“HALO is not a place for ego or dark energy; it’s a place for love, respect and support,” says Christopher McCrory, the founder of London’s newest queer party. After celebrating a twelve-hour festival in The Cause a few weeks ago where attendants were seen in over-the-top Y2K fits, fishnets and lingerie, chains, chokers and angel wings, we caught up with Chris to know more about what went on.
London is famous for offering refuge and safe spaces for the queer community. From emblematic LGBTQ+ bars and clubs that have been standing for decades to more contemporary parties for the new generations like Inferno or Pxssy Palace, the city is a referent for queers around the world. However, for McCrory, who grew up in Spain and used to go out clubbing since the age of 14, he found the London night scene “so dark” when he moved in. “So, over six years, I planned to create an event that spreads joy and doesn’t take itself so seriously,” he explains about how he came about the idea of founding his own party. “I took inspiration from Pacha’s fun vibe and merged my silliness, creativity and personal humour to create HALO.”
That fun and tongue-in-cheek vibe floated in the air during the festival Christopher organised a few weeks ago, which was filled to the brim with cool kids aiming to express themselves, create community, and be free. The event hosted DJ sets, live performances, art installations, retail stalls and beauty pop-ups. Among the many participants, we could find the 2Cperrea community, which celebrates perreo and Latin America’s rich cultures, as well as other collectives and artists like Lexii, Jungle Kitty, Aiden, Ryan Lanji, Hungama, Thembot, Allyxpress, GGI, or Tedesco. And McCrory himself, of course, whose experience was: “Two days of no sleep and running around like a crazed man in angel wings. I think the only moment I stood still was when I DJ’d! After that, my feet were one big blister. Gorgeous!”
Besides having fun and getting dolled up, Christopher’s goal with HALO goes way beyond throwing parties. Yes, the night and clubbing scenes have often been scapegoats for the LGBTQ+ community. Throughout the years, we’ve met each other in the shadows, where we would be less judged or seen. As the fight for our rights continues, we must remember how threatened our identities have been and still are nowadays. “HALO hosts a space where there is no discrimination, everyone can live their truth and is celebrated for who they are,” McCrory explains passionately. “I officially came out at 13 years old (that was in 2005). I had always been gay, knew it and was comfortable with it. Back then, it was a rough time to be gay, so seeing how we have progressed fills me with so much joy, it’s unreal.”
For that reason, HALO has an ongoing GoFundMe fundraiser campaign, which helps charities like Mermaids, which supports trans youth. “We’re raising money for communities that have been silenced for centuries as well as spreading awareness,” he explains. “I’m trying to figure out ways that I can give our generation hope, a helping hand, and to lead a good example of positivity that in turn attracts a chain reaction of positivity.” He adds: “I wanted our GoFundMe to help donate to our selected charities, pay for future artists, pop-ups and fundraising events. The first HALO event was completely self-funded, so dad can’t afford to donate any more money to the charities right now!”
As for the future, McCrory sounds enthusiastic both about his long-term and short-term plans. “We want to do a charity auction with thirty visual artists in October, Miami Art Basel in December, and then want to do a collaboration with Pacha at the beginning of the summer,” he explains. And he adds enthusiastically: “I plan on taking HALO worldwide, creating numerous events, auctions, retail pop-ups and, eventually, a HALO hotel and club! It’s all happening.”
With such a contagious energy and vibe, we can only share Christopher’s project and wish for it to be as successful as it deserves. If you want to know more about HALO’s next events, stay tuned because this is just the beginning. To finish off, here are some inspirational words by McCrory: “I’m proud of everyone for living their truth, thankful for everyone that paved the way for us and, honestly, to me, being queer is great. Gotta love the queers.”