Meeting Men in Brisbane: A Different Kind of Liaison
Patrick Concarr, the man behind a new series of gay male social events in Brisbane, spoke to QP’s Andrew Shaw about creating Liaison - a different kind of night out.
Patrick, could you tell us a bit about your background?
I grew up in Ireland and moved to Brisbane a few years ago. I have worked in hospitality since I was 16 and really love the industry. Back in Ireland I worked as a wedding coordinator. I worked in a family owned hotel in the beautiful west Ireland countryside. It was built in 1850 and was really a beautiful wedding venue. It was here I learnt the true meaning of hospitality, which I believe is to welcome someone as if they were in your own home. It’s simple but very important in hospitality.
What made you decide to start Liaison Events?
I moved to Brisbane in 2011 and as a gay male the first thing you want to do is find out what’s happening in the gay community. At the time the venues were Sporties, The Wickham and The Beat, all of which are great venues and have provided great support to the community over the years. I felt the community needed more options to meet new people. I love the clubs and spent a lot of my twenties in clubs. But I find as we get older we look for something different; we appreciate the finer things in life, like pinot noir and good conversation. I think we also want a chance to meet guys in a venue where you can chat and relax with glass of bubbles. I got tired of online dating – where is the romance in it? I thought, Wouldn't it be nice to put the heart back into dating and meet guys ‘the new way’: face-to-face in a safe, comfortable environment?
How did the first event go?
Our first event at Stokehouse was for single gay men over 25. We had over 55 guests, which was fantastic for our first event. Most guys came alone or with one other friend, and right from the get-go guys were chatting and meeting new people. Guests received a glass of bubbles on arrival and canapés for the first two hours. We didn’t have any games or ice breakers at the Stokehouse event as I feel we did not really need it – the bubbles and canapés almost act as catalyst for conversation. We had a lot of positive feedback from the event and as I did not see one guest on a smartphone at any point in the evening I consider this a success! It was a very relaxed evening with lots of positive energy and new faces.
[Image] Liaison takes place on the pier at Mr and Mrs G's.
How often are they held?
We’re planning to hold Liaison events on a monthly basis, and our first event was for single men over 25. Our July event is for gay men over 25, not just single men, singles and couples are welcome. From talking to a lot of guests, it was great for guys to meet new guys and not so much in the dating sense. We are also donating $5 from every ticket sale for the July event to QuAC. Eventually I would like to do other events for the community, not just for men. I would also like to do fundraisers and dinner parties for the community.
Liaison, Mr and Mrs G’s, Eagle Street Pier, City, July 16, 2014. liaisonevents.com.au