2013 was not exactly an exciting year for LGBT events in Jamaica. First there was the general economic climate that constrained people’s spending power and thus forced persons to pick and choose the events that they attended. The economy also seemingly affected the supply of party options itself, as when we began writing there were several Party Planning groups; notably several of these brands did not survive into 2013. Secondly, the homophobic operating environment constrained the range of venues that were available for planners. In this regard things seem to be getting progressively worse for the lgbt community as in the past, clubs such as Entourage operated on Main Street and not in ridiculously hard to access communities.
Notwithstanding the challenges, the party went on. Consequently, we at Pink tip our hats to all the LGBT Party Promoters as theirs is the story of resilience. What is interesting about this group of individuals (the LGBT party promoter) is that if one were to do a poll they would not rank themselves as Activists but rather entrepreneurs or providers of an entertainment space. However, their work operates at the intersection of Law, policy, economics and finance. Moreover, simply planning a party comes with considerable reputational risks and places a burden of responsibility on the promoter to ensure the protection of life and property for the attendee. In short theirs is a world of action at the literal front lines of tackling the issues of institutionalized homophobia in Jamaica.
3. Midori:- It is easy for one to be seduced by the high quality VIP section at Midori. In fact it was as if the planners of this event invented the concept of VIP. The event benefitted from a great location, great party favours, decent music and fair sized crowd. For more on Midori see our comments under https://pinkreportjamaica.wordpress.com/2013/08/05/midori-not-on-cloud-9-but-almost-there/
2. Miami Vice:- The specific Miami Vice we are speaking about is the one in May. This event suffered from a poorly designed VIP section. However, the VIP area counted for less than 10% of the persons in attendance and in any event, what the party lacked in VIP favours it made up in good vibes and a wonderful eclectic mix of personalities. The location was far, a bit of an exercise but once there excellent.
As a side note, the organizers of Miami Vice more than any other group have suffered from the challenges with identifying a location. The truth be told neither Miami Vice nor Midori are suited for the Warehouse and as such they have to be engaged in a longer search to identify an appropriate venue. This has resulted in some misses for the other two Miami Vices that have occurred for the year. However, we at Pink believe in Miami Vice’s basic formula and are off the opinion that once the location issues are resolved there will be a resurgence. As such we wish them well for 2014.
1.Cockiness the Balloon Edition:- This was an almost perfect party. We say almost not because we can identify specific faults but because we are sure they must exist. One of the things we liked about Cockiness was the absence of the VIP section and the embracing of their brand identity which is young, gritty and hip. A special point on the absence of the VIP area is that such a section at the Warehouse would be akin to those at a Strip Club. A wonderful place for drug lords, scammers and other such professionals to negotiate the finer points of their business contracts. However, as things stood it was a wonderful place for persons to dance uninhibited and simply have a good time.