It’s just past midnight. You’re in the middle of the dancefloor. All your worries and stresses melting away as the all-female line-up plays banger after banger. Everyone in the room is having the best time, whether they’ve had five drinks or none. You’re at a night run by Thirsty Girls, and it’s the best party you’ve ever been to.
Thirsty Girls is a Manchester based DJ collective and gig promoter based in Manchester, who celebrate all women and non-binary musicians in all genres of music, and use their platform to raise awareness for local charities in order to spark positive change. Essentially, they’re partying towards a better world. We caught up with event manager Katie to learn more about what they do.
“We’re a DJ collective, but we also put on shows and events,” Katie explains. “The most notable would be Homerpalooza, which we try to put on once a year. We basically play everything that’s been played in The Simpsons, from Barry White to White Stripes. It’s just a really fun silly night where everyone can come and get dressed up as their favourite Simpsons character; we have a walk-off where everyone does a cat walk in their costumes, it’s always very silly and very fun.”
And it doesn’t stop at just The Simpsons. For International Women’s Day last year, the collective hosted an Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging party in aid of The Monthly Gift, a Manchester based charity that supplies toiletries and sanitary products to women living on the streets. “That was an honour. We played ‘Ultraviolet’ at like 2am, confetti canons went off and we were all just going insane on stage. Then we had a stage invasion and I was just thinking ‘is this really happening?!’ It was just the silliest night. We made bunting out of underwear that we put all across Deaf Institute – which we then donated to homeless charities. I went as a sexy stuffed olive. I was the stuffed olive that Georgia wanted to be.”
If a world was run with Thirsty Girls’ mentality, it would be a planet you’d never want to leave. Everyone’s included, everyone’s welcome, and there’s always a banger playing. “That’s mainly what we try and do, just have fun,” Katie tells us. “We’re not pretentious playing edits of what we found on the deep dark web. We’re just like, ‘who wants to listen to Wiley’s ‘Wearing My Rolex’. We’re glorified wedding DJs.”
It’s this lack of pretentiousness that makes Thirsty Girls so approachable. Anyone’s welcome to their parties, as long as they’re there to have fun and to treat everyone like a friend. “A big thing for Thirsty Girls is making sure everything’s inclusive,” elaborates Katie. “Our main goal is to be completely accessible, whether that be having cheap entry or having gender neutral toilets. It’s about creating a safe space for those who need a safe space; we never want anyone to feel uncomfortable or out of place. You can come and be accepted with open arms.”
With this refreshing ethos, nights run by Thirsty Girls are more than just a good time. Alongside celebrating and encouraging women and non-binary folk in the music scene, the collective also work with local charities to raise awareness and money for important social issues. “The one that we mainly work with is The Monthly Gift which is a fucking great charity,” Katie tells us. “We have a collection box on the door and people can bring unopened boxes of tampons and pads. We give them to Monthly Gift and they distribute them round to women in need of them in Manchester. There’s such a big homeless issue in Manchester. It feels really real and it’s on everyone’s doorstep at the minute, so if we can help and do something, no matter how small, we try and do it.”
Thirsty Girls is a gang that anyone would want to be part of; they have a clear sisterly bond and are each as enthusiastic as the other. “We’re all constantly bouncing ideas of each other,” Katie laughs. “The amount of 4am texts we send each other that are full of the best ideas. And we normally all follow through and make it work.” And they’re ready to welcome anyone who wants to get involved with open arms; “We always want more people. If you want to join Thirsty Girls drop us an email. The more the merrier, the more ideas to bounce off people, the more girls and non-binary people on stage the better.”
Katie is quick to tell us that anyone who wants to get involved doesn’t need to have any experience DJing; just as long as you’re enthusiastic, they’re happy to show you how; “I didn’t know how [to DJ] until I joined Thirsty Girls. A lot of us just learn from watching each other. It’s proper nurturing with never any patronising. We’re just like, ‘Come here, what tune do you want to play? Pick a banger and I’ll show you.’ Now I feel confident and comfortable when I get behind decks, and that’s purely from Thirsty Girls. That’s the thing, it’s a support network. Even if it’s just personal stuff going on, we’re each other’s mates.”
The Manchester community is rife with nice people doing nice things, and Thirsty Girls are quick to gush about the people they admire. “There’s a good few of other collectives in Manchester who are doing similar things. Mutualism are fucking great; they’re proper DJs. They’ve got a really nice vibe about them as well and they’re all really friendly. They take you under their wing.”
Despite doing similar things, Collectives in Manchester support each other rather than compete. “It’s only a good thing that there’s lots of us doing a similar thing for equal representation,” elaborates Katie. “It’s such a nice feeling to be part of it each in our own way, and hopefully being part of a bigger change and shift towards people being more equally represented. We all bounce off each other. We just end up hugging and crying knowing it’ll all be ok.”
No matter what your story, get yourself to a Thirsty Girls party. You’re guaranteed to make some friends, have a good time, and leave knowing that good things are happening in your community.
Thirsty Girls recommend:
Miss Eaves – Fierce MC known for her unique electro-pop-rap feminist stylings and fun, explosive stage presence. Brooklyn, NYC. (Facebook: @misseavesraps)
NALA - ‘The unofficial queen of music that makes you want to dance and cry at the same time.’ Leeds, UK. (All socials: @nalamusics)
Mutualism – An ‘experimental electronic record label & event series pushing new sounds and creative collaboration in the North.’ Manchester, UK (mutualism.uk)