By the first week of December there seemed to me to be fewer big gay New Year’s parties being promoted for this year than in the past. Could it be all the doom-and-gloom news about the economy, changes to Toronto’s gay zeitgeist or merely a more last-minute settling of so many event details?
Xtra asked some of Toronto’s 24-hour party people about what impact the scary economic news is having on Toronto’s party scene and how the upcoming New Year’s celebrations are shaping up.
“This year it seems the excitement for New Year’s Eve is not there,” says Mykel Hall, aka DJ Blackcat. Hall says he plans to be somewhere warm this New Year’s Eve.
Coincidentally party promoter Gilles Belanger has a number of year-end parties planned in Mexico.
“Most New Year’s holidays were booked before the bad news hit the fan,” says Belanger. “Affordable destinations are where we are focused in this economy but we still believe the boys want to get away and dance their asses off.”
“I don’t think it’s the economy,” says Grapefruit DJ Shane Percy. “Gays always seem to have money for martinis, Botox, iPhones or Madonna tickets. It’s probably just the realization that New Year’s is like any other night, except people get hosed by clubs for special things like party hats and cheap champagne.” Ultimately, he says, “I’d have more fun at home.”
“No one has money,” says performer Ryan G Hinds. “Like, none. House parties have always been the way to go for the truly fab anyway.”
“I’m having a party at my man’s house,” says Gangbangaz DJ Andrew Awesome. “That way I can wake up to someone else’s mess.”
“Save house parties for your birthday,” growls Shane MacKinnon, who is DJing Buddies’ New Year’s party this year. “We need to keep Toronto’s party scene alive. Go out and have fun.”
“I haven’t noticed any downturn in year-end parties versus last year but I think people might not splurge as much this year,” says Corey Bagdan, aka DJ Dr Baggie, who will be spinning at the Drake Hotel on New Year’s.
Rolyn Chambers, event promoter and fab magazine columnist, says he sees what he calls a “decline” in the number of exclusively gay parties.
“There just are not enough fags out there who want to be surrounded by an exclusively horny gay crowd,” he says. “But I sure as hell do.”
Chambers says he is planning a whirlwind New Year’s for himself, popping in to support many of the big gay DJs and parties including DJ Sumation, Steve Buczek and Gairy Brown.