The Barberfellas – or ‘Barbies’ for short – is a vocal ensemble made up of friends who enjoying singing together. We first gathered in aeach others’ living rooms in 2010, because we wanted to explore music sung in the barbershop style. Those initial rehearsals had an enjoyable 1:1 relationship between singing and drinking, but, in our time together, our ability to sing a capella, lower voice, close harmony has finally caught up with our talent for downing beverages!
The Barberfellas host our own annual concert in collaboration with Amnesty International UK in Shoreditch, and use this both as a shared platform for up-and-coming LGBT and ally singing groups, as well as a fund raising event for local queer charities. Over the years we have supported causes as diverse as LGBT asylum seekers, refugees, youth and elders, mental health and people with HIV/AIDS. We have also appeared on national radio and television to promote queer choral singing.
The growth of that international queer choral community has given us the opportunity to perform and make friends all over the world, from our home base of London, England, to venues across the UK as well as in Germany, Spain, Italy, Norway, Taiwan, Hong Kong and the United States. While the pandemic put a brake on our adventures, in the last year we have managed to start up again, most recently travelling to Estonia and Finland in 2022 and India this year.
The Barbies are so excited to be in Bologna – one of our favourite cities – to take part in our third Various Voices. And we would love to sing with you, so please do get in touch!