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The LGBT clubbing scene isn’t exactly booming in Shanghai these days. With Icon currently closed, the only regular, explicitly queer-friendly club option is Lucca. Thankfully, people like Jacky Lok Hang Chan and Jeffrey Yu are doing something about it. Along with friends Jing Shi and Yelin Qiu, the pair founded monthly party Snap!, a night for dressing up, dancing and not taking things too seriously. And it’s proving a hit.
‘It came from all four of us thinking we want something alternative that’s ultimately for the gay audience but hopefully attracting a crowd that just wants fun, not something superficial or pretentious,’ Chan told us. Each night has a different theme – ‘Asian Persuasion’, ‘Glitterati’, and on our visit ‘Anonymous’, where there are masks of all kinds, from laboratory goggles to gas masks, scattered around the room. ‘It’s a reason for people to dress up’, Yu says, ‘ even if you don’t have the time, because everyone is so busy in this city, that’s why we have all these things people can put on. It doesn’t matter if you’ve come prepared or not, and people seem to like that.’
Shaanxi Bei Lu spot Daliah is the current home of Snap!, a space that’s as fun as the night itself – you can take the slide from the first- floor bathroom right to the dance floor, or chill out on a swing if it’s getting too much. But don’t think this is a low-key affair – most nights the place is going until 3am and packed out by midnight. Whilst parties are monthly for now, don’t be surprised to see more frequent events at other locations soon.