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Scene and Heard | DYMK, Bournemouth

By Will Stroude

Wherever you are, you’re never (too) far from a gay bar. So tune in every week for the inside track on why your local queer venue loves you, and why you should love it right back, as we get the low-down from the people who know best – the owners, the barmen, the DJs and the fabulous performers.

Mother always knows best, and she certainly does at Bournemouth’s premier gay bar, DYMK. The venue has been going strong for over six years and takes pride of place right in the heart of the city’s ‘Gay Triangle’.

There’s something happening every night of the week and it’s the place to be if you’re LGBT and living in Bournemouth. Manager Billy Swales, who’s been at DYMK since the very beginning, tells us more…

Where did the name DYMK come from?

I was visiting Singapore and saw a corner shop called ‘Does Your Mother Know’, we thought it was a great name for a bar, and stole it! Abbreviating it to DYMK. It is always a talking point in the town, and every day we see someone outside taking a photo of our sign. As every gay person tells you… your mother always knows!! 

What five words would you use to sum up your venue?

Friendly, Clean, Lively, Camp and Exciting.

What’s the crowd like?

DYMK is a very mixed crowd, we get everyone from 18-year-olds to 99-year-olds! And it’s a very mixed crowd, too. Everything from twinks, bears and lesbians and a few straights, too. But everyone is just out for a great time.

Why do people love your venue?

People love coming to DYMK for a night out as it’s attitude-free, everyone is friendly and there is never any trouble.

 What’s the weirdest thing that’s happened while you’ve been working there?

At the end of a busy Saturday night we found someone’s electric wheelchair abandoned in the corner and nobody ever came back to collect it! All the bar staff had a fun time riding around the bar after hours on it though!

So many gay venues are closing down – what would you say is the secret to your success?

We just try to run a clean and friendly bar that provides the right mix of both modern and old school entertainment.

Describe your ideal night out

Good music, good crowd and plenty of alcohol, followed by a massive burger and cheesy chips!

What events have you got coming up next?

We’re all looking forward to a new monthly night of ‘Lip-Sync For Your Life’ with our new Thursday resident Crystal Lubrikunt, starting 23rd Feb at 9pm. Also, we have just started cabaret every Sunday at 6pm and we have some great acts coming up. Karaoke every Monday and Wednesday with Lucinda Lashes is always a guaranteed laugh too!

For more from the Scene and Heard series, click here. If you and your venue would like to be featured please contact

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