White Party Palm Springs 2013 was everything we wanted. Period.
Patrick and I attended WPPS (as the “kids” in the know quickly informed me is what White Party Palm Springs is referred to as) over this past Easter long weekend and barely survived we had that much fun. Stepping from 55 Fahrenheit and overcast in Vancouver to blue skies and 85-90 degrees in beautiful Palm Springs, California, we knew things were on track the second we got off our plane. Patrick had been working his contacts and even I got into the mix setting up meet and greets, interview and events for our 5 day trip and the payoff was one hell of a time. WPPS is an annual event that takes place in the desert town of Palm Springs and attracts tens of thousands of gay men (sorry ladies, while you’re certainly allowed you will by FAR be in the minority) with its promise of perfect weather, lavish events and exciting performances: and this year had them all in spades. We took our time getting in a day early and staying a day late to fully prepare and decompress after the bang out weekend and boy were our bodies and minds happier for it. No matter what the liver damage or how many shirts we sweat through- it was worth it.
While I won’t give away the details of the performances before the click through- yes, you’re going to have to actually read my review to get to the highs and see the Avicii “I Could Be the One” music video remake that Patrick has been diligently working at this past week of filming to prepare for- I will mention the bigger names and sights to wet your appetite. I had my arms around a 9 foot tall draggin’ Willam who took one look at my Harley Davidson shirt and said: “Bitch, you a queen- you ain’t go no Haaaaarley!”; Patrick is currently sporting a profile picture with the new love of his life Carmen Electra; I may have offered to sleep with Icona Pop‘s impossibly beautiful Aino Jawo; and, Patrick has discovered the newest and greatest thing to come out of the LA music scene. And, that was only the beginning…
Friday Night Bulge Underwear Party
BAM. Nearly naked right out of the gate. While bulges weren’t measured at the door as a prerequisite for admittance, they sure as hell weren’t turned away. Sporting basically the one pair of (hot red) undies I own- and have worn a total of three times… yeah, do the math- and Patrick in a cute pair of greens, we checked our shorts and shirts at the door and stripped down for a good 3-4 hours. Somehow, never cold once haha. The underwear party was held in the main room at the immense and very welcoming host hotel- The Renaissance– and was wall to wall with barely clothed babes dancing into the night. Scoring some VIP access, Patrick and I spent the night mixing with the boys of Andrew Christian we had met at an earlier private house party but truly had the best time under gigantic sculptures adorning the ceiling with our friends from all over Canada and the U.S.. I know what you’re thinking… how dirty does this party get? Well, I can tell you that even I kept managed my pants on (so to speak) so that should speak volumes. There’s more than a fair share of welcomed gropes and pokes happening at this event but nothing turns bathhouse on the dance floor so feel free to relax and come as you are and not have to worry about getting more attention than you want simply cause you’re dressed to the ones (wait, what’s the opposite of “to the nines”? ;).
The dancing goes till 5AM so you have plenty of time to find a cute boy or do your best to smile and shake next-to-nude hands with everyone in attendance and it’s worth it to make friends early as they’ll be the ones who invite you to dinners and private brunches throughout the weekend. And, while you’re really only there for the mimosas and men, it’s a huge part of the weekend and culture so enjoy it! Overall, a must-attend for the weekend for sure. It’s the best way to survey the crowd; show off your fave pair of underwear that I KNOW you non-commando (sigh…) boys all have; and, pick a few hot men to hunt and “trap” the rest of your time there. Great start to a great adventure.
The Pool Parties
Wanna beat the heat during the day while showin’ off your suit and cruising hundreds of tanned and oiled men? This is your party. While Patrick is basically amphibious, my love of dunking my head under water is limited so he was definitely more the pro at these parties. That said, there are men for miles and about a thousand pool inflatables to keep you splashing and ignorant of the heat so it’s a fun start to each day. Pool parties certainly weed out the pros from the inexperienced and often younger bunch as the tuckered kids from the night before often spend their AM’s hauled up in their dark rooms recovering like vampires only to emerge around late lunch for a protein shake and a 5-hour energy shot. The more hard core among us realize that a pool party is the easiest way to relax, soak in the most amount of sun and of course: get your day drink on. The parties are certainly not without entertainment and I would have to say that Sunday’s pool party entertainment of up and comer (and hilarious to meet and chat with) Laura Michelle coming on stage by screaming “What’s up you BITCHES!” certainly woke my ass out of a hung over stupor [interview and videos of her performing to come in a separate article]. Though Patrick was the star, even I got to catch up and cop more than just a feel during a hug and chat with my friend and favourite (and I don’t know many by name so it means something) adult film star Trent Ducati who adorned poolside like a greek sculpture in sexy shorts and shades. Not the only beef cake out there however- men of all shapes and sizes, but you better bring your A-Game to these events as the light of day doesn’t hide what club low-lights can so all the men are truly- as Melissa Gorga would say- on display! Truly, it’s the best time to have a (mostly) quiet and real chat with the guy you’ve spotted the night before outside the blaring music of the clubs- and maybe steal a kiss or two in the hot tub.
(The Actual) White Party
The main event of the White Party weekend- the White Party- is the perfect blend of class, ass and celebrity status (sayi that right and it kinda rhymes ;). The night starts off with one of the few long lines you’ll encounter over the weekend so make sure you’re on time or early if you’re hoping to catch the “white” carpet step and repeat to get a close up and photo with the weekend’s stars. Many of the performers if not all from the weekend make it to this photo op and you can get as close as three feet away to snap your shot or- in Patrick’s case if you know the right people- right on up there to grab a pic next to the famed ones. While I’m loathe to dress for a theme party, this one does do well to allow you to show off your skank side with nothing but ass-less white chaps, or your upper east side with a Michael Kors linen pant and Dolce and Gabbana dress shirt unbuttoned to the navel. Anything and everything goes at this one but just realize that until you step inside the huge party room, you’re starting off outdoors in a beautifully decorated Renaissance-adjacent lawn adorned with lavish furniture and lighting so maybe dress up a tiny bit and strip down once inside. Or not- and you’ll probably get hit on more haha.
The White Party itself is a full night of dancing and debauchery in a humungous event room that allows for you to sneak away with or hid from any man you may choose. On the logistic side of things, it should be mentioned that each event smartly split drink purchasing into lines to buy tickets and lines to buy drinks with those tickets to spread the wait and break the train of thirsty men, so getting a vodka never took too long thank god. The music and performances however were the real draw of the night. While I’m VERY sorry to have to tell you that you came to the wroooong kid if you’re hoping for me to tell you if that evening was acid trip or house beats or drum and bass playing throughout the night (PLEASE feel free and do comment below with the deets if you have any idea what kind of music was playing!). I can tell you that Alexis Jordan and particularly- for me- Ana Matronic killed it though. Alexis’ “Happiness” had ALL the scene boys spinning and smiling to all the words and brought a great deal of humour to an otherwise somewhat.. horny night haha. And, my pick of the night- Ana and her scary sexy looks and gigantic props- blew up the party with “Let’s Have a Kiki” with an all white (obviously) and fierce performance. Admittedly, the more circuit experienced boys argued that these peppy song breaks got in the way of the harder beats that got their fit bodies moving all night, but I am a man that likes to have at least a few tracks I know all the words to and can just laugh and jump around like an idiot to before it turns 3AM and I turn back into a pumpkin.
Sunday’s Afternoon T-Dance
My hands down FAVOURITE part of the weekend: and I’d argue most would agree. This party had everything: men dressed as women, actual women (yes, there were some!), men in full body rabbit suits, big name performers and trabiz partiers (… it’s that thing where men who would normally be in a suit and tie on a monday morning are dressed in such tragic revealing and burning man looking outfits that you have to wonder how they keep their business jobs the second they pose for someone’s facebook profile pic…). It’s epic 😉 The entire event takes place outside in a huge foreground next to The Renaissance and this year they pulled out all the stops. About 12 bars located throughout, dozens and dozens of bathroom stalls, a full working pirate ship and Ferris wheel amusement park rides, tented VIP area with couches to relax from the sun and a great dancing space to fit anyone and everyone who wants to boogie: this party rocked. While it was most important to me because it was my best chance to hang out with and catch up with all the visiting Vancouver boys in our corner of the sky we carved out on the dance floor, it was also by far the best photo ops of the weekend as Patrick kicked my butt into gear to take full advantage of the media area as all the stars left the stage before returning to their trailers.
First, I will warn: this party can get a little chilly. I felt SO out of place at first wearing full jeans and a t-shirt, and while the t-shirt certainly came off and that made me more at ease, I will warn that the vast majority of boys here still sport shorts. That said, it.gets.windy. and I have no extra padding to keep me warm so I very much appreciated the full-legged outfit choice by the end of the night as this one goes from 3PM-10PM. Yes, being gay late is acceptable but performances DO start before 6 and go full till the end so you decide if style wins out over comfort. Still, a little wind aside, you will be too busy singing along with the on-stage performances and your buddies next to you to truly care. We were treated to “This Boy [Bear] Is a Bottom” first by the outstanding Willam Belli (love her) whom Patrick writes about weekly who performed with Vicky Vox and this year stand out from RuPaul, Detox. While I’m not going to declare their performance as “live”, it was hilarious and bear-infused for an extra laugh and looked great on stage. And hell, you know if bears are involved, I’m there! Next was (and I almost lost my voice here) Swedish duo Icona Pop which is comprised of a fiercely red headed and giant beauty Caroline Hjelt and Aino Jawo– my future wife and baby making partner. I have to say, the smartest part of this weekend was limiting the performance by each singer to their main two or three songs to keep the party moving without a hitch. So, after a great intro and fun chat with the crowd, these flawless sweethearts burst into “I Love It” and owned the crowd. Even if you don’t watch HBO’s “Girls” and weren’t like me trying to reenact the crazy club scene with Hannah and Eli, you had a fucking blast. The ladies were smiling ear to ear seeing the crowd chant every word and everyone was in a perfect mood. Whisked away to the media section Patrick and I got right up next to the godesses and I whispered to Aino that she was too perfect that I had to go straight for her and she (hopefully more than just politely) stated back that I was hot and we posed for one of my fave shots of the weekend. It was an impossible moment.
The night continued on with great music that the crowd pumped away to until Carmen Electra took to the stage and took full control. Yes, Carmen sings- it was news to me too- and she performed “I Like It Loud“. This girl has some moves and no one can deny it. The song was hard and fast which kept up with the feel of the crowd but what got attention was her size zero everything (except bra!) and perfected choreography that actually pretty much killed it. She looked like she was having a great time and you can tell loves her some gays and the crowd was definitely of an age to remember this girl back from the young days of “Baywatch” and appreciate the transformation to circuit girl. The final live act of the night was the quick appearance of Carly Rae Jepsen who awesomely recently banned performing for the bigoted Boy Scouts of America to support the gays. I say quick appearance because this girl flew directly in from Justin Bieber’s tour to sing and got back on the plane so fast that basically no one got a picture with the burst out star. Singing her newest hit “Tonight I’m Getting Over You” which gave me and I’m sure more than a few others a great feeling of starting fresh from jerk exes (well, jerk guys I dated for three dates and then decided to end things haha), she was off to a great start and really made it come together once she hit the classic and crowd fave “Call Me Maybe“. Now, I will say that I heard a few skeptics wondering (again) if this kind of music and singer wouldn’t “kill the feel of the party” but I have to say that even the most buff and hardened circuit stud was caught lip synching along with this banged beauty as she bounced around the stage. It’s TOO contagious not to be taken over by this song and we all were and it was a great time to get girlie and let lose to Carly on stage.
The night wasn’t over with the live portion however, as tradition has a choreographed fireworks show shut down the event and holy shit, did they buy a lot of fireworks. I’m use to some spectacular shows living in Vancouver as we annually put on a spectacular “fire in the sky” international performance but this one takes the cake pulling out the latest and greatest (gays love them) Top 40. The show must have gone on for something around or over 15 minutes and had impossibly huge explosions out into the East beyond the stage perfectly centered for all to see no matter where you were standing. My choice moment of this part was as the Swedish House Mafia’s hit “Don’t You Worry Child” came on and a near hush came over the crowd. The music was just soft enough that you could hear everyone’s live voices singing to this one and acting out the live performance video in Britain of this show. It was amazing and a perfect end to the night. But, not an end to the party as this was just the precursor to the night’s final shabang.
SLEEP- at least an hour or two in between the Tea Dance and Closing Party. I absolutely recommend at least taking a sojourn in the middle of these final two blasts as they’re the ones that go the hardest and longest of the weekend. While not everyone quite makes it out to this final party- it’s full and packed wall to wall with men nonetheless and these are the more hardcore attendees. If you’re looking to meet up with the most ripped, party-ready and mature lot of the weekend this is the party for you. Because it’s at the end of the whole weekend it’s a maybe for the younger pups who want to look airport ready the next day for the flight back to Kansas, but for the rest it’s the best way to culminate three days of dancing and go all out. Back at The Renaissance hotel, this party had buff dancers (I’m talking about you Trent!), the infamous
DJ Tony Moran DJ Rosabel playing into the night and best of all some up-and-coming performances from some of LA’s latest and greatest. While Patrick will be coming out with a separate review of the night’s biggest singer K Rose, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention now how freaking amazing her dancing was and of course her singing her biggest hit “Sleep When I’m Dead“. It got the boys all riled up and frenetic for the late night of body grinding and sweaty fun.
The space was darker than it had ever been which just added to the sexy ambiance and thankfully offered a huge patio to escape to as everyone needed constant cooling off from the fun indoors. I met an amazingly sweet stud from LA who kept me safe and happy on the dance floor all night at this one and it seemed that more than just a few people were able to find that guy they’d been chasing all weekend. And, while not all nights may have led to prince charming like mine, this party is a definite must so as to not regret giving it your all in the final hours of the weekend of events. It’s anything goes costume and look-wise and you can truly let yourself go cause after tomorrow no one is gonna see you again until next year 😉
And The Rest!
Oh what to include! First, a disclaimer is that this list of parties is not exhaustive. There were after parties that my little body couldn’t quite make it too as 8AM is not a time I want to be returning home but kudos to those with the energy- Saturday night had an after hours option for you to boogie until your heart burst. Second, not all performers were mentioned here and that is because unlike some of the other writers of the site I am QUITE the lay person when it comes to the latest and greatest in remixes, Top 40 and gay hits so I commented the best I could with what I know! Third, there is of course SO much more to do in Palm Springs and particularly at White Party that I just didn’t get into in the attempt to barrel what could have been a novel of an article into something at least vaguely palatable. Fourth, a huge, HUGE thank you has to go out to Jeffrey Sanker (pictured here receiving a declaration of welcome from the appreciative and tourism infused city of Palm Springs) who owns and throws this event annually- click here for his site and full details and pics from the event– and was extremely gracious to meet. And, finally, an immense thank you and hug to Phil Lobel who took perfect care of both Patrick and myself and ensure we had every access and constant support we could have possibly needed to get the great videos, interviews and shots that we did at this amazing party. Couldn’t have happened with out you Phil!
In all, as you read this, if you’re anything of a partier you’ll know I’m hardly the expert on the subject. I missed commenting on the quality of the speakers and didn’t mention how full length the bathroom stalls were, but I did think it was good to put a perspective on an event that might intimidate guys like me who don’t frequent the bigger events to let everyone out there know that this party is totally approachable. Yes, there thousands of gorgeous guys but no you don’t have to juice up and quit carbs for a year to prep for this party if that isn’t your thing to have a good time. No one in their right mind is going to accuse me of hitting the gym like a monster for months to prep for this or buying out Sachs Fifth to have the latest on trend style and I somehow managed to meet a ton of amazing men and friends and didn’t ever feel like I “wasn’t allowed”. So, even if you don’t look like the buff gods in most of the publicity stills from this party, take a lot at the skinny bitch in my shots and know that anything goes at WPPS from lean, to built to bear and all can have a great time. On top of that, despite the monochromatic name, this is possibly the most racially diverse group I’ve ever seen in my live so come one come all and you’ll be sure to find what you’re into! And, finally, when I say I met some amazing guys, I mean. Though circuit boys can get easily dismissed as body obsessed or vapid- really they’re just guys who like to look their best. And before the retail queen jokes start up, because this party isn’t cheap (and it isn’t) the majority of the men if not nearly all that I met are extremely professional and educated men who like to play as hard as they work. It’s a great group and you at home should think about trying it out. Just come with a good attitude and you’ll have a blast- I promise.
Please, let me know below if you attended, what you liked, what you didn’t- hell, how much you hate me and my opinions. Anything 😉
Homorazzi Does White Party 2013 (VIDEO)
As mentioned, this year instead of doing a standard video montage of our experience, we were inspired by one of our favorite music videos as of late, Avicii “I Could Be The One” featuring Nicky Romero. We used the song for the video and also the theme of getting out of your every day slump and living your life like a party! We had a lot of fun with it so hopefully you enjoy it!