade, and once again BLUF will be marching with London Leathermen. Everyone's welcome to join us, but you need to register as soon as you can. We'll have more details closer to the time, but for now, make sure you save the date!

BLUF in the London Pride Parade


BLUF at Backstreet in 2018

18 Dec 2017

Get your diaries out! We've set the dates for BLUF events at The Backstreet for 2018, with five events scheduled across the year. You'll find them all in the calendar, and you can check the posters out on this page. All the shots were taken by Matt Spike at BLUF's 20th Birthday Bash in October 2017. Thanks to those members featured for letting us use their images.

The dates are:

Planning wheels grind exceeding slow

28 Nov 2017

Back in August, we reported that the application to redevelop the Backstreet site had been rejected, even though the new plans included a new space for the club in the basement. Since then, it's been a waiting game, wondering if the developer would appeal the decision, and what comes next.

Almost unnoticed, last week there was another milestone, of sorts, in the form of a response by the Mayor of London


London Leather Weekend is almost here

12 Oct 2017

London Leather Weekend is almost here - the first event, John Pendal's "How to escape from stuff" is on Tuesday the 17th, and there are plenty of other things too, including nights at The Backstreet and The Eagle, dinners, brunches and a fetish market. You'll find all the details in the BLUF calendar.


Backstreet planning update

18 Aug 2017

On Thursday 17th August, the proposal to redevelop The Backstreet site came up again. If you've not been following it, you can read about the current proposal here. Essentially, the plans are as before, but with the addition of a new space in the basement for The Backstreet.

That means that, to an extent, the club should be safe whichever way the meeting went - if the proposal was thrown out, the


Backstreet Planning Update - Digging Deeper

13 Jul 2017

After having twice had their proposals thrown out by the Strategic Development Committee, it was inevitable that developers would have to think a little harder about how they altered the proposal, and the future of The Backstreet.

Thanks to letters from supporters and - I like to think - my speeches at the planning meetings, we persuaded the Committee that it was essential to preserve the club, and that a relocation strategy


Travelling to Backstreet this weekend?

13 Jul 2017

If you're planning to attend any events at The Backstreet this weekend - in particular the BLUF & IGNITE event on Friday, note that the annual Lovebox festival is taking place in Victoria Park, which is not far away.

This means that bus routes in the area will be diverted, and from previous experience the diversions can be very long, especially as the streets round the park will be full of people leaving


Tom of Finland comes to London

24 Jun 2017

The long awaited film about Tom of Finland receives its London premiere on Friday 30th June, as part of the East London Film Festival. It'll be showing at the Hackney Picture House in Mare Street, with tickets £12.50 each. Full details are in the BLUF calendar: Tom of Finland - London Premiere


Pride is coming to London

07 Jun 2017

London's Pride Parade is on the 8th of July, and BLUF will be joining with London Leathermen (London Leathermen) to march together. We'll have more details as they're announced, including the location to form up, and the time, so please do keep an eye on the event listing at BLUF and LLM in the London Pride Parade

As wrist-bands are required to gain access to the parade, numbers are limited. Please let us


Backstreet - another win

26 Apr 2017

At last night's Strategic Development Committee, we won again. For the second time this year, the committee threw out plans to redevelop the site of which Backstreet is a part, by 6 votes to 1.

That's the good news. But what does it really mean? It's hard to say, because after the last meeting in February - see The battle for Backstreet - we certainly didn't expect to be going through the same


It lives! The Backstreet planning application has been revised

31 Mar 2017

It was inevitable that the developers would be back with a new plan, but no one expected it so soon. Barely a month after the plans for a 15 storey tower to replace The Backstreet were rejected, the developers have submitted a revised application. In fact, they've not even waited for the official Officers' report detailing the rejection to be brought forward to the Committee.

So, what does this mean? It means, yet, again


London Leather Weekend and BLUF's Birthday Bash

25 Mar 2017

If you're looking for events to attend later this year, save the date for London Leather Weekend. It's from 19th to 22nd October, and BLUF will be joining with London Leathermen for a social at The Eagle on the night of Friday 20th.

It's also the start of BLUF's 20th birthday celebrations, which we'll be kicking off with a BLUF members event at The Backstreet on Thursday 19th.

The full programme for the


Planning committee minutes

16 Mar 2017

For those who want to read the full details of the discussion at last month's Strategic Development Committee, where the decision regarding redevelopment of The Backstreet site was taken, the minutes of the meeting can now be downloaded from the Tower Hamlets website. Direct PDF download


February in London

02 Feb 2017

This month there are four special nights at The Backstreet, including BLUF on Saturday 11th Feb, Meat Rack on Saturday 4th, plus Down & Dirty on the 25th, and Rubbrd on the 18th.

Elsewhere there's the London Leather Social on Sunday 5th at Comptons, and London Leathermen's usual club night is at the Eagle on Friday 17th, with FetishBound at Central Station on the 10th.

Looking further ahead, the date for the first


Fighting for The Backstreet

07 Jan 2017

Last spring, we wrote about the threat of redevelopment facing The Backstreet, London's only leather bar, together with information about how to oppose the application.

Nothing much has happened for a while, and so far the application hasn't even come up before the Planning Committee. However, at least some of those who objected have received letters, indicating that some changes have been made to the application. One of the chief objections to the scheme


This month in London

02 Jan 2017

While we don't have any BLUF events in the capital until next month, there are still a few things worth checking out in January in London.

  • The Leather Social is on Sunday 8th. From February it reverts to the first Sunday of the month
  • The weekend of 20/21 is Mr Leather UK, organised by London Leathermen.

As well as the competition itself, the weekend will include a Mastery event at Backstreet


Step up to save London's leather bar

08 Jun 2016

The Backstreet, London's only strict leather bar, is under threat from development plans.

Before you panic, it's not going to suddenly vanish, and this isn't the first time there have been plans put forward to redevelop the site - something that, obviously, is not going to include a new space in the application labelled 'gay leather bar.' The last time a serious proposal was put forward was in 2007, and it went nowhere


Do you want to join us on the London Pride Parade

20 May 2015

Do you want to march with other guys at London Pride? BLUF is registered a a walking group, and we've added additional details to the listing in the calendar: