- Words Aimee Phillips
- Photos courtesy of Teddy Edwardes
LICK founder, Teddy Edwardes, speaks with Notion about her career journey, throwing people "the best night of their lives" at her parties, plans for the future, and much more.
You’re the founder of queer and inclusive parties, LICK events, LICK Magazine, and LICK Nightclub. Tell us all about your career journey! How did you get to where you are today?
I left Cornwall in my early teens after being kicked out of school and found myself on a path of random jobs. Before LICK I had tried almost everything but some that would stick out to me are bar work, hostessing, travelling the world as a stripper and even dabbled in private surveillance and security.
I absolutely loved all of these jobs but I quite clearly remember straight men being the common denominator in the loss of enjoyment levels, so around 6 years ago I decided I’m going to move to London and work in a lesbian bar! I loved bar work after all but I couldn’t cope with drunk men any longer.
I worked there for around 6 months and absolutely loved it. Not because it was amazing but because it’s the only time I had ever experienced being around so many lesbians. 6 months in I lost my job which at the time I was absolutely fuming about because I felt I had done a splendid job and worked above and beyond for the bar. I was so annoyed that I said ‘you’re going to regret this’, walked straight across the road to their competing bar and asked if I could do an event on the same night of the week as them, they said yes and I called it C U Next Tuesday. It was a major hit and the start of LICK! (Despite most of Soho hating us).
What can people expect if they attend a LICK party? What vibe do you hope to create?
All I ever want is for people to have the best night of their lives, feel comfortable in what they wear and how they act, and feel like they can be 100% authentically them.
Female empowerment is a strong vibe and we push that in our policy, our strip club event etiquette, and performers we book for the main events.
The events industry has been hit hard the past year. How has LICK been affected?
We are lucky in the sense that we don’t have bricks and mortar to pay for but we do book our events over a year in advance and had some big artists booked for 2020 such as Saweetie and Mya. I think there’s more of a loss in just knowing our customer base are struggling without any form of social interaction so we are raring to get back up and going.
What are your plans for the future? Do you have any big goals in particular?
Big goals would be a LICK in every city and I think a yearly festival will be something we look into in the future! Booking our golden list of artists and giving the gays what they deserve – not just what they’ll settle with!
What do you know now that you wish you knew at the start of your career?
That people aren’t interested when something is £2 so put your prices up [laughs].
No, I’ve learned so many things, working with the right venues is vital, lighting, sound, graphics, branding – I need everything now to be perfection whereas I was much more spur of the moment before.
If there was anything you could change about the world you’re in right now, what would it be?
Racism, prejudice, people struggling with mental health and getting nightclubs open again but plot twist: Coronavirus has vanished off the earth! But the list is endless!
Where’s your happy place?
LICK when we aren’t in a pandemic, but my permanent happy place is at home with my girlfriend. Even now we are out of lockdown I struggle to enjoy leaving the house because the sofa with a cup of tea is my favourite place to be!
Lastly, if you could have any superpower, which would it be?
I think about this question way more than I should and it’s really hard to pick just one, and I’ve already changed my answer twice but I’ve decided on the power of world peace. You’d only need to use it once and people would use their peace to solve all the other problems in the world. I guess peace means something different to everyone though so hmmmm… tricky!