One last 'blowout' for Ipswich: LGBTQ+ nightclub set to close its doors

Nightclub with people dancing

Jay said he has been forced to shut the club as it is "no longer sustainable" - Credit: Rebecca Gilchrist Photography

An Ipswich-based LGBTQ+ nightclub is set to close its doors for the final time.

Jay Austin, organiser of 'After Party', said he has been forced to shut the venue down as it is "no longer sustainable".

"It's ticking along but not at a rate that I can continue", said Jay. 

"I'm not getting the support I thought I would.

"It's crippling me financially."

The club is located in the Music Room, close to Ipswich Waterfront, which will continue to operate as normal.

After Party's final day of opening will be on the last Friday of Pride Month (June 24), with a "big blowout" farewell event taking place from 10pm to 3am. 

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"I've got a lot planned for it", said Jay. 

"I've got drag queens coming up, dancers, lip sync battles. The music will be from the 70s up until today.

"It is an LGBTQ+ event but everyone is welcome.

"Hopefully it will all go down really well."

After Party was forced to close in November of last year after Jay received significant homophobic abuse in Ipswich. 

After relaunching in February, the venue has continued to see a number of incidents. 

"There are some people that don't like it at all," said Jay.

"Sometimes you can tolerate it but other times you just think 'I shouldn't have to put up with this'."

People dancing in nightclub with performer on stage

The event is set to take place Friday June 24 - Credit: Rebecca Gilchrist Photography

Now, Jay has taken the difficult decision to close the club for the final time. 

"I just can't do it on my own anymore. There are so many reasons as to why people aren't coming out as much anymore.

"There's Covid, spiking, people feeling unsafe. The cost of living crisis has added to it all as well. 

"It's killing the nightlife."

Looking ahead, Jay is now set to tour the UK with a dance group while also running children's classes on the side.

"It's a shame I have to close", he concluded. 

"But enough is enough. I just can't do it anymore.

"Things could change but, for now, I've done my best and enough is enough."