Fifteen years and counting and Rapture has not only stood the test of time, but proven itself to be a destination weekend of events worthy of the global scale.
Even though YVR has been getting a bum wrap these past few years as “no-fun-couver“, the evidence that at least we gays can pull it together for an incredible, long weekend is found in the line up that TFD Presents has created for this year’s Pride. Something for absolutely everyone, Rapture 15 will have you sweating and smiling the entire time through. You can get wet with beefcakes from across the continent, or dance up next to some of your favourite male models- hell, you might get a lesson in how to beat your face from the hottest drag queens on the scene. A huge thank you and hats off to the men and women behind the scene of this collection of events, serving up rainbow realness to the boys and men who live and visit our great town looking for an amazing time. You’ve found it.
Where: The Westin Grand, 433 Robson Street
When: Saturday, August 1st, 12PM – 6PM
Let’s just start with the fact that this baby is already sold out and we’re still a week away. Before you skip over my description of this event though, know that it’s been told there could still be tickets to be found at the door day of. So, if you’re worried that new pair of sexy Andrew Christian’s that lift your ass just so are going to go to waste- don’t give up quite yet! Heatwave is Vancouver’s ONLY Pride Pool Party and has a reputation as one of the hottest events of the summer. It’s packed with sexy men and amazing music that will have you shakin’ that barely clothed butt for all it’s worth. Hosted by one of my favourites- Raye Sunshine- there is no chance this won’t be over the top with Tiffany Ann Co and Brooke Lynn Hytes at her side. With the summer we’ve been having here on the West Coast (and good lord, if you haven’t heard it’s been a HOT ONE), being beside a body of water with a drink in hand and a hot guy guy to cruise across from you sounds like a slice of heaven.
Where: Club XYYVR, 1216 Bute Street
When: Satuday, August 1st, 8PM – 2AM
Club XY- also known as Club XYYVR- is a VERY recent addition to the Vancouver nightclub scene. Not because the space didn’t exist before, because lord knows the room up those stairs off of Bute and Davie have been hosted to thousands of nights of fun under half a dozen different names, but because the club as it is now is so much more than it ever was before that you have to think of it as a brand new, must-visit location. The lovely Jenn Mickey of 1181 fame recently took on the herculean task of revamping and reviving this place and has created for us gays to enjoy the newly opened Club XY. Saturday of Pride, TFD Presents has teamed up with Jenn to offer you some of Gay Vancouver’s most opulent and gorgeous partying experience. In the heart of Davie Village, Club XY Onyxpride starts off with Vancouver’s most cut DJs (all honesty, he’s one of my best friends, but that doesn’t make the assertion any less true!), DJ Landon James as he plays alongside performances by Rheal Litre and Maddelyn Hatter and Los Angeles beefcake gogo dancers, Eddie Eduardo and Brandon Patrick. The main event will be LA’s DJ Blacklow as he takes you late into the evening at the renovated and rejuvenated club space. You’ll have boys for days to choose from at this night as it will be a busy one so don’t take too long to get your ticket (click here for tickets).
Where: The Commmodre Ballroom, 868 Granville Street
When: Saturday, August 1st, 8PM – [until the god damn drag queen in charge tells you it’s over!]
If clubbing isn’t quite your cup of tea and Onyxpride at Club XY doesn’t fill your night and you have ANY type of sense of humour or appreciation for stage performances then get your ass to this event. Queen of the Night is one of THE greatest evenings Vancouver serves drag queen realness style. Not only is it year in and out the largest of collection of THE most famous drag queens working, but it’s at one of our most classic and huge venues- and even IT has a hard time containing all those ladies at once! Okay, get ready for some name dropping… they have (of RuPaul Drag Race fame) JuJubee, Shangela LaQuifa Wadley, Milk Queen, Trixie Mattel, and- my personal favourite in her first ever Vancouver appearance- Raja. Seriously, what All Stars year are they trying to pull off?? Not only with international flavour, this year we’re treated to a showing of a throng of local stars including: Conni Smudge, Iona Whipp, Jane Smokr, Jaylene Tyme, Tiffany AnnCo, and Valynne Vile working side by side the famed Racers. Oh, but it doesn’t end there: there’s Rhea Litre, Brooke Lynn Hytes, Scarlett Bobo, and Alessandra Hunt adding their unique style to the mix. With VIP hostess Nicki Ravange and host from Showgirls WEHO MC Tony Moore, honestly, I can’t say enough about how impressed you will be with this night. Be it a love of drag, of show(woman)ship, or just plain pure talent, if you want a hilarious night to top off your Pride then what the hell are you waiting for? Offering general admission or meet and greets with the talented ladies (I hope they brought their reading glasses!), there’s tickets still to be grabbed but get them now- you do NOT want to miss out (click here for tickets).
Where: The Commodore Ballroom, 868 Granville Street
When: Sunday, August 2nd, 10PM – 4AM
And so, as it must always, Pride has to come to an end. But, don’t dread it: look forward to it as the night of the biggest party of the weekend. Rapture: Victory brings together bold talent to get you dancing all night until the lights come on. You’ll be in pretty spectacular company with local dancers Dan Bevan, Bee Samoil-Selk, and (my not-so-well-kept-secret crush) Dimitri Roja, New York’s Seth Fornea, and Jared Bradford, San Diego’s incredibly sweet Colby Melvin, and Los Angeles’ Eddie Eduardo, Wimberly, Brandon Patrick, Jonathan Paul, and personal favourite, the kind and beefy Kyle Krebs. If you didn’t get painfully hard even just reading that list then getting yourself checked out might be in order because this collection of male sexuality at its finest and handsomest not only promise to deliver their goods but also some real talent on stage for your viewing delight. Opening set for the major night is by my good friend and international DJ Nick Bertossi, to be followed by headliners DJ Tom Stephan, DJ Grind and Shokra. Giants all of them in their own right I don’t need to tell you how amazing the music will be as their reputations precede them. You have so many gorgeous men to choose from and outstanding Djs to listen to that there is no way you won’t leave this party knowing you did Vancouver Pride 15 right. Filling up Vancouver’s huge Commodore Ballroom to the rim, this final event has previously brought us such brilliant themes as Gotham, OZ, Olympus, and now we end up primal and ready to let the urges take over in the AMAZON. Dress accordingly if you’d like, or dress barely at all because the dancers will be decked to the nines giving you jungle realness. As a special treat for reading this far I’ll let you know about the 10% discount code: Amazon2015 … so what are you waiting for? Get your ticket, pick out and outfit, and plan to have a night to remember (click here for tickets).
Fifteen years and showing no signs of slowing down, this Pride will be one to write home about.. but not to your mom, she does NOT need to hear those stories!