Hello again! My name is Jorge, and I hate cold weather. Waking up in the morning knowing it’s freezing outside is daunting. However, it’s a relief to know I’m going to be able to escape somewhere warm this winter. Yasss queen! This bitch is heading to Miami for one of the world’s most anticipated LGBTQ events: Winter Party Festival.
Since 1994, this one-time charity dance event has grown into a weeklong celebration benefiting the LGBTQ community. The festival consists of social soirees and various dance parties, including the legendary pool party.
I’m stoked not only because it’s going to be my first Winter Party ever, (shocking right?!) but also because one of my favorite DJ’s – Micky Friedmann will be spinning at Saturday’s night ENERGY. But before I get half naked with thousands of guys from all over the world (don’t worry, there will be another post with plenty of eye candy) let’s talk to Justin Bell – Chair for Winter Party Festival 2017, about the outstanding work of the organization and his team.
What is Winter Party Festival’s biggest challenge for 2017?
Our greatest challenge is finding venues that can fit our ever-growing Festival. The last two years, we’ve sold out of all parties except for The Beach Party – where we thankfully have plenty of space. But finding venues that meet our criteria and provides ample occupancy is a challenge. We continue to make adjustments to our venue lineup (including moving the Under One Sun Pool Party to The Deauville Beach Resort) to ensure we’re able to welcome as many Festival-goers to each party as possible.
What are a few things attendees can expect this year?
For 2017, we’re bringing Festival-goers the largest international DJ lineup in Winter Party Festival’s history. We’re flying in talent from four continents, representing nine countries! We’re also pumping up the size of our Under One Sun Pool Party on Saturday by moving the party to The Deauville Beach Resort – one of Miami’s largest pool decks overlooking the white sands of Miami Beach. Given its popularity, we still anticipate the Under One Sun Pool Party selling out; however, we’ll be able to welcome more Festival-goers to the party to enjoy a powerful lineup from Australia: Kitty Glitter followed by headliner Dan Slater.
What’s the best way to enjoy Winter Party Festival? Do you have any advice for a first timer?
First timers always feel immediately at home when getting to Winter Party Festival because we’re known as the friendliest party on the planet! Our diverse audience mixed with the extraordinary customer service of our 400+ friendly volunteers provide; put nerves at ease – bringing out smiles in everyone. First timers may want to check out a blog entry we’ve placed on our website from Walter Castaneda. Walter writes about his first time at WPF and gives some great pointers to newcomers. You can read Walter’s recommendations here: http://www.winterparty.com/firsttimer
Where does the money raised at Winter Party go?
Winter Party is a fund and consciousness-raising Festival. Funds support forward-thinking, progressive change, both locally and nationally. The National LGBTQ Task Force donates a significant portion of the proceeds to LGBTQ advocacy and community groups in South Florida through a grant-making process administered by the GLBT Community Projects Fund of The Miami Foundation. In 2016, the Task Force donated a record-breaking $275,000, for a total of $2.4 million given back to South Florida LGBTQ nonprofits since the Task Force took over producing Winter Party Festival.
In the current daunting political landscape, what is the National LGBTQ Task Force doing to ensure the protection of gay rights?
The Task Force is building a future where everyone is free to be themselves in every aspect of their lives. Today, despite all the progress we’ve made to end discrimination, millions of LGBTQ people face barriers in every aspect of their lives: in housing, employment, healthcare, retirement, and fundamental human rights. And in the face of a new presidential administration, these barriers may persist and get even worse. That’s why the Task Force is training and mobilizing millions of activists across our nation. Just recently, the Task Force hosted its annual Creating Change Conference, the largest gathering of 4,000 activists, leaders and organizers in the LGBTQ movement, says Alex Breitman, Marketing Director for the National LGBTQ Task Force.
Also, the Task Force will continue to train and work alongside grassroots activists at the local level to secure full freedom, justice, and equality for LGBTQ people. The Task Force Faith-related organizing changes the narrative to one where people of Faith include LGBTQ people. The Task Force is working in Michigan, Florida and North Carolina to organize progressive people of Faith voices and activists. At the Federal level, the Task Force will continue to push for pro-LGBTQ policies and defend those already in place.
We are re-tooling our federal policy work to protect the hard-fought gains we have won for all LGBTQ people. The new administration is the most right-wing one in our history. We will have to fight to keep every policy, every rule, every regulation we have achieved that protects the most marginalized among us. The Task Force will join with other progressive groups to defend against attacks we know are coming on immigrants, poor people, people of color, women, trans people and the disabled.
March can’t get here fast enough! I’m more than ready to be dancing in my speedos. Would you like to join me? Grab your tickets HERE
Photos Courtesy of Winter Party Festival
Not just a pretty face