Pride is many things to many people, and while its definition has evolved over the years, one thing remains consistent: We know how to throw a party. This year’s Pride appears likely to deliver on that promise once more. In fact, organizers for one local event plan to elevate it to new heights. With iconic performers like The Village People and RuPaul headlining, Splash Bash II may do just that.
“Bar none, it’s going to be the hottest place for the 18-plus crowd to party on Pride Saturday night,” according to Splash Bash.
In its second year, Splash Bash aims to be an ambitious evening of music, fashion, and celebrity entertainment set right in the heart of Pride Weekend. Performances by the Village People and RuPaul, together with Cazwell and Oryon, bookend a high-end summer fashion show with an array of eye-catching swimwear models from around the country.
“Our goal with Splash Bash is to bring the best of the coasts to the Midwest: The hottest summer fashions of the West Coast and the music scene of the East Coast. Just because we live in the Midwest doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be able to experience the same decadence and savoir faire,” according to Splash Bash.
Topping the evening’s list of entertainers is the Village People, a perennial crowd favorite, performing many of the disco anthems that made them famous in the late 1970s. In fact, 2008 is the 30th anniversary of their best-known hit “Y.M.C.A.” With three of the original members still going strong, the group continues to play sold-out crowds the world over.
The other celebrity highlight of the evening is a performance by chart-topping drag queen pop diva RuPaul. Best known for her 1992 single “Supermodel (You Better Work),” she continues to make a name for herself in the music world, on television, and in movies. 2007 saw the release of her film Starrbooty, a tribute to low-budget exploitation films of the ’60s and ’70s.
Asked if she was looking forward to her upcoming appearance at Splash Bash, RuPaul quipped, “Yes, of course! I love Minneapolis! People in the Midwest are very sweet people.”
Two other musicians are scheduled to warm up the crowd, and get the evening under way.
Openly gay New York rapper and songwriter Cazwell will perform live for the crowd, as well as DJ the fashion show. He is best-known for his provocative lyrics and racy music videos. In fact, his 2006 hit “All Over Your Face” was banned from LOGO. More recently, he performed on LOGO’s “True Colors Tour,” along with Cyndi Lauper and Margaret Cho, which helped benefit the Human Rights Campaign, PFLAG, and The Matthew Shepard Foundation.
Local artist and heartthrob musician Oryon also is set to get the crowd going with his trademark sultry sound. See the feature on page 28 of this issue.
Set between the musical performers is a fashion show, highlighting the latest and hottest trends in high-end swimwear.
“Most fashion designers don’t think of Minnesota as a hot market for swimwear,” according to Splash Bash. “But we who live here know that our beaches can be just as hot, and our men just as fashionable. You don’t have to live on the ocean to soak up the sun in style.”
Swimwear from an international selection of designers is represented, including Ami Sanzuri, Andrew Christian, AussieBum, C-In2, N2N Bodywear, Priapwear, RufSkin, and Sauvage.
The swimwear models themselves are definitely another distinct highlight of the event. An expert production team has been assembled to pull all the details together
“The Twin Cities is home to literally hundreds of the fashion industry’s most respected professionals,” accoring to Splash Bash.
Local fashion stylist Christopher Jensen is designing the show’s aesthetic, a unique take on traditional swimwear. International runway and cover model Kate Stephäni has signed on to handle model development and training. The production team, along with local agencies SoulFire Entertainment and Arquette & Associates, has assembled 35 swimwear models from the Twin Cities and around the country.
“The amount of talent we have pulled into this show is astounding. These are top-shelf models. We have fresh local faces, international pros and everything in between,” according to Splash Bash.
Local fashion stylist Eric Ledlum owner of SoulFire Entertainment, as well as other talent scouts and reps from many of the national swimwear brand, will be at the event looking for new talent.
As if the Village People, RuPaul, Cazwell, Oryon, hot swimwear, and even hotter models were not enough to make for a fabulous night, Splash Bash offers a VIP preparty and prize giveaways—one lucky person even will win a date with one of the swimwear models. Participating brands and sponsors will have a variety of swimwear and other items for sale.
The event is presented by Trocaderos, N2N Bodywear, and Nuwear.com. Supporting sponsors include WebDigs, Whelihan Fine Art, Interactive Male, Belladerm Medspa, SoulFire Entertainment, 10Percent.com, and AussieBum.
Three ticket levels are available, providing everyone an opportunity to enjoy the event. General admission gets you in to see the musical entertainment and fashion show. A Luxury VIP admission package gets you special reserved seating for the event, along with admission to the VIP preparty, and the always highly sought-after freebie swag bag. In addition, a special discounted ticket level for Lavender readers only gets you everything except reserved seating.
Splash Bash II takes place June 28 at Trocaderos Nightclub in the Warehouse District. Doors open for the VIP party at 7 PM. General admission starts at 9 PM. The concert begins at 11 PM. For more information, visit LavenderMagazine.com/splashbash.
With high-profile performers like the Village People and RuPaul, along with an evening of hot swimwear, Splash Bash II certainly is shaping up to be a premier destination for celebration this Pride Weekend. This event has it all: Flirt with runway models; frolic with celebrities; buy new swim digs and flaunt them on the dance floor; and do the “Y.M.C.A.” live. Even if “Pride” isn’t your scene, this party is bound to have something for you.
According to Splash Bash, “The day after Splash Bash, there will be two kinds of people: those who came, and those who wish they had.”