Organisers behind November’s blistering slate of Gay Games parties this week unveiled a comprehensive breakdown of what punters can expect from the five grand-scale events.
The plan details an ambitious and unusual line-up of music and scenic for the parties, with bootscootin’ halls running alongside uplifting house sets, and traditional Latin sounds pumping out across the Fox studio site from laser shows and funky tribal.
Sydney 2002 party director Gary Leeson told Sydney Star Observer that planning the Gay Games parties has been about breaking Sydney’s dance party moulds and focusing on a diverse, international audience.
This is not just about another Sydney dance party. This is the big international gay and lesbian jamboree. It only comes around once every four years and this year we’ve got it, Leeson said.
We definitely wanted to mix up the program. Parties have become a little bit predictable and the crowd we’re getting in Sydney for the Games is not your traditional hardcore party crowd. The crowd will be aged 18 to 80 -“ from a variety of nations.
Seasoned Mardi Gras and Sleaze Ball party organiser Leeson and director of production Katrina Marton have fine-tuned the details on the five parties, which comprise the opening night party Welcome, the men’s party Black, the harbour party Sunset, the women’s party Butch! and the closing night Farewell party. All five parties will take over the Fox studio site within a daunting seven-day span.
The Welcome party will be about getting to know the people who are in the city for the event. We want it to be incredibly up, incredibly festive and happy. I guess the feel of it will be Screaming Good Fun.
Canadian chanteuse kd lang will appear at Welcome for a one-song performance at about 3am in the Hordern, followed by Jimmy Somerville at about 5:30am.
Partygoers will witness early night performances from 1960s retro act Girls Girls Girls, sets from Sean Manley and UK favourite Wayne G, Kate Mon-roe and Garry Tee, while City Live will be transformed into the country-themed Gay Ole Opry.
[Opry] is going to be a full-on country venue complete with a band and a country DJ. Obviously it’s going to be pretty outrageous, Leeson said.
Gillian Minervini is stepping back into her party producer shoes for the women’s party Butch! taking place at The Dome on 6 November. Miner-vini will work in with the venue’s stately aesthetic to deliver a decadent affair in Butch!
I would say that we’re moving towards a very deluxe feel for this party. A lot of people have a view that women’s parties are traditionally less lavish in the amount of detail put into them than other parties. Butch! will be lavish, up-scale with a lot of production detail, Minervini told the Star this week.
Leeson hinted at the truth behind rumours that men’s party Black will be something of a sexy night out.
To me, the Black party will all be about the punters and the attitude they bring to the party. We’re going for a red and black aesthetic and the music is going to be funkier and more move-your-hips stuff, Leeson said.
However, Leeson was understandably coy on the issue of dark, exploratory spaces for Black punters.
Boys tend to sort that out for themselves, but I think -¦ how can I put this? I think where we placed Buck Naked as a DJ kind of says it all -¦ [He paused again while I enquired about rumours The Dome was going to be hot and heavy at Black.] If you’re looking to see something in The Dome, you might be a little hard pressed to see anything -¦ he said.
The Gay Games have also issued a warning to partygoers that the last tickets for the 3 November Sunset harbour party featuring DJ Warren Gluck are on the verge of selling out.
Saturday 2 November
The RHI: DJs Wayne G, Sean Manley. Laser shows and audio visual. No stage allows for an extended dance floor.
The Hordern: Girls Girls Girls concert opens the night followed by DJs Kate Monroe and Rob Davis. International stars kd lang (performs approx 3am) and Jimmy Somerville (approx 5:30am).
City Live: Transformed into Gay Ole Opry. Live country act, bootscootin’ and country DJs throughout the night.
The Dome: DJs Garry Tee and Calvin Wong.
Bent Street: Chill out while checking it out.
Cost: $99/$79 (booking fee extra).
Sunday 3 November
Fleet Steps, Royal Botanic Gardens: New York DJ Warren Gluck does an all-party set in the open air.
Cost: $99/$79 (booking fee).
Tickets remaining: 600
Wednesday 6 November
The Dome: DJs Annabelle Gaspar and Kate Monroe perform sets in a lush and sexy scenic. For women.
Cost $55/$44 (booking fee).
Thursday 7 November
The Hordern: DJs Wayne G and Jayson Leahy.
The Dome: Will be called the back door and opens at midnight. The infamous Buck Naked will perform a set. Lighting will be low. Use your imagination. For men.
Cost: $88/$70 (booking fee)
Saturday 9 November
The RHI: Live performances by Melissa Tkautz, Michael Nicolas and Shauna Jensen. Drag shows from the cream of Sydney’s show girls. DJs Alex Taylor and Paul Goodyear.
The Hordern: DJs Anthony Whitlock and Mandy Rollins perform sets with lighting by Antony (Moose) Read.
The Dome: DJs Jake Kilby and Sveta.
City Live: All-authentic Latin sounds will bring a carnival atmosphere to Farewell.
Cost: $99/79 (booking fee)
All tickets available through Ticketek on (02) 9266 4020 or www.sydney2002.org. au or from the Gay Games shop at 92 Oxford St Darlinghurst.