An Interview with Judi Thomas, creator of 'Party In Your Pants' and 'Doodletown'
We met in the cellar in the North Laine Brewhouse, we agree that it’s a bit of an unusual place to do an interview, but it’s nice nonetheless!
So, tell us about Doodletown…
We’re taking over the North Laine Brewhouse, and Nick the new manager has been very open-minded and is letting us takeover for the whole of 2nd December. We’ll be setting up from noon and building an indoor festival with a campsite, obstacle course and a pyramid stage. We’ve got everything everyone else has, only smaller!
What’s the idea behind Doodletown?
We all wanted to do more Blacklight Body Marbling with more mess and more play! We did a mini version of this last year and we were the first people in the UK to figure out how to do Backlight Body Marbling, the North Laine Brewhouse then funded us to put it on as a free gig . We also did a little doodle creative lab where people could use non-newtonian fluids like making Playdough, Moon Sand and Slime, so we created UV recipes for all of those things.
What can we expect at Doodletown?
We are going to have a The Floor is Lava obstacle course to get to the toilets and people will be equipped to help guests. There will also be a row of pink tents, which will be the campers campsite as well as an adult size sand pit with a lifeguard. Richard and Hazel will be running a wellness area with Aerobicize. Doodle Couture Fashion Ramp where you can make your own hat will also feature. ‘Party in Your Pants’ will be held in the back, the cloak room will be called the ‘The Palace of Undressminster’ its all a lot of tongue in cheek, all free and all fun.
You say it’s a lot of fun but I think I know you well enough that there may be a political edge alongside it?
Well, we will definitely be singing ‘Oh Jeremy Corbyn’ at some point! That’s become a theme that happens at ‘Party in Your Pants’ as well. Getting topless is political, and choosing not to be depressed right now its quite a political and revolutionary act. We like to create an environment where you encouraged to forget reality for a bit.
So what is ‘Party in Your Pants’
It is a feminist only, UV topless body doodling rave and it is the only one in the world. I created it as I felt there was a lot of segregation between Cis feminists groups, lesbian, gay and trans people – there is solidarity but there are factions. I wanted to find something, that as human beings we all have in common, and being able to laugh and make mess are two things human beings are good at, and have all those barriers removed
As a Cis gendered woman, free the nipple is something close to my heart. I have male friends who thinks its outrageous that I have to put my shirt on when they don’t. Therefore we decided to create a safe space where we can put our gender aside and just come as a feminist, as a human being and as way to affirm that women have breasts and not behave inappropriately.
So many straight guys have had a really empowering experience as much as women, who have taken their tops off and getting over their body shame.
It is very body positive, the age range is from 18-70 all shapes and sizes and we really don’t give a crap! It’s been going for 2 years now and sells out every time, it will also be coming up again on 16th December at the green door store.
With it being Doodletown and has festival vibe, is their a homeless connotation there?
I don’t think that any of these things are disconnected with one another. The one festival I love in Brighton Is Brunswick Festival as its not run for homeless people but they’re all there and are human beings who like music, we dance together, share drinks out of the same bottle and all of a sudden those barriers aren’t there for one day.
Something I enjoy about your groups and events is that a ‘political act’ doesn’t have to be serious, it can be fun. You have people visiting your events from Birmingham, Liverpool and further afield, what are your thoughts in terms of the future?
We are desperate to get on the road. One thing I am keenly aware of in Brighton, is that there is a level of privilege that those who aren’t rough sleeping have access to - the diversity and variety of places and possibilities for interacting with different people, positively and creatively. For me, its about getting out of our bubble, I believe what we have got transfers and because I do believe in every single human being and I don’t care if you live in Grimsby and you all voted out, people can still have a LOL and everybody likes a booby. It’s not us that need the hope injection actually; it’s the rest of the country. We have the reminders daily that we are multicultural and that nobody can take that away from us.
You can head to Doodletown’s Blacklight Festival THIS SATURDAY for free! The party starts at 21:00 at The North Laine Brewhouse.
More details here