In April, a young man's thoughts turn to the Palm Springs White Party. Considered the “Crown Jewel” of gay parties, this weekend-long whirl of parties has risen to become the most famous Circuit party in the world. The reason why its popularity hasn't flagged is Jeffrey Sanker's work to keep the party fresh with no parties, like this year's Day Club, while retaining the most popular and venerated parties of the weekend.
Every April, thousands of the hottest men on the planet flock to this resort town for four non-stop sun-filled days and comfortably cool nights of sunning, swimming, stomping and sinning. For the sculpted-to-perfection men of L.A. and San Diego, the party's accessibility — less than a two-hours drive from both cities — proves irresistible. For the rest of us, it's just as easy to fly into LAX or fly directly into the local airport, which has direct flights from many cities throughout the U.S. and western Canada.
Palm Springs is one of the most LGBT-friendly cities in the country. According to the U.S. Census, nearly one-third of residents are gay, and Palm Springs ranks among the top five U.S. cities for percentage of same-sex couples. At night, the weather becomes comfortably cool while the action heats up.
For the first time, there will be a pool party on Friday! Day Club will take over the Renaissance's spacious pool area with the physical specimens you'll be lusting after all weekend. That night, bring a fresh pair of tighty-whities for one of the wekeend's signature events, the "Addicted to White" underwear party. You'll feel like you just entered an underwear promotional video gone wild, with thousands of extras and driving beats. And this year, teaming up with Eliad Cohen, whose Tel Aviv-based Papa parties have brought their muscular weapons of mass construction from New York to Berlin.
Saturday offers both a pool party and the weekend's main event. Thousands in fantasy costumes — all in white, of course (this is taken very seriously here — you've been warned) contribute to the Saturday Main Event sensory overload. The Sunday New York Times is among the publications that have featured it.
The party’s worldwide reputation was sealed in 2009, when Sanker booked a then-unknown quirky New Yorker. By the time she played White Party, Lady Gaga was a superstar. Jennifer Lopez, Ke$ha, Carly Rae Jepsen, Carmen Electra, Icona Pop and the other dance divas have made the question "Who's going to perform at the White Party?" the principal topic of conversation from San Francisco to Sydney. Whoever performs in 2016, however, is really going to have to work it to top Mary J. Blige’s pull-out-all-the-stops 2012 performance.
You think you're done dancing? Oh, no you don't: Save some energy for the "Climax" afterhours party. Do you think a party starting at 4 a.m. after the main party will be sexy? Look at the name and you tell me.
Sunday begins with the last pool party. In the late afternoon-into-evening, there's the weekend's other signature event. The giant tea dance with the famous Ferris wheel is capped by a spectacular fireworks display. Of course there's a closing party — this one international DJ stars Binomio and Danny Verde.
Anyone even thinking of attending White Party needs to do his homework early, because passes at various levels sell out well ahead of time.