Black Party ’Rites XXXIII’: Turning Japanese
As the man behind the vision, Stephen Pevner leverages a background that includes film and theater production (he is one of the executive producers of the hit film "The Ides of March," among many others), and literary managing. He considers the Black Party "an art experience."
"Every year, we start from the ground up," he said. He well knows that his audience is a sophisticated, well-educated group of men (and women) who demand a high-level experience and will not settle for the same-old party formula - at least not for this party.
A lot of that has to do with the music. Perhaps more than any other major annual American gay party, the Black Party has "broken" new DJs into the scene. Often, they have already made their mark in other clubs or outside the Circuit and gay nightclubs.
If it’s true that for a few years, attendees to the Black Party could expect a certain sound (attendees may recall "I Feel Love" being played by all three DJs in 2002), for the past few years that has certainly not been the case.
Pevner realizes that not everybody is happy with the tried-and-true, proven DJs, but it’s that "surprise element" that, he says, has given the party an "element of wonder. I really do believe that if you say you’ve ’experienced the Black Party’ you don’t know what you’re talking about."
And besides, if, as Koch says, this really is the "opera of parties," then the sound has to be, in a word, operatic.
DJ Line-Up Spans Musical Genres
This year’s DJ line-up is no exception to Pevner’s vow to "make it new." As the opener, it’s entirely appropriate to have Japan’s most popular DJ this year. Satoshi Tomiie is already well-known for his remixes. We’ll see if he gives the early hours at Roseland a twist of his signature electronica with an underlying bass beat.
When Tomiie hands over the DJ booth at 3 a.m., the highly popular Spanish mixing duo Chus & Ceballos will take over for the main part of the evening. This is C&C’s return to Roseland; they opened the Black Party in 2005, which was also their introduction to gay Americans. The crowd must have liked what they heard, because these guys have gone on to play some of the biggest Circuit parties around the country.
Hector Romero gets the coveted Morning Music set when he takes over at 9 a.m. until close (around 3 p.m.). Romero is a well-known fixture in New York’s big-room club scene, so it will be interesting to hear how he approaches what many consider the "sacred" part of the evening.
Pevner has some good news for people who felt dissed by security in the Men’s Room last year: The Saint-at-Large has taken over all responsibility for policing the restrooms. (The problem is that many people use the sinks as mini-bathtubs causing periodic floods, so be considerate.)
There will also be no VIP passes. Everyone will be admitted everywhere, although, as happened last year, the balcony will be monitored so that it doesn’t get too crowded - as mandated by the New York Fire Department.
• If you’re under 25, you can buy a ticket for less than half the regular price, purchased at the door of Roseland only; before 12:30 a.m. or after 4 a.m. with valid I.D.
• If you’re devoted to the Morning Music, there’s a special price if you arrive after 9 a.m. (at the door only).
• In a nice nod to the party’s history, if you can produce an original membership card to the old Saint itself when you get to Roseland, you get a special price as well.
• This year will also see the return of the Black Party Expo on Saturday and the Hookies, the awards party thrown by Rentboy on the Friday night before the Black Party. The Expo is a great way to acclimate yourself to Roseland, as well as to the very sexy goings-on that will be happening later that night. At the Expo itself, you can buy DVDs and all sorts of erotic paraphernalia. It’s also a one-stop shopping mall if you still need to accessorize your outfit for the party. A Black Party tickets gets you into the Expo for free.
• As at previous Black Parties, you will be required to check your cell phone and camera at the door. The Saint-at-Large promises extra security during heavy entrance times.
Next page: The Ten Commandments of the Black Party