BiCon (UK)

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The UK BiCon (more formally known as the UK National Bisexual Convention or UK National Bisexual Conference), is the largest and most consistent annual gathering of the United Kingdom's bisexual community.

While the format does vary, the typical format is a long weekend over four days consisting of workshops, discussions, meetings and social events. Although being billed as a "bisexual" event, it is open to partners of bisexuals, supporters, non-bisexuals, non-definers, and anyone else interested in issues relevant to bisexuals. To that extent it can often be characterised as a nexus of the sexual freedom and queer movements. Each BiCon event usually attracts between 200 and 400 people.[1][2] The event frequently changes location between England, Scotland, and Wales, to promote accessibility.[3]


In December 1984 the London Bisexual Group (in association with the now defunct zine Bi-Monthly) ran a conference called "The Politics of Bisexuality" at The Factory Community Project in Highbury. Around 40 people attended and judged the event to be a huge success.[4] A second event was then attended by over fifty people in April 1985. Unfortunately the venue used, the London Lesbian and Gay Centre, had just decided to ban bisexuals (and some other groups) from their premises.[5] This did not stop the conferences which soon gained popularity in a Britain devoid of bisexual-focused events.

That following October the Edinburgh Bisexual Group took up the torch and ran an event called "Bisexuality and the Politics of Sex". This established the idea of conferences moving around the nation. The next was run by a bisexual women's group in London. By this point the community was starting to know what they wanted from BiCon – a chance to meet other bisexuals (and their allies) from across the country, discuss sexuality issues, relax in the company of like-minded folk and network.

Armed with an agreed purpose, for the next few years the conference alternated between venues in London and Edinburgh. Then in 1989 it branched out to Coventry. As well as being the first one outside the two capitals, it was also the first to be residential (previously, people from outside the host city had either booked accommodation privately or stayed with local attendees) and to use the name 'BiCon', in part because of the organisers' and venue's experience with SF Cons (Science Fiction conventions).

A range of cities and towns have hosted it since. Over time BiCon has evolved to fit with the needs of the community. The word 'conference' has been largely replaced by 'convention', but there is still a political and campaigning side to the event. In recent years the momentum behind the event has spawned a number of offshoots, such as BiFest, BabyBiCon, and the bi academic conference BiReCon, which have expanded on particular areas covered by BiCon.

In 2002 BiCon hosted the first Cake Awards[6] recognising the breadth of contributions made to the bisexual community in the UK. Further Cake Awards have been presented at BiCon every few years since.

In the Netherlands, Holland BiCon was inspired by UK BiCon, and has run annually since 2009.[7] BICON has been a registered trade mark of BiCon Continuity Ltd since 2016.[8]

Past events[edit]

Name Dates Venue City Attendance Residential?
The Politics of Bisexuality 8–9 December 1984 The Factory Community Project London 40 no
2nd Politics of Bisexuality Conference April 1985 London Lesbian and Gay Centre London 50+ no
Bisexuality and the Politics of Sex October 1985 The Pleasance Student Centre Edinburgh 52 no
4th National Bisexual Conference July 1986 The Mary Ward Centre, Bloomsbury London 70 no
5th National Bisexual Conference ? 1987 The Pleasance Student Centre Edinburgh 119 no
6th National Bisexual Conference October 1988 Friends Meeting House, Hampstead, London 154 no
BiCon 7 : The 7th National Bisexual Conference 26–30 August 1989 Coventry Polytechnic (now Coventry University) Coventry 200-? yes
8th National Bisexual Conference 7–10 September 1990 Tollcross Community Centre Edinburgh 200+ no
9th National Bisexual Conference 20–22 September 1991 University of London Union London 240+ no
BiCon 10 26–30 August 1992 University of East Anglia Norwich 200 yes
BiCon 11 1–3 October 1993 Derby Hall, University of Nottingham Nottingham 250+ yes
BiCon 12 3–6 August 1994 Methodist Central Hall Edinburgh ~200 no
13iCon 1–3 September 1995 University of Central England Birmingham 245 yes
BiCon 14 30 August – 1 September 1996 Kingston University, Kingston upon Thames London 250 yes
BiCon 97 / BiCon 15 28–31 August 1997 University of Greenwich, Woolwich London 180 yes
BiCon 98 / BiCon 16 4–6 September 1998 New Hall, Cambridge Cambridge ? yes
BiCon 1999 / BiCon 17 16–18 July 1999 Pollock Halls, University of Edinburgh Edinburgh 201 yes
BiCon 2000 / BiCon 18 (incorporating the 6th ICB) 24–28 August 2000 Owens Park Campus, University of Manchester Manchester 265 yes
BiCon 2001 24–27 August 2001 Singer Hall and main campus, Coventry University Coventry 169 yes
BiCon 2002 16–18 August 2002 College Hall, University of Leicester Leicester 189 yes
BiCon 2003 22–25 August 2003 Docklands Campus, University of East London London 237 yes
BiCon 2004 26–30 August 2004 Fallowfield Campus, University of Manchester Manchester 273 yes
BiCon 2005 25–29 August 2005 University College Worcester Worcester (+170) yes
BiCon 2006 13–17 July 2006 Glasgow Caledonian University Glasgow 200 yes
BiCon 2007 16–20 August 2007 Trefforest Campus, University of Glamorgan Pontypridd, nr Cardiff 246 yes
BiCon 2008 28–31 August 2008 Gilbert Murray Hall, University of Leicester Leicester 250 yes
BiCon 2009 20–23 August 2009 St. John's Campus, University of Worcester Worcester ~235 yes
BiCon 2010 & the 10th ICB 26–30 August 2010 Docklands Campus, University of East London London ~460 yes
Bicon 2011 1–4 September 2011 Stamford Hall, University of Leicester Leicester 297 yes
Bicon 2012 9–13 August 2012 University of Bradford Bradford 300 yes
Bicon 2013 18–21 July 2013 University of Edinburgh Edinburgh 311 yes
BiCon 2014 31 July – 3 August 2014 Leeds Trinity University Leeds yes
BiCon 2015 13–16 August 2015 University of Nottingham Nottingham 437 yes
BiCon 2016 4–7 August 2016 University of Central Lancashire Preston 304 yes
BiCon 2017 10–13 August 2017 Leeds Beckett University, Headingley Campus Leeds 375 yes
BiCon 2018 2–5 August 2018 University of Salford Salford 265 yes
BiCon 2019 1–4 August 2019 University of Lancaster Lancaster 280+ yes
BiCon 2020 13–16 August 2020 Virtual event using Zoom & Discord n/a 404 n/a
BiCon 2021 19–22 August 2021 Virtual event using Zoom & Discord n/a ? n/a
BiCon 2022 11–14 August 2022 Leeds Beckett University, Headingley Campus Leeds ? yes

Future events[edit]

Name Year Dates Venue City


A spin-off event BabyBiCon aimed at bisexual youth (those under 26 years old) was held in Manchester on 5–7 June 1998.[9] It was organised at the Ardwick Youth Club by the group BiYouth (which folded in 2000) with support from a couple of local lesbian and gay youth projects. While attracting around 25 people, discussions of holding successor events in 1999 and 2000 led to nothing.[citation needed]


BiReCon is a research conference for academic work on bisexuality. BiReCon originated as a series of workshops at BiCon.[10] Elizabeth Barker-Williams came up with the name while on the organizing committee for the 2008 BiCon.[10]

The first BiReCon was organized as a national conference to be held before BiCon 2008. It was held in 2008 at the University of Leicester.[11] There were approximately 60 attendees.[10]

In 2010, BiCon (UK) organized the 10th International Conference on Bisexuality (ICB).[10] The organizers decided to make the second BiReCon an international conference. It took place on 26 August 2010, the day before ICB, at the University of East London.[11] Speakers included Serena Anderlini-D'Onofrio, Eric Anderson, Robyn Ochs, and John Sylla.[12] There were approximately 100 attendees.[10]

The third BiReCon took place on 9 August 2012 at Bradford University and focused on mental health. Speakers included Meg-John Barker, Roshan das Nair, and Christina Richards.[13] The fourth BiReCon focused on joining academics research and community-run bi groups, and it was held on 31 July 2014 at Leeds Trinity University.[14]

The fifth BiReCon, EuroBiReCon, was an international conference held on 28–29 July 2016 at the University of Amsterdam.[11] The keynote speakers on the first day were Dr. Surya Monro and Dr. Alex Iantaffi. The second day included a workshop presented by Robyn Ochs, Meg-John Barker, and Maria Pallotta-Chiarolli.[15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hemmings, Clare. (2002). Bisexual Spaces: a geography of sexuality and gender, p. 18. Routledge, London. ISBN 0415930820.[1]
  2. ^ "Stonewall". Stonewall. 25 June 2014. Retrieved 29 June 2014.
  3. ^ Voss, Georgina; Browne, Kath; Gupta, Camel (2 November 2014). "Embracing the "And": Between Queer and Bisexual Theory at Brighton BiFest". Journal of Homosexuality. 61 (11): 1605–1625. doi:10.1080/00918369.2014.944055. ISSN 0091-8369. PMID 25022878. S2CID 44241016.
  4. ^ "8th-9th december 1984 the politics of bisexuality". BiMedia. 7 February 2014. Retrieved 5 August 2014.
  5. ^ Smith, David (1985), "Banned: Bisexual Groups Banned from the Lesbian and Gay Centre", Bi-Monthly (8): 2–3
  6. ^ "BiMedia Awards". 13 September 2011. Retrieved 29 June 2014.
  7. ^ Maliepaard, Emiel (3 July 2017). "Bisexuality in the Netherlands: Connecting Bisexual Passing, Communities, and Identities". Journal of Bisexuality. 17 (3): 325–348. doi:10.1080/15299716.2017.1342214. ISSN 1529-9716. S2CID 149305727.
  8. ^ "Case details for trade mark UK00003178021". Intellectual Property Office. 4 November 2016. Retrieved 13 November 2016.
  9. ^ "Strawberry Flavoured BabyBiCon". Bi Community News. 29 July 1998. Retrieved 29 January 2015.
  10. ^ a b c d e Barker, Meg-John; Richards, Christina; Jones, Rebecca and Monro, Surya (2011). BiReCon: An International Academic Conference on Bisexuality. Journal of Bisexuality, 11(2-3), pp. 157-170.
  11. ^ a b c "BiReCon". BiUK. 27 August 2011. Retrieved 29 December 2019.
  12. ^ "BiReCon 2010". BiUK. 27 August 2011. Retrieved 29 December 2019.
  13. ^ "BiReCon 2012". BiUK. 28 May 2012. Retrieved 29 December 2019.
  14. ^ "BiReCon 2014". BiUK. 28 May 2013. Retrieved 29 December 2019.
  15. ^ "Schedule EuroBiReCon". EuroBiReCon. Retrieved 29 December 2019.

External links[edit]