Express yourself: Why this wild club night is much more than a party

Updated 13th December 2016
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Express yourself: Why this wild club night is much more than a party
Londoners have a history of creating global trends. From teddy boys and mods, to punks and New Romantics, subcultural movements are in the city's DNA.
But what subcultural scene is bubbling below the UK's capital today?
Despite a spate of major club closures this year, Mayor Sadiq Khan wants to make London a "24-hour city that's open to all." He has appointed the first Night Czar Amy Lamé to help protect an industry that is worth an estimated £26 billion ($32.7 billion).
One collective keeping this hedonistic dream alive is Sink The Pink, a raucous, rainbow-hued bacchanal that, four times a year, welcomes 3,000 club kids to a venue in east London for nights of celebrity performances, pageants and lip sync battles.

Subculture goes mainstream

Sink The Pink was founded by Glyn Fussell and Amy Zing, two friends from Bristol, in 2008.
"We would always go to clubs where we would be told, 'That's for straight people' and 'That's for gay people.' We thought, 'Can't we just party together, without being given this label?'" Zing said.
"We wanted to create that, and obviously a lot of other people wanted it too."
Inside London's new subcultures
Today, what started as a club night has since evolved into 40-member collective and high-profile brand.
And with parties for Gareth Pugh and the Fashion Awards under their belt -- as well as a gig with Britney Spears -- Sink The Pink's glittering party is going mainstream.
But in addition to the fun and fashionable side, they have become something far more significant: a community.
"It means a lot to people. A lot of people have met their partners here. It's kind of become a way of life . . . a different way of thinking and a different way of celebrating together."

Part of the 'family'

Louie Banks, the London-based photographer CNN commissioned to photograph one of this year's events, has close ties to what he calls his Sink The Pink "family."
"The basis of Sink The Pink is that it's non judgmental. There are a wide variety of regulars, from gorgeous elderly ladies who love to dig out the old frock, to anyone LGBT, to tons of straight men and women who go for the first time and leave a different person, to celebrities and fashion moguls who are hardcore fans."
Banks feels controversy is to be expected.
"If you address gender, religion, race and fill venues with 3000 nutbags, then people are bound to be offended. But that's all part of revolutionizing society. To challenge political correctness with humor and kindness is key."
Find more information on Sink The Pink and their upcoming New Year's Eve party here.