Glitterbomb responds to allegations of mistreatment of student performers

Patrick Cant, the manager of Glitterbomb’s Cambridge branch, has issued a comprehensive statement addressing issues brought up in the article

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Earlier in the week The Tab issued an article, which detailed accounts of Glitterbomb allegedly mistreating, issuing late payments or in some cases not paying student drag performers.

In the article the student drag performers made clear that this was an issue with the head offices of Glitterbomb rather than the Cambridge branch itself. Since then, Patrick Cant, Glitterbomb's Cambridge manager, has reached out and issued the following statement in response to the concerns raised by the prior article:

Glitterbomb is listening and responding to the important issues that have been raised in the recent Tab article regarding the late/ absent payments and apparent prejudice and mistreatment of student drag performers within our team and wider company. We have been in contact with two of the students in regards to the events that have led to this and we will continue to be until the matter is settled and all parties are happy with the outcome.

The Glitterbomb Cambridge team has worked over the past few years to give LGBTQIA+ people and allies in Cambridge a night for all to enjoy and a space for freedom of expression. Through speaking to the CUSU LGBT+ committee, trying to building bridges and listening to people’s concerns and opinions, we have made much progress in being more open and inclusive. There are still things to improve as we keep moving and evolving but from where we were to where we are now, the change is noticeable and we wouldn’t want to lose that over miscommunications and misunderstandings. We will absolutely be investigating the outstanding absent payments for the student drag performers like we did previously and sorted once the issue had been raised with us. We regret to be in this situation to begin with as it’s not acceptable that performers haven’t been paid.

In regards to the allegations of prejudice and mistreatment, it can be assured that no one who works with or attends Glitterbomb is judged in any capacity. We believe nights such as Glitterbomb are so needed in times of uncertainty and hatred towards our community. We regret that performers have felt like they weren’t valued, weren’t wanted and were looked down on from the Glitterbomb team.

All drag is valid at our night. All drag is celebrated at our night. If anyone has ever felt like there has been an atmosphere that is cliquey or judgemental than we apologise. This was never anyone’s intention. We have a small team that works on our Tuesday nights at VINYL. Our team is made up of our DJs, Bombshells, Drags and pay booth workers. The team is tightly knit as we’ve worked with each other for a few years but we absolutely welcome newcomers to join us and become part of the work we do.

No one who works for Glitterbomb Cambridge would ever be involved with a company that would knowingly exploit queer workers for personal profit and/ or financial gain. Such things have never been the case at Glitterbomb. Where things have gone wrong, like we have said we will be thoroughly investigating.

We hope this goes some way in explaining issues the article raised from our perspective further than the original statement included did. If anyone would like to talk about any of these issues more, we welcome you to message us further via our Facebook or Instagram page. We’d too would want to hear from anyone who has any thoughts on how we could keep improving the night.

We are a community for a reason. Things will go wrong but we have to work together and celebrate each other. We believe it would be a loss for Glitterbomb to suffer as a result of this. If anything comes from this situation, we want it to be positive