It's been a wild ride these last few days! Parties every night, parties everyday (except for when the rain prohibited it), and talent handling for the Arenas Block Party and the Palm Springs Pride Festival in between. The whole Qulture Qreative gang and I are, well, as Cazwell would say "exhausticated".
Where did I leave off? Oh yes, I had last blogged after our Friday night party. Well, that leaves all of Saturday and yesterday (Sunday). Saturday, the good times just kept on rolling! First with a pool party at Alcazar(yes, the freak rainstorm let up for Saturday), featuring Susan In Accounting (who graciously shared his Suzanne Somers "Touch Me" poetry book with us) and Victor Rodriguez (LA).
Man, their music is perfect for the poolside! After the pool parties, we preset things for the evenings festivities at Birba and were on our way for a bite to eat, and a change of clothes. Then it was off to the Arenas Block Party where we had booked Cazwell to headline the main stage.
The block party, Arenas (named after the street that is home to a good portion of the gay bars in town), was a completely new happening. In it's first year. Headed up by our new friend, Reggie Cameron. The party featured the likes of Raja, Billy Francesca & DJ B (Dance Bitch), Lady Tigra, DJ Paul V, and DJ Pornstar. There was a line to get in all night long and word from the organizers has it there were 10,000 in attendance. Not shabby for a first year! Unfortunately, as often happens with these types of events, Cazwell's original set time was moved nearly 2 hours, so I missed out on all that excitement. My ass needed to hightail it back to Birba to make sure our production there was on schedule. The crew that stayed behind said that the crowd went wild over Cazwell's performance, which featured the track that he just finished with Peaches. Oh, and Raja made a cameo, lip syncing the Peaches parts. No big deal!
Our production at Birba that night featured the gang from Cub Scout (Victor Rodriguez, Chris Bowen) along with den mother, Lady Bear. It was a beautiful night and the lovely outdoor setting that Birba offers created the perfect venue for the vibe. The music was outstanding! Cazwell jumped on the decks for a while and pumped out a DJ set that was probably the best I have ever heard him play. Lady Bear used the built in fire pit features that the property has to offer and worked it into her routine. She was gonna sacrifice somethin' girl! The party was off the hook! Lady Tigra showed up, Phyliss Navidad was there workin' some Jim Morrison realness, and the Dance Bitch boys were in attendance lookin' cute as hell! So many great people, so much fun.
Sunday we started out with our pool party which was set to feature myself, Blue Eyed Soul (SEA), Roy G. Biv (PDX) & Mr. Charming (PDX). Unfortunately, the freak rain came back and we pulled the plug early on that. The team split in half - some going home to catch up on work, meanwhile, myself and the unbelievably charming Dann Richey set out to pick up Ultra Nate from the airport. We had her booked to headline the citywide Pride Festival. Most of the afternoon was consumed with taking care of her needs and making sure her performance went off without a hitch. It did, despite the weather. What else would you expect from Ultra Nate? The woman is a legend. As a DJ, I've been rocking her shit forever. She's amazing. She's also a knockout! Wow! Me and Dann had to get our geekout photo op with her....here's mine!
Once Ultra Nate was taken care of, Dann and I hightailed it back to meet up with the rest of the crew. We had dinner with the parents of our hosts and it was a wonderfully centering experience in the midst of the chaos of the last few days. We shared laughs, interesting stories, and some serious grub! Then it was off to get things in gear for our last Production of the weekend and we were Birba bound.
We arrived at Birba and it was pouring down rain. The wind had kicked up and for a second there was uncertainty about moving forward. However, my esteemed business partner, David Richey (and myself for that matter), were hellbent on moving forward. We moved things around a bit to re-situate the event around the indoor portions of Birba and it was game on! ...and thank GOD it was game on! It turned out to be a fantastic soiree featuring a veritable "who's who" of the talent that was in town for various Pride weekend events.
The DJ's were the boys from Dance Bitch (Billy Francesca & DJ B) and they kept the energy up with tons of jams from across the genre spectrum. There were spontaneous drag performances by the members of Tranzcontinental, Raja dropped by, and a host of California's best Queer performers and promoters socialized. It was the perfect icing on the cake that was Palm Springs Pride 2011 and COMPOUND.
Start planning now kids. Next year's gonna be even better!
Now, before I go, and lay this years PS Pride experience to rest, there are a few points of note that I must address:
If you find yourself in Palm Springs, you really must support Cheeky's, Birba, and Alcazar. Cheeky's is the most wonderful place for eating breakfast and/or lunch. The food is fantastic. It's THE place to go! My favorite was an eggs benedict that had the most delicious hollondaise sauce atop a melt in your mouth cheddar scone. I also had a delicious chicken sandwich that even thinking about makes my mouth water. Birba is beyond words. Here you can sip on your favorite beverage, enjoy something off their menu (my fave was a warm mussel salad which was pure heaven), and soak in the ambient indoor/outdoor atmosphere. Alcazar offers you luxury style lodging at reasonable prices. The grounds are lush and welcoming and the pool area is tranquil. All of these businesses are like a family, all coming together to create one unbelievable property. The staff is incredible and extremely attentive. The couple at the helm of this triad, Tara & Marco, are the kind of business owners you want to support. Progressive, hard working, passionate and frankly, just really good people. They were also fantastic hosts, opening their beautiful home to us during our stay. Can't say enough about them and their businesses. The hottest tickets in Palm Springs!
Big ups to my business partner and bestie, David "D$" Richey, on his vision for Compound. It's always a pleasure to bring our wondertwin powers to activate status and see where it takes us! I particularly enjoyed this experience and was proud to put our mutual work behind it. Now get workin' on next year!
A thousand thanks to my lovely lady, aka Ginger Girl Photography. You always support with gusto and capture all the memories. Can't wait to see all those pics! Also, it bears mentioning a big thanks to Josh O'neal, our favorite sexified go go and homeboy supreme. Your contributions to the weekend were many. ...and I'm just glad I got to see your face!
That's it for now kids. Mama's tired and still working on this Clonazepam hangover. More to come as more pics become released, etc!