The monthly T-Dance that gets you dancing under the disco lights and rocking to the beats of some of the top circuit DJ’s like Jamie J. Sanchez, Wayne G, Kimberly S and Phil B knows how to stay fresh!
At the August 1st FRESH party, I spoke to some of the FRESH mainstays about why they love the party that has become an extended family for so many.
“To date, I am the only tranny to ever perform at FRESH, let alone twice” said drag queen Charisma Glitteratti in boy drag. “I love FRESH because it’s a party we can come to and it feels like a family that one Sunday every month. I know everybody who’s here, there’s lots of love, there’s lots of friendships. We come here and celebrate life together and celebrate birthdays. It’s like coming to a big family cookout.”
Glitteratti started attending FRESH a month after he arrived in San Francisco four years ago. He added, “I know Mike and Janine very well and support this party through thick and thin and I just love it.
While in the VIP booth, I spoke with first ever LGBT Field Market Manager for Stoli Vodka Patrik Gallineaux. Stoli was sponsoring the booth this month with their Stoli Blueberry and our Regular Stoli. Stoli is the original Vodka. Gallineaux added “no other brand had a flavor until Stoli in 1986.”
When asked the question, “Why do you love FRESH?,” Gallineaux responded “I feel like I’ve grown-up with FRESH. My experience in San Francisco; from the moment I moved here seven years ago started with a night out here and I specifically moved to San Francisco because I wanted to tryout being a Club Kid which I’d never been; take my shirt off, be free. FRESH is the epitome of that to me. I’ve had my ups and downs but all along, the FRESH family have been there for me. As I’ve grown with San Francisco, especially as I’ve wanted to give back, I’ve looked at FRESH as a role model for our community of how to do a fabulous event, give back to the community and make people happy.”
Every month, FRESH choses a different beneficiary organization. For FRESH Sunday, September, 9th Kimberly S returns to the decks while the event benefits AIDS Project Los Angels (APLA).
As with any party, there are sexy gogo dancers. Though not dancing on the box on this night, gogo boy Devin Demand was backstage talking with other gogo dancers.
Demand said, “It’s a family unit. There’s a positive message with a little bit of philanthropy involved. We get together for an evening and it’s always like we haven’t seen each other in forever but when we get together, it’s like no time has passed. We’re all good friends, it’s always a good party with good DJ’s and a great production. Mike and Janine always treat us well. I’ve been lucky enough to dance here over the last year, rocking the boxes and also doing the shows with Charisma Glitteratti. I’ve enjoyed it very much and it’s been a good run.”
Back in the VIP room where Stoli was sponsoring the VIP booth with decorations, product samples, and the intoxicating Stoli boys I spoke with circuit party extraordinaire Richard Henry Thomas.
Thomas said, “I love FRESH because it brings everybody together from all over the world. We’re all dancing, just expressing ourselves and having a good time. There is no pretentiousness. We’re just here to shake our booties. I started attending FRESH Christmas of 2008 and was living in LA at the time. It was just so different from the LA nightlife scene; everyone’s friendly. Mike and Janine do such a good job picking the DJ’s. It’s nice to see a real T-Dance.”
Looking back, Thomas’ favorite FRESH so far was last June’s amazing blow-out featuring Wayne G and a mind-blowing laser-light show provided by Laseronics.
Near the stage, Promoter Randy Moore was making sure to capture DJ Jamie J Sanchez mixing those turntables. Lucky for me, Moore could break himself from his photographic concentration and say, “ FRESH is so young! Going on eight years, the people seem to enjoy how Janine and Mike keep adding to the atmosphere of FRESH. The music is absolutely fabulous.” Keeping up with FRESH, more have been a devoted FRESH attendee for “almost eight happy years now” and has had the pleasure of enjoying “ so many wonderful DJ’s.”
DJ on deck, Jamie J. Sanchez, took a moment from his 4 hour set and said, “I’ve been djing FRESH since 2003. Mike & Janine always make the production top notch! Plus, I get to pull out all those Fresh classics. It’s one of my all-time favorite parties to DJ.”
Sweaty, tired and still with a smile across her face. The leading female gogo at FRESH, Suzan Revah shared her thoughts about FRESH with me.
“FRESH sets the gold standard for a circuit party in San Fran-fucking-cisco. Janine and Mike have been around. They know how to do it and they know how to do it right and make sure that every single month is ‘FRESH!’Revah continues, “I’ve been dancing on the floor since the beginning of time. I’ve been dancing on the box for about a year now and it is my fag-hag fantasy come true. To look out at that ocean of shirtless boys all smiling back at me and I have the privilege of being the girl who gets to join the party, I couldn’t feel more blessed.”
If you have yet to get wrapped up in the magic that is FRESH, Labor Day weekend featuring Kimberly S is the perfect time for a “FRESH” experience.
Click here for more pictures from FRESH The crowd | The VIP Room
FRESH featuring Kimberly S @ Ruby Skye
Sunday, September 5th | 6pm, 21+
420 Mason Street
www.freshsf.com for ticket information