BA Politics and History. Class of 2009
Jamie Tagg, owner and Managing Director of East Creative has been using his creative flair to create a new and exciting nightlife for London’s LQBT community. Armed with a fabulous squad of performers (and a whole lot of glitter), Jamie Tagg and Co-Founder Glyn Fussell, have been shaking up the scene with their East Creative team, the agency boasts a long list of client services – from booking talent to programming arts venues – but it specialises in LGBTQ-friendly events, including Sink The Pink, the UK's biggest drag club night and Mighty Hoopla, a London pop music festival that welcomes 25,000 revellers every Summer.
Sink the Pink
Since being founded in 2008, Sink The Pink has grown from humble beginnings at Bethnal Green working mens club, to one of the biggest LGBTQ+ nights in the world, selling out venues such as the Brixton Academy, Roundhouse, Troxy as well as touring the globe with Spice Girl, Melanie C.
Continuously challenging the status quo around nightlife culture and celebrating freedom of self-expression, Sink The Pink is a melting pot of drag artists, club kids, performers, decorated choreographers, creatives and acclaimed set and costume designers. At Sink The Pink, everyone is welcome and everyone is celebrated.
But no party can last forever, and after 13 years of epic years, Sink the Pink will go out with a bang in 2022 with their final ever show!
While the group’s club nights will be no more, Sink The Pink will live on through the aggressively camp and sequinned music festival Mighty Hoopla.
Mighty Hoopla has grown from 3,000 attendees in its first year to the 25,000 Brockwell Park-filling experience we see now. “We started out as a weekender at Butlin’s in Bognor Regis in 2016, with a capacity of just 3,000” says Jamie. Mighty Hoopla’s popularity is a testament to the demand for decadent pop festivals that are nothing but fabulous.
With freedom and expressionism at it’s heart, Mighty Hoopla’s popularity is a testament to the demand for decadent pop festivals that are nothing but fabulous.
Hoopla also provides a focus for emerging and established LGBTQ+ artists and performers, as well as delivering a safe and welcoming event for our diverse audience and attendees.
Jamie knows the sector well, having previously worked as a DJ agent for several years before setting up East Creative, with his co-founder Glyn.
“I met Glyn in 2013, I was managing various Radio 1 DJs at the time. We were from very different worlds but after just four months of working together, I quit my job and said, ‘I want to do this full time’. We realised we had a lot of mutual friends in the industry who weren’t being represented properly on the music and creative scene." After establishing their events business in East London, the duo partnered with DJ and broadcaster Fearne Cotton in 2016 to set up Noisy Kitchen, a commercial talent agency which today represents a range of celebrities and artists including Reggie Yates, Gok Wan, Kate Nash and Fleur East.
Jamie’s work has been fundamental to the incredible and extraordinary injection of these signature events, which play an important role in so many people’s lives. We caught up with Jamie during LGBT+ History Month to find out more about his work, future plans, and time at Swansea Uni.
We were sad to see that Sink the Pink is coming to an end, but glad that Mighty Hoopla will continue. Why are events like Sink the Pink and Mighty Hoopla important for changing attitudes and promoting inclusivity and diversity?
I joined Sink The Pink in 2012 and I remember one of the first shows I booked for us was at Loughborough Uni. No one knew who or what Sink The Pink was and this was before RuPaul or even drag (as we know it now) was popular. The entire rugby team was in the front row with their jaws on the floor. At first they were just a bit confused at what they were seeing and then they got a little aggressive to the queens. So we pulled them up on stage and by the end of the night half the team were in drag and half of our crew were doing line outs in heels.
For me it's those little moments that can totally change opinions and views for the better and whilst STP is coming to an end, I hope Mighty Hoopla will continue to do that for years to come.
What were the highlights of Sink the Pink for you?
There have been so many great moments over the years and it's been such a joy to see my friends start their careers in a working mens club in Bethnal Green to then go on to touring the world with Spice Girl. One memory I have was from 2015 and I was smuggling a few extra people into a night we were running via the back door. Everyone was wearing wigs and covered in face paint and once we all got to the bar, a certain Bryan Adams took his wig off and asked if I wanted a drink. That was a great night.
Why is LGBT+ History Month important to you?
LGBTQ+ History month is really important for everyone to understand the history and oppression that LGTBQ+ folk have suffered and continue to do so. It's crazy to think that outside only a handful of postcodes in the UK, two people of the same sex holding hands in public is still an act of defiance in 2022. Education is the key to change and LGBTQ+ History month is a vital part of that.
What are your plans for this year/ the future?
Our plans are now to spread Mighty Hoopla far and wide. I think a lot of people want something more than a straight up music festival based on algorithms of what people are streaming, they want a day out to escape the stress of living today's world and I hope that is something we can offer everyone that comes through our gates.
"There is genuinely nothing I would change about my time at Swansea."
How would you describe your time at Swansea University?
"There is genuinely nothing I would change about my time at Swansea. I have the best memories from my time there, both as a student and after I graduated working for the Students' Union. Many of my closest friends today came from my time there and I know that is the same from a lot of people who attend the university."
Your career sounds incredibly exciting, I imagine there’s a lot of late nights and long hours. Nevertheless, It must feel very rewarding?
Yes, it is, it's a fantastic industry to be in but you have to enjoy the work. I am lucky that pretty much ever since my first shift in Diva's in 2006 I've enjoyed working in nightlife and had great people around me. Gary Lulham (Sin City owner) and Russell Wade (Ents Manager) were my first bosses as a promoter and without doubt started me out on my career.
"I owe a lot of my career to my time at Swansea terms of learning how to put on big events and work with talent."
Do you have any distinguished memories from your time at Swansea?
I'm sure like most, I have one or two! But it was my time working for the Students' Union as the Ents Co-ordinator that I have the most to be honest. Making Toast for Fatman Scoop in my kitchen before he performed in Frershers' Week or working with the Athletic Union to put on the first ever Varsity match to take place at Millennium Stadium. I owe a lot of my career to my time at Swansea in terms of learning how to put on big events and working with talent.