Canadian R&B singer Deborah Cox is set to visit Sydney next weekend for ‘Say Cheese’ – the latest event to hit the city’s gay party calendar.
Along with the two production shows, the party planners promise surprise shows, glitter bombs, and even a flash mob.
“We’ve got some really cool production elements that are very different and people will get really involved with on the night so once they get in there, they’ll really get into it,” says DJ Dan Murphy.
The party is the brainchild of Dan and his business partner Lee Jenkins: “Lee and I had been talking about this for a long time and we both had ideas of doing a party like this which has all of the old and new anthems mixed together, all of those favourite songs from when we were first going out clubbing to the big ones of today as well,” Dan explains.
“There’s just nothing like it on the party calendar at the moment… there are elements of it in other parties but nothing in the way that we really wanted to do it so we said let’s stop talking about it and do it!”
Lee adds: “We also saw a gap with the demise of Toybox… it was only a few times a year and it was one of those events that you saved yourself up for and just had the really large production scale that is missing from other parties. There was nothing like that mixed in with the type of music that Dan and I both love and we just saw a hole in the market.”
Whilst you can expect the camp level to hit max a few times during the night, the party will be based on simply the best anthems of the last 15 years, say the organisers.
Originally scheduled to take place a couple of nights before Mardi Gras, the party was postponed due to poor ticket sales and a smaller event, Say Cheese Babybel Edition was held at Kinselas instead, with the original party rescheduled to 29 May. The announcement of Deborah Cox performing on the night will help secure success this time round.
“Interest is much stronger and we’re looking forward to having a very, very full party this time. The venue holds about 1800 and we’re super happy with ticket sales. They’ve been really strong and really consistent and just getting stronger. There will be no need to reschedule this time and it was definitely the right decision to postpone the original party from Mardi Gras. At the time, ticket sales were really slow and we just didn’t want to put on a half-assed event, especially for our first one!”
On getting Deborah Cox, Lee says “it was a bit of a stroke of luck really. It took about six weeks in the making but everything just fell into place and we were very excited when we heard she could do it. She will be performing in two full production shows on the night, an early show and a late show, both with different themes and completely choreographed shows. We’ve got Decoda Secret, a group of professional dancers and costumes… we’re still working out exactly what everyone will be doing but people are going to get a lot of bang for their buck!”
The boys are focussed on growing their Say Cheese brand, but say they aren’t interested in competing with other venues and regular nights such as Saturday Fucking Night, Live or Trinity. “Ours are one off parties that will run occasionally during the year, and we’re not in aiming to be competition with other nights that are happening. Those nights have a very targeted market and a very specific music policy as do we, and ours doesn’t really cross over with theirs.
“With the model we’re working on, we’ll never be aiming for every week or anything , they’ll be on nights throughout the year, generally in quieter times when there’s nothing else on.”
The party will have Dan Murphy and Greg Boladian in the main room playing ‘hands in the air’ club mixes with a second, Radio Edits Request Room with Jake Kilby and Kitty Glitter. Not every dance anthem suits the big sound of the main dance floor, so in here you can request anything that’s comes in a 3 minute & 30 second package of pure pleasure. This room promises to be lots of fun and has a social conscience too – people can donate to request their favourite songs played with 100% of donations from the room going directly to Camp Goodtime, a charity for kids living with HIV run through the Royal Children’s Hospital at Randwick.
“On the night we’ll have an internet connection so if you request something that the DJs don’t have, they can jump on the net and find it. The DJs on the night will be like human jukeboxes so make a donation and demand your song and they’ll play it for you. The bigger your donation which will go to Camp Goodtime, the more likely your request will be played quickly!”
Songs can either be requested on the night or can be emailed through the website or directly to firstname.lastname@example.org beforehand if there’s a song you just absolutely have to hear!
When asked the secret to a successful club event, the answer seems tossed from Madonna’s hymn book.
“Reinvention is the key. There’s always a place for a party which was shown with Frisky coming back, there’s a time and a place for anything and I think that placed correctly, any party can work.
Lee adds: “It’s always good to have something new in Sydney… Like last year there were a lot of really great things that came up like I Remember House started, and I think this is just another evolution of it.”
Say Cheese is on Friday May 29th at The Forum, Fox Entertainment Quarter.
Tickets are $59 (+ bf) and are available online through Moshtix and can also be picked up at the following outlets: HUM on Oxford St, Fish Records Newtown, Soleil tanning at Taylor Square and Bang Clothing in both Sydney and Melbourne.
Anyone holding tickets from the first party can use their existing tickets for entry.