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Open Call for MAN UP collaborators

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This blog post has information about The Glory’s flagship contest MAN UP and how The Glory is seeking to collaborate with brands and sponsors. We are open to all suggestions and ideas, have a read and please do forward to any friends who work in marketing for brands who you think might be interested. Thanks.

MAN UP 2018:

The Glory, the UK’s leading creative LGBTQ performance venue and the beating heart of East London’s queer glitterati, are offering a unique opportunity for the right brands to partner with them as official sponsor(s) of their major contest MAN UP, the world’s biggest drag king battle, created by Jonny Woo and co-hosted by current cabaret stars Baby Lame and Adam All, launching on February 7th. Caryn Franklin is already confirmed as one of the judges for this year’s final.

MAN UP is the face and voice of London’s booming drag king scene, bringing together tomorrow’s brightest female, trans and non-binary stars, created by trailblazing trend-setters The Glory.

Now in it’s 4th year, this is an exciting chance to be affiliated with MAN UP and to support a fantastic performance frontier at the hottest venue on London’s coolest scene.

HEAT 1: Weds 7th Feb
HEAT 2: Weds 14th Feb
HEAT 2: Weds 21st Feb
HEAT 4: Weds 28th Feb
GRAND FINAL: Weds 7th March
The top prize is £1000 cash.

Contestants involved: Approximately 50
Live Hosts: 2
Judges: 3-5 Different scene faces each week

Previous posters…



One of London’s top names in nightlife and performance, The Glory has a brilliant reputation (200/225 reviews on Facebook are ✭✭✭✭✭) and enjoys solid media representation – thanks to their uniquely brilliant, trend-setting events. Much bigger than the venue itself, The Glory have staged two National Theatre takeover weekends, hosted the cabaret tent at Latitude festival and curated heir own stage at Mighty Hoopla as well as headlining the NYC Downlow stage at Glastonbury for 10 years.

The Glory has been the subject of several documentaries, including Victoria Coren’s ‘How To Be Bohemian’ and pop star Olly Alexander’s ‘Growing Up Gay’, the BBC’s documentaries ‘Queer Britain’ series starring YouTuber Riyadh Khalef and ‘Is It Safe To Be Gay In The UK’ starred Glory patron John Sizzle. Jonny Woo regularly appear in shows and on radio. Currently Glory stars Lucy Fizz, Xnthony and Le Fil star in Smirnoff’s “Labels are for bottles not people” campaign.
Glory star Stella Meltdown is currently the face of TOYATA Aygo’s campaign.


Burberry recently hired out The Glory for a Cara Delevigne launch, Converse sponsored an London Fashion Week party here curated by Lou Stoppard, other brands who have worked with The Glory include Roksanda Illincic, Beyond Retro, Absolut, Currells, Grindr and Gaydar.


“Our favourite gay boozer” – Sunday Times Style
“The best gay bar in the country” – Attitude, Britain’s No.1 gay magazine
“The Glory is the beating heart of East London” – TimeOut London
“So many levels of irony it’s amazing they don’t collapse” – New Statesman
“Hands-down the best night of the year and it’s only March” – Grace Dent


Now in it’s 4th year, MAN UP is not only the world’s largest organised drag king contest but is an authority on this emerging performance scene and is created by The Glory who as a venue have been dubbed “the creative headquarters” of London’s young gender revolution.

London’s drag king community is a burgeoning performance scene, consisting of female, trans and non-binary underground performers and scene faces – all of whom mimic and pastiche male stereotypes, presenting themselves as what is called a “drag king”
The characters who come out on stage are wild, exciting and range widely.

The contest will consist of 4 Heats (starting soon on February 7th) and 1 Grand Final (March 7th), all hosted at The Glory. There are usually 8 to 12 contestants each week who each come out in costume and present/perform a theatrical number .. either singing live, doing stand-up or lip-syncing. A panel judges them and some contestants win a place in the Grand Final which carries a cash prize. Last year was £1000.


There are opportunities to:
– Film content
– Live stream performances
Interview pioneering LGBT performers
Data capture audiences
– Tap into important surrounding topics such as identity / gender politics / underground nightlife scenes / emerging performance stars and youth culture.
Branded posters, photos
Social media assets going out across The Glory’s channels, or the contest’s online content could be re-positioned onto a brand’s channels
Branded banners on newsletters
Specific hashtags could be adopted or devised to tie the contest into a brand campaign that is either ongoing or new and made especially for MAN UP and their sponsor’s co-adventure
Constant mentions in Facebook posts / Insta stories / Tweets

The Glory on Instagram has 12,000 followers, mostly young queer creative professionals.
Jonny Woo, Baby Lame and Adam All have another 11,000 followers between them, giving MAN UP an immediate Instagram reach of 23,000. This will increase due to guest judges – who often have the largest social media followings within the contest – and of course audience members too who are also posting and re-posting throughout the contest.

As well as this all of the contestants post about taking part in the tournament and sign a contract beforehand which can potentially incorporate brand mentions.

The Glory could also invite brand ambassadors or influencers on the judging panel, or invite them to watch heats, or to interview contestants backstage, or even to take part in the tournament – ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE in theory but needs to be discussed with the venue and agreed upon.
The Glory are open to all ideas and conversations.


The Glory’s head programmer John Nolan (aka John Sizzle) can be contacted personally on
You can also CC in, The Glory’s PR

Please register any potential interest as soon as possible so that The Glory can progress as soon as possible.


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