This article was published on July 11th, 2019
It was the gay event of the year! And it smashed records and blew the minds of people who were there for it. Pride Festival 2019. As the sun started to set over New York City on Saturday, June 29, 2019, thousands and thousands of people were making their way to Javitz Center for the Pride Festival 2019 main event, WE Party, the hottest ticket of the Stonewall50 weekend in New York City! It broke records. Many records. In fact, it become the largest gay night club event in US history, and so much more!
When tickets went on sale, and as more and more announcements about the event were made, the excitement was building. People were snatching up tickets for the event, not knowing exactly what they were signing up for, but knowing that it was going to be incredible, because it was being produced by the biggest individual gay event producers in the United States, Jake Resnicow. Jake has a long history of turning out some of the most incredible events across the United States, and the stakes were high for Pride Festival 2019.
As the clock counted down to 10:00pm, thousands of people lined up, excited to enter Javitz Center. The energy was electric! As the doors opened, the masses ascended the escalators to WE Party. They were greeted at the top by dozens of smiling ambassadors who quickly ushered people into the massive venue.
Once inside, guests found themselves in a nightlife extravaganza! Selfie-stations, massive quick-serve bars, gourmet food trucks, casual lounges, and activity centers were located throughout the gigantic space. There was so much to see, do, and experience!
Spanning almost the entire width of the venue was a visual masterpiece. Three giant digital screens that could be seen from any vantage point in the room, set above the elevated stage, which would host incredible DJ’s, performances and artists throughout the night.
As the doors opened at 10:00pm, DJ Dani Brasil, who was dressed to the 10s in a sequined suit, delivered an energetic live vocal mashup set that included the hottest hits currently alongside classic bangers.
By 11:00pm, as people grabbed cocktails, and started setting in, a video montage began. It featured welcome messages from dozens of celebrities including Cher, Dolly Parton, and Camila Cabello, just to name a few. It was the beginning of a line-up of stars, performers, artists, and LGBT icons that were about to slay the stage and entertain the audience all throughout the night!
The gala of entertainment kicked off with legendary gay icon, Bette Midler, who charmed the crowd with her witty banter, including a few jabs at Donald Trump, who had recently called her own on his personal Twitter account. Bette joined her ling time friend and Tony award winner, Marc Shaiman, for the hit song, Friends, a throwback to her stint in the bathhouses of NYC in the early 70’s, right after the Stonewall riots.
From one diva to another, ‘Pose’ star and Broadway favorite Billy Porter, who acted as the unofficial grand marshal of the weekend, urged the crowd to love themselves as he impressed in a skin-tight sequin number that left little to the imagination. He put on an incredible act which has every kween in the room excited and mesmerized.
Soon after, STOMP!, which has wowed audiences for years, took to the stage and electrified the crowed and reminded fans of their precision and high energy.
After a break, diamond-studded diva Conchita Wurst performed ‘Unstoppable’ alongside Brandon Pereyda from Cirque du Soleil’s Zumanity, who wore only a leather jockstrap to complement his red mohawk. The performance gave everyone in attendance Ziggy Stardust vibes that resonated throughout the night.
One of the biggest LGBT stars for the past three decades, Cyndi Lauper proved that she is just as musically viable now as before, performing two of her signature tunes – ‘Time After Time’ and ‘True Colors’. As the crowd danced to her pop hits, she maintained a strong visual presence in a rainbow-colored taffeta dress that exuded classic Cyndi Lauper style.
By 12:30pm, the event began to transform into a dance party, as Binomio powered through a high-energy set of pop hits and alternative classics. Circuit fans were whipped out and shirts were coming off! The party was about to go into full-swing.
Over a dozen dancers took to the stage to work their way through a medley of hits – starting with ‘Heaven Is a Place on Earth’ by Belinda Carlisle, ‘Take On Me’ by A-Ha, and ‘Don’t Go’ by Yaz.
Choreographer to the stars, Chris Grant, came to the stage and performed his extended show that included tributes to Beyonce, Janet Jackson, Michael Jackson, and Jennifer Lopez.
But there was one more surprise in store. Pop star, Brandy, graced the stage and performed a cover, ‘I Want To Dance With Somebody’ by the late Whitney Houston.
The line-up of entertainment continued. NYC icon, Amanda Lepore, graced the stage wearing nothing but a pair of pasties, flanked by two gorgeous muscle studs.
To close out the night, Paulo came out intent to let the circuit boys have it, bringing the BPMs that had the crowd in a state of ecstasy as he mixed in the latest bangers with dance classics.
Thank you Jake Resnicow and the entire Pride Festival 2019 team, organizers, sponsors, vendors, volunteers, security, and medical staff, who put on one hell of a party!
Pride Festival 2019 WE Party was a glorious tribute to the 50th anniversary of Stonewall and the massive strides that have been made. This is a time to remember and thank those who stood up before us, to fight for equal rights. The brave who came out, made a stand, marched, signed petitions, and fought for LGBT causes. While much work still needs to be done, in the United States, Canada, and in over 70 countries around the world where you can be persecuted or even received the death penalty for being gay, there are moments like this, where we stand together, united, enjoying our freedoms, but not forgetting those who we still need to fight for.
The Pride Festival 2019 main event, WE Party, was one of the most incredible nights that can never be forgotten. It was more than just a music festival. It brought the LGBT community for a night of celebration, hope, and to re-ignite the spirit of the community. It was nothing short of magical. If you were there, congratulations – you were a part of LGBT history!