This article was published on April 13th, 2016
The dessert really heated up this past weekend in the dessert as thousands of men flocked to Palm Springs, California for one of the premier gay circuit parties in the world, White Party 2016. The weekend was packed with thousands of hot men bumping and grinding throughout the non-stop party weekend.
While rain threatened to put a damper on the weekend, in true Palm Springs fashion, the clouds parted and the weekend was generally warm and sunny. Compared to past years, many returning White Party participants felt that the overall attendance has declined over the past few years and expressed disappointment over there not being a surprise Saturday night headline performer as there has been in consecutive recent years; however, they noted that the qualities of the events have remained high and was still a great value.
The weekend started out with a free pool party at the host hotel, the Renaissance. It’s a popular event for festivalgoers to start the weekend off at a nice, relaxed pace, and to get to know of the people they’ll be spending three action-packed days with.
Friday night kicked into high gear with the Commando Party in the Renaissance hotel ballroom, where guys dressed up in uniforms, camouflage, harnesses, and sexy underwear.
Saturday afternoon the party continued at the 21-acre Wet N Wild waterpark where DJ Dan Slater and DJ Wayne G spun upbeat dance music throughout the park including dance areas, 18 water rides, bar areas, and relaxing areas. The waterpark has a noticeably decline in attendance over the previous year; turns out, many people opted to stay and party at the Renaissance Hotel pool party on Saturday afternoon instead, which turned out to be a great social gather as people packed the poolside.
The signature White Party took place on Saturday night at the Palm Springs Convention Center. The strict all-white attire, 10-hour dance party event is the highlight of the entire weekend where everyone shows up in elaborate and sexy outfits and costumes, and for a chance to walk across the white carpet. The white carpet was moved to inside this year, which made the wait to walk the carpet much more comfortable and allowed a larger crowd to watch people strut in showing off all their assets.
The inside of the convention centre was completely redesigned, with a giant horseshoe gantry rising high above the dance floor. The VIP access allowed for fantastic views of the stage and screens, which spanned the entire width of the room. It was an incredible experience and put the size of the event into perspective, seeing thousands of people dancing below, all dressed in white.
For the first time the White Party was themed, as Game of Thones, which some people embraced through their creative costume designs. The headline DJ for the main event was international DJ and producer, Offer Nissim, who was opened for by DJ’s Dani Toro and Nacho Chapado.
For most, Sunday started out slow and got off to a late start, which meant breakfast with ceasars and mimosas by the pool, as another pool party got the day of fun going.
As the afternoon sun moved across the sky, the Sunset T-Dance got underway. The evening event features a massive stage, raised VIP viewing platform, bars, quick-serve eats, and an amazingly fun ferris wheel which was free to ride. The headline performance was by Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star, Ericka Jane, who received the honour of Queen of White Party. The event was closed out with a spectacular choreographed fireworks show set to a remix by DJ Grind and Toy Armada.
The weekend wrapped up with a final Closing Party in the Renaissance ballroom that went until 7am.
White Party is like a family reunion. It’s a fun and exciting weekend of hanging out with friends, meeting new people, and being able to have an incredible experience. Jeffrey Sanker and the festival organizers work hard each year to delivery new experiences that are fresh and exhilarating. It’s why so many people return each year, because they don’t want to miss out on such a great event. If you’ve never been, you need to put it on your calendar for 2017!
See more photos from White Party 2016 on the HomoCulture Facebook page.