Excitement levels were high entering The Marble Factory for Hot Wuk. Having missed The Heatwave’s last outing at Thekla and hearing multiple accounts of the good vibes, I was ready to dance but also wanted to pin point what it was about Hot Wuk that made it unique from other dancehall/bashment nights. As soon as I walked in, I remembered. Dancehall lyrics can be somewhat mysoginistic can, in turn, create a crowd which reflects them. Heatwave turns this outcome on its head; not only with the tunes picked but also how they’re played.
It’s rare that you walk into a predominantly female rave, in fact I think Hot Wuk is the only night I’ve attended that hasn’t been male heavy; not only that but the general attitude from everyone is one of respect. The presumption of grabbing a stranger is eviscerated as soon as you walk through door and I can only presume this is due to how The Heatwave crew interacted with the audience. Early on a woman from the audience made her way onto the stage and danced towards/at the MC and was completely ignored. Skip forward half an hour and a dancer was brought onto the stage to showcase some serious moves. After she was celebrated, further groups of ladies were invited up to show what they could do – nothing sleazy about it. Simply women enjoying themselves together – on the stage and off.
It was more common to look around to see women dancing with women smiles wide with mutual enjoyment, than on men in a hypersexualised manner, which is how bashment and dancehall is largely marketed. So often when attending nightclubs women can feel the need to hold back for fear of attracting unwanted attention and the complete lack of that is what made the night so special; multiple groups of women letting loose in a show of organic enjoyment was a joy to be a part of. I even turned to a friend at one point and said: “Single guys must not know how many women go to these nights cause this is so female heavy”, to which she replied “Good, I want to to enjoy myself!” which pretty much sums up the evening. Mutual respect and love is the backbone of this night and after tonight it’s not hard to see why.