Black Party is one of the most iconic events in New York City that many of the LGBT community wait all year for. With its second year in BK, I sat down with Stephen Pevner from BP to get the dirt on this year’s dirty event.
Your trailer starring Hugh Hunter and Dolf Dietrich reads like an “American Horror Story” trailer. How will we see that translate into the actual event?
More than sex, Black Party sells DANGER. It’s an opportunity to leave one’s comfort zone for well-organized chaos and open oneself up to a chance encounter with a stranger or a Strange Live Act.
What has it been like to work with creative genius Rob Roth on this event?
Rob has presented us with his brilliant vision of a submarine repurposed as a dungeon brothel. It’s always best just to let the genie out of the bottle and allow the magic to run its course.
What made you bring him on board for this event?
Our Jesus-like colleague, Mike Peyton, was forever trying to persuade Rob to blend his unique artistry with Black Party. Mike passed away this past September, and I believe Rob wanted to evoke Mike’s spirit with a creative contribution for which we are eternally grateful.
With the Black Party approaching 40, what is the pressure like each year to outdo yourself?
Working as a tight-knit team, it’s a natural outgrowth to always try to improve on the previous years. The issue is folks who want to remember their favorite Black Party instead of living in the moment.
What is your personal favorite aspect of the event?
When the party thins out a bit at 10 a.m., I hit the dance floor until the bitter end. Black Party is a musical journey of rebirth, from darkness to light, so there’s a catharsis that happens over the course of the 18+ hours. I just love seeing that play out and the tribal spirit that is created by like-minded souls.
For first-time Black Party goers, what are some things they should know?
It sounds a bit overreaching, but if you open yourself up to the experience, your identity as a gay man will never be the same. It’s how you deal with the aftermath of that awakening that becomes a rite of passage.
The dress code is labeled “heavy.” What does that mean?
That’s a holdover phrase from a time when leather guys would be decked out in motorcycle cool. Today it’s a reference to BDSM chic (harnesses, jocks and whatever best shows off your assets).
Without revealing any big spoilers, is there anything you can tell us about this year’s acts?
Black Party is a trip into the unknown. We structure it as a narrative, so, even though you’re not likely to catch the complete arc, you will find motivation and symbolism behind every gesture. Hopefully, it will be crazy shit you’ve never seen before.
This is the second year you’re in Brooklyn. Are you excited to be back? Has the party changed at all due to the location change?
New Yorkers know that Brooklyn is the creative hub of the city. Without a doubt, we benefit from our experience being at the same venue. After all, we had 24 years at Roseland to get it right.
How long does it take you to plan and produce an event like this?
The spark ignites when we’re all dancing together in joyful relief at the end of the party. It’s that energy that carries us through to the next year.
Have you already begun to think about 2017 Black Party?
I say it every year, but we produce each party as if it’s the last one.
What can we expect to see from the Black Party fashion line, and when can we expect it to be available?
The first pieces are currently available in limited supply at The Leather Man on Christopher Street.
Musically, what should guests expect?
Everyone reacts to music differently. Overall, the musical journey starts off as progressive, gets deep, dark and sexy leading to a lighter, groovier, rhythmic soul (disco + R &B = sleaze). Whichever the tempo, there won’t be many remixes of pop songs.
ART, MUSIC, FASHION & SEX
Photos of The Black Party® Collection by Chez Priape. All leather handmade in Canada and available at The Leather Man, 111 Christopher Street, NYC and ChezPriape.com. Photos by Jeff Eason. Copryright 2016 by The Saint At Large®, Inc.
THE BLACK PARTY
Considered by many as the father of all large circuit events, THE BLACK PARTY is one of gay New York’s most-attended, longest-running and highly anticipated events. With more than 5,000 attendees, it remains one of the biggest gay dance parties in the world. It is known and respected worldwide for cutting-edge productions, innovative staging, superstar international DJs, world-class performers and notorious “strange live acts.”
From 10 p.m. on Saturday, March 19, 2016, until Sunday afternoon
Brooklyn Warehouse 1260 Atlantic Ave., Brooklyn
Strange Live Acts