White Party 25
The White Party is 25 - even if you’re not anymore.
The Rage Monthly posed some fairly tough questions to White Party founder and producer Jeffrey Sanker about his seminal event, which in some circles could be called a gay-male rite of passage. Sanker was forthright and unflinching in his answers, insisting that the White Party is not a vêtu de blanc drug-binge, holding the bar incredibly high by unabashedly declaring, "Truly decades in the making, Saturday night’s main event, ’White Party 25 Icon,’ will secure its place in history as the righting party by which all others are judged."
Recently, singer Carmen Electra stood alongside reporters and civic leaders in Palm Springs, as Sanker became the latest celebrity to have his own star added to the Palm Springs walk of stars. He took the opportunity to announce that Electra will be crowned "Queen of the White Party" during the event, which takes over the desert cities Friday, April 25 through Monday, April 28.
Other names to know who will provide entertainment and music are (in order of appearance) DJ Shane Stiel, DJ-producer-remixer Chris Cox, Grammy-nominated DJ-producer Tony Moran, DJ Gustavo Scorpio, DJ Chi Chi Larue, DJ Joshua D, and superstar DJ Manny Lehman. Add to the list debut performances by DJs Alex Acosta plus performances by Ivan Gomez, DJ Dani Toro, DJ Grind, Wayne G and Ralphi Rosario, DJ Guy Scheiman, and DJ-producer Abel round out the marquee of top entertainment at the White Party this year.
With its main headquarters at the Renaissance Hotel, the first event begins Friday, April 25, at noon with the Splash Pool Party. Following that is the Addicted to White Friday Underwear Party, which starts banging at 9 p.m. and "only" continues to 5 a.m.
Continuing throughout the weekend with events at the Renaissance and the Palm Springs Convention Center (not to mention myriad unaffiliated events across the the desert floor complementing and capitalizing upon the White Party), the weekend is a nonstop train of gay fun, wrapping up with the Sunday Circus Icon T-Dance from 3 to 10 p.m. followed, lastly, by the closing party from (gulp) 10 p.m. to 8 a.m.
A cache of overflow rooms has been made available for White Partiers at the newly renovated Hard Rock Hotel, as well as the nearby Hilton. For information on how to book to specially-priced rooms, all the fabulous events and everything else White Party-related, go to jeffreysanker.com
THE FOLLOWING IS OUR Q&A WITH HE OF ALL THINGS YOUNG, HOT, THUMPING AND SHIRTLESS, THE SENSATIONAL JEFFREY SANKER:
Twenty-five is a substantial milestone for any annual event. But 25 is still young by individual standards. How has the White Party aged during the past two-and-a-half decades? In other words, is the White Party still a young gay man’s party, or is it a party for all ages?
It’s a party for all ages. This year especially, since we have so many alumni coming in to celebrate the 25th anniversary.
What is your favorite White Party memory so far?
The time when Jennifer Lopez was the "surprise" headliner and when Lady Gaga headlined (just one year after she performed as the third act at the Splash Sunday Pool Party). Both did it to show their appreciation for their gay fans.
Can you tell our readers about the Bent Collective?
DJ-producers Danny Verde and Steven Redant have been burning up the dance charts lately as the hit remix team known as Bent Collective. As a duo, they’ve remixed songs for Lady Gaga, Cyndi Lauper and more... In addition to each being highly sought after DJs on their own. At the Saturday night main event, we get to hear them together performing live, outside of a remix studio for
the very first time ever, as Bent Collective.
What are the biggest challenges producing the White Party each year?
Each year presents its own set of unique challenges. But the main one I face is, "How do I make this year better than the year before?" All year long I try and stay in tune with what’s hot in popular culture, such as music and films and fashion. I also travel a lot to places like Europe to find out what’s current and happening there. I also listen to the feedback patrons give me. I take that very seriously.
Do you consider imitators flattering or annoying?
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
What was your original inspiration for creating the White Party?
White Party began as a weekend getaway for about 300 of my closest friends from L.A. as sort of a gay spring break event. Originally I’d seen a similar event for lesbians planned around the Dinah Shore Golf Tournament and I thought, "I could do the same thing for men!"
Does the White Party benefit any charities?
I’m proud to say that our charity this year is Desert AIDS Project.
Any sponsors you feel particularly appreciative of?
I’m pleased that both ES Collection and FLEX Spas have come on board this year with a very big presence. We are very proud to have them and look forward to a long and beneficial working relationship.