Gay New York is heading to Utopia in the Pocono Mountains this Labor Day Weekend to enjoy beach activities, yoga, hiking, campfires, sports, and more… including music by DJs Dan Slater, Joe Pacheco, and Spencer H!
The four-day open-air retreat will take place September 4-7. Just two hours outside of New York on a 500-acre site with a private lake, it will be the first opportunity for many in the LGBTQ+ community to come together, relax and reconnect with friends in an environment with robust safety protocols.
Unlike gatherings that have been criticized for their overall disregard of health and safety regulations, Utopia is approaching the idea with a far more cautious method, allowing only 225 guests. All guests are to wear facial coverings when there is a possibility of coming within six feet of others. Masks will also be required indoors and in music areas.
Utopia is being produced by Jake Resnicow who says it is not a money-making endeavor. “My goal is to give back to our community and pave the way to be able to once again host large events, safely and responsibly.”
He has pledged to donate $50 from each pass sold to LGBTQ+ artists and nightlife workers in need. Grants will be administered by a registered 501(c)(3) on a first-come first-serve basis to qualified applicants.
All attendees (including staff and vendors) will be required to adhere to Utopia’s two-part testing mandate.
Part one takes place three days prior to the event. Medical technicians will test attendees at multiple open-air settings around the tri-state area. There will also be the option for an at-home mail-in test. Given a negative diagnosis, guests are then sent the event address.
Part two will take place upon arrival. Guests will be guided into distanced parking spaces and remain in their cars, spaced 20 feet apart, to receive a temperature test and final active COVID-19 test. Results from this second test will be available within 15 minutes. Only upon the second negative diagnosis will guests be directed to their cabin — housed at 50% capacity, with a maximum of four people — and required to attend a group orientation and stay on the grounds at all times. For any positive tests, the individual and any other persons in their vehicle will not be allowed to enter and directed to return home and quarantine. They’ll be issued a refund of their ticket and given a 50% code for the next event.
Resnicow is also pledging that if there is another lockdown in Pennsylvania, or Utopia is canceled for any reason, the event will issue full, automatic refunds of all tickets and credit card fees.
All-Access Passes for Utopia, including four-day/three-night accommodations, start at $699. Each boutique cabin has its own private bathroom, shower, A/C and heat.