Nightlife » Special Events

White Party Palm Springs Goes 3D!

by JC Alvarez
Monday Apr 16, 2012

The desert sprang alive once again when Palm Springs hosted the return of that harbinger of all things springtime, Jeffrey Sanker's 23rd annual mega-Circuit extravaganza White Party 2012. Over the course of a weekend the Renaissance Hotel, this year's headquarters for the musical festival, hosted international dance acts. DJs performed for thousands of partygoers, whether poolside for the sun worshippers, or at the various attendance-packed venues.

The main event opened up with a welcoming fete on Friday designed to instantly set its 3D theme in motion -- 2 delicious, 2 divine and 2 die for! DJ Scotty K ushered the premiere pool event hosted by EDGE that immediately began to bring WP guests out and into the sun for their first rays. Those tan lines were necessary for Friday night's "Boxers or Briefs" party, which featured an opening set by the enigmatic DJ Pornstar and featured performances from JoJo and up-and-upcoming hip-hop recording artist Rye Rye.

Since it's considered the party that launches the Circuit season, Jeffrey Sanker and his creative team took a cue from the high-definition experience currently all the rage to make this year's event a mostly interactive 3D spectacle. Yeah, as if gay men need a reason to "reach out and touch someone"!

Continuing the tradition of introducing rising talent coupled with established artists, this year's White Party lineup delivered a broad spectrum of talent to thrill the crowd.

Something About Mary

Saturday began brilliantly under the clear California sky when DJ Grind broke like a killer wave for the Saturday "Splash! Pool Party," heralded as the largest pool party in the desert. The outdoor rave was sponsored by social networking guru Grindr further enhancing the interactivity of the WP event. Among an oasis of buff bathing beauties, a showcase of live performances (including Kimberly Cole, the daring Doxi Jones and the classic sound of disco legend France Joli) were delivered; but none shined more brightly than the stellar ingénue Starshell who performed her hit single "Birthday Girl".

Perhaps the reason the rising talent so impressively stole the show could be credited to the R&B/dance acolyte’s connectively to the Saturday night main event headliner. White Party-goers were treated to an incredible live show-stopping performance from the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul Mary J. Blige.

Thrilling her gathered fans with a solid five song set of her biggest hits, the often emotional performer was again swept up by the frenzied dance crowd who had already been stirred by superstar DJ duo NERVO spinning the room into an aural frenzy with their dynamic live mixing. DJ Wayne G started the night doing what he does best. The London LP master popularized the recent anthem reemergence. Suddenly it felt like the ’90s all over again. Melody! Lyrics!

100% Pure Party

Even while facing competitive events that cropped up in the desert sands, Jeffrey Sanker was ready to pounce on the spillover of partygoers. The master event producer’s annual Palm Springs fete proved indomitable and even daring, even extending the reveler into the after-hours with DJ Paulo and his "Nocturnal" After-Hours.

Sunday brought about the weekend’s closing night parties including a full-on poolside recovery. The Sunday Tea is always one of the highlights of the weekend, and this year’s "Under the Big Top" with hit-making DJ/remix producers Dave Audé, Manny Lehman and Moto Blanco working the turntables did not disappoint. The crowned "Queen of the White Party" and favorite Beverly Hills TV housewife Lisa Vanderpump even stayed for chart-topping artist Neon Hitch’s performance.

The evening officially wrapped with the closing party held in the Grand Ballroom of the Renaissance Hotel featuring "100% Rosabel." The celebrated and Grammy-nominated Ralphi Rosario & DJ Abel brought everyone in for a smooth landing in time for checkout on Monday morning.

As with any good well-established Hollywood blockbuster franchise, a date has been locked and loaded for next year’s White Party. Save the date and reserve your flight for the 2013 Palm Springs invasion set to return March 29 to April 1. To stay informed of all White Party announcements go to Jeffrey Sanker’s website. Meanwhile, ogle the barely dressed crowd at our all-access White Party 2012 exclusive photo albums.

Native New Yorker JC Alvarez is a pop-culture enthusiast and the nightlife chronicler of the club scene and its celebrity denizens from coast-to-coast. He is the on-air host of the nationally syndicated radio show "Out Loud & Live!" and is also on the panel of the local-access talk show "Talking About".


  • RMSF, 2012-04-21 02:43:55

    World class entertainment, DJ’s, set design, and lighting! Terrific! ... However; the events held at the host hotel (3 parties in the ballroom and 3 pool parties) continue to have a major service problem: 30 to 45 minutes in line (at LEAST) to get drink tickets, and about the same again at the bars. The admission prices are hefty and the drinks ain’t cheap either -- but there’s no drinking fountains (oh -- shut off for some reason) and only HOT water in the bathrooms. Obviously there’s some weird contract/union logistics going on, but this is really unacceptably out-of-line with the rest of the weekend’s production values... right? ** Can’t SOMETHING be done? ** The drink lines were better at the Convention Center (White Party) and T-Dance -- especially for VIP (thanks, Abbey boys!). The whole event feels dirty and cheapened by this whole drink-ticket fiasco. There are no refunds on drink tickets? WTF?

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