By Jason Kelly
Palm Springs, CA – Sun Worshippers rejoice! White Party Palm Springs 2017 happens the weekend of May 5-8, right at the start of peak tanning season in that magical California desert oasis. Producer Jeffrey Sanker is designing this year’s festivities to give you maximum exposure to the most fun under the desert sun, along with his legendary electrifying evening events.
This year, Sanker is amping up White Party’s world famous pool parties at the Renaissance Hotel like never before. He’ll bring up the heat with new day-club style “Splash” parties all day long, on all three days: Friday, Saturday and Sunday. You won’t find a bigger mix of Men, Music and Muscle anywhere on Earth!
The action doesn’t stop after the sun sets. Sanker’s explosive White Party evening events have become the standard by which all other gay dance festivals are judged. On Friday night, he joins with Eliad Cohen to bring the carnal pleasures of PAPA back to the desert. On Saturday evening, Sanker fires up his spotlights for the massive WHITE PARTY main event at Palm Springs Convention Center, a full-scale Military Assault. The party keeps pumping after-hours with the triumphant return of CLIMAX after hours.
Sunday brings non-stop fun starting at the Renaissance Pool, followed by the magnificent SUNDAY T-DANCE T-Dance (with its signature fireworks finale) and the always provocative CLOSING PARTY.
We had a chance to sit down with Sanker to find out more about the man behind all the magic and let him fill us in on what he’s planning:
Jason Kelly: Where do you draw your inspiration for White Party?
Jeffrey Sanker: Pop culture, what is current, relevant. I try to always keep my finger on the pulse of what’s hot, and what is up and coming and travel the world for more ideas every year!
JK: What makes White Party different than all the other circuit events across the globe?
JS: I think the circuit world has evolved into such a phenomenon, that there is literally something for everyone. There are some amazing groups out there doing some amazing things, and I am thrilled in the direction and passion that goes into every production! What I think what sets White Party apart from some of the other groups is that I have always held on to my initial mission: one that is to not only throw a great party, but to also make it all inclusive. I want our guests to feel free to be themselves, and for them to explore a side of themselves that they may never have had the opportunity to do before. We live in a climate that is ever changing, but I know that many of our guests come from places where being gay is still not accepted. I want them to understand that I accept them, we accept them, and it is ok to be yourself and let loose. Friendships and bonds are formed that last a lifetime, memories are made, and stars are born, and I pride myself on surprising guests year after year with new and innovative ways of doing this.
JK: Are there any major changes to White Party this year? I hear you are bringing back the main pool party, but in a really big way. Give us the scoop!
JS: One of the main changes is bringing all of our pool parties back to the hotel this year. I have redesigned the staging to make it more cohesive, and rebranded the area as a “day club” (think cabanas, day beds, and revelry). I have also brought our DJs, dancers, and performers closer to the party really making it all encompassing sensory overload coming at you at all sides!. Our amazing sponsor, ADDICTED swimwear will be doing an underwear fashion show hosted by RuPaul’s Drag Race Alum Shangela!
The Saturday night White Party has a Military Party theme with an internationally known surprise performer. The entrance will be back at its original spot on the South lawn (of the Palm Springs Convention Center) closest to the hotel. White Carpet arrivals will be hosted by none other than Julie Goldman and Brandy Howard from Bravo’s hit show, THE PEOPLE’S COUCH!
JK: What’s in store for White Party veterans?
JS: Many of our parties will have a nostalgic feel. For example, Belinda Carlisle is our headlining T Dance performer.
Belinda sent us this special message about her performance: “I’m incredibly excited to be performing at the White Party for the first time. I’ve been wanting to perform at this event for years, since it looks like too much fun and I’ve seen all the legendary artists that have come before me. Plus, as a mom of a gay son, who had a blast at the White Party last year and who will be attending with me this year, I’m so proud to be part of such a great iconic event.”
JK: What about those who need a break from the action?
IMPULSE will be offering12-Step Recovery Meetings in the Renaissance Hotel Snow Creek Conference Room on Friday at 7pm; Saturday at 7pm and Sunday at 10am.
JK: Based on ticket sales so far, are you expecting about the same amount of attendees as last year or more?
JS: Because we moved it to May, more people are able to come, and I am thrilled! The response has been amazing!
JK: About how many attendees do you anticipate?
JS: More than our 30,000 attendees throughout the weekend from all over the world including Canada, Australia, and Europe, as well as many from all over the USA!
JK: How many fireworks go into that insane display at the end of T Dance?
JK: Tens of thousands. I look up in the sky when they are going off, and I am just in awe, and the fact that it is perfectly choreographed to music, really makes it a spectacle to behold… MGM Studios used to promote “we have more stars than there are in the heavens,” I sometimes feel that way about the fireworks!
JK: What advice would you give to people who are looking for a place to stay in Palm Springs for White Party?
JS: Palm Springs is a mecca of beauty, relaxation, and heat, heat, heat! The best place to be to experience White Party of course, is our Host Hotel, The Renaissance Palm Springs. It is in the middle of the action, and ALL parties are within walking distance. We also offer the Friday pool party free to hotel guests, and a discounted rate on our Sunday pool party! All in all, it’s the place to be! Book now, until April 1st, and mention White Party for my special rate!!
JK: What are three things everyone should pack for White Party?
JS: Something white, something sexy, and something that makes you feel confident (that can be one thing right?), also a tube of chapstick, and an open mind… you never know what to expect, who you are going to meet, and where the weekend will take you! I promise you though…. it will be an AMAZING time!
JK: What has been the most rewarding part for you in creating White Party year after year?
JS: I think that meeting guys from all around the world that have come to the White Party, and have thanked me for helping them “come out” or to “feel good about being gay.” It warms my heart to think that I, in a small part, have been instrumental in not only entertaining people, but also to help some come to terms with who they are, and how much fun it can be, when you finally can be yourself.
JK: Where can we go to get all the latest details and information?
JS: You kind find everything on one convenient place: www.jeffreysanker.com
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