Matt Harvat's Blog
By Matt Harvat
August 23, 2012
"Market Days"-Chicago's two-day boystown festival with an estimated 300,000 in attendance is easily one of the most anticipated weekends in our fair city. People come from across the United States for this outdoor party stretching 6 blocks and this year featured appearances by The Pointer Sisters, Sheena Easton and the amazing Olivia Newton John. But when the night falls on Saturday, that’s when our Revolution Party kicks it into high gear at Chicago’s famed House Of Blues. This year’s theme, "SuperHero Revolution", was at sold out capacity before midnight and the boys and girls came dressed to save the dance world. It was an amazing site to see so many people in phenomenal costumes and it was not even Halloween yet. With a spectacular light show by RGB and Gotham City stage set and backdrop by David Andora, our worldly DJ Joe Gauthreaux brought his super heroic music talents to unimaginable heights which was equally complimented visually by the stunning go go hero's from around the country. Thank you to the massive team that worked so hard to put this event together. Your time, expertise and extremely generous efforts are unparalleled and Circuit MOM's Revolution parties would be nothing without each of you. Bring on Halloween and our “Circus Revolution-Evil Under The Big Top”!
Photos by Bret Grafton Photography and David Claypool
July 10, 2012
Speaking of models and photo shoot styling, we got our Revolution 2012 poster boy John in the studio to shoot our next big events artwork. “SuperHero Revolution” swoops into town to save the boys and girls from dull nightlife on Saturday, August 11 during Chicago’s famed “Market Days” weekend. During this two-day, six-block long street fair in boystown, an estimated 300,000 people dance, drink, flirt and party from 11am to 10pm up and down Halsted Street. Olivia Newton John headlines the main stage this year on Sunday, August 12, but Saturday night belongs to our favorite caped crusaders, who will undoubtedly form the Dance Party Justice League, complete with their masks, x-ray vision and invisible planes! DJ Joe Gauthreaux returns for his second year, bringing his superhuman DJ powers to the stage for an epic 7-hour set that should not be missed. The go-go boys will be outfitted by famed Matinee NYC costume designer, Shawn Satterfield, with his very hot take on what a superhero costume should really look like. Tickets go on sale Friday, July 13, 2012, online at www.houseofblues.com or in Chicago at CRAM Fashion-3329 N. Broadway. A welcome addition this year is the unbelievably sexy host hotel, The Sofitel Chicago. A very special superhero rate of $135 a night has been secured if you know the secret password. “MARKET DAYS” will get you the glam accommodations any crime-fighting, tight wearing defender of truth would be proud to call home. Visit www.sofitel-chicago.com and book now! Rooms are going fast. Special thanks to our sexy model, John Scioli, photographer Bret Grafton for his amazing work and Michael Andrews of Moniker Graphics for his ad design.
July 7, 2012
Chicago’s Gay Pride was a glowing array of neon sexiness this year as we celebrated the first anniversary of Rugby Superstar Ben Cohen’s’ StandUP Foundation with our “Neon Revolution-The Future Looks Bright” party featuring DJ Serving Ovahness and the incomparable producer/remixer DJ Paulo. Ben Cohen himself, who graciously greeted hundreds of attendees, hosted the event and solidified his superstar role model status to his Chicago fans, gave a short speech and hung out with his crew while the crowd glowed in the dark with pride. He also announced the launch of his new underwear line, where proceeds from every sale benefit his foundation. I was fortunate enough to be a stylist at the underwear photo shoot with Ben and he could not be more genuine and kind. I have included a couple behind the scenes pictures of our day and am very proud to have helped get the shot just right…no matter what it took. Thank you, Ben, for all you do to make a difference in the world. Visit standupfoundation.com and get involved.
June 12, 2012
How is it possible that this year, 2012, will be my 24th Gay Pride to celebrate in Chicago? Have I really been down that parade route for half of my life? With the exception of a few years celebrating pride in Toronto, San Francisco and New York, I have pretty much seen Chicago’s pride grow from a clunky parade with 50 entries and 100,000 people lining the streets to a national event bringing an estimated 700,000 spectators and 300 parade entries in 2011. Is it more acceptances from our straight allies? Perhaps. Are there just that many more LGBTer’s? Maybe. Gay is far more mainstream than it was when I started in the parade whoopla so long ago. Far from universally welcomed, but no longer trendy and mysterious. Well, that and our parades might just have a touch more sparkle and a better music selection than most other organized marches.
So, here we are in the midst of pride month for most of the nation. Within the chaos of preparations for floats, dancers, costumes, parties and events, I remain grateful and honored by all of those that came before me, fighting hard, giving so much of themselves, paving the way for me to live my life as openly as I do in society. To the young ones out there still in a struggle with their own sexuality and acceptance, do not give up. Find your place, or better yet, make your place in this world. You do not have to follow anyone. The parade is there and waiting for you to lead it in a bigger and better way. Be the change you want to see in life.
This weekend, we are producing a gay dance party that will be hosted by former OUT Magazine cover man, Rugby super star and ally to the LGBT community, Ben Cohen. He has given so much of himself to the fight against bullying around the world, I wanted to honor his work with a charity event during our pride weekend and raise money for his STANDUP Foundation. If you would have told me even 5 years ago that I would be honoring a straight man at gay pride-specifically at a gay dance party, I would have never believed it. Time, education and purpose have changed those roles and now here we are, Ben and myself, standing side by side for the greater good. Pride, indeed.
Thank you to everyone that has supported our efforts over the years. I think back to that first pride weekend and how so much has changed. It is overwhelming and exciting, with so much accomplished, yet so much more to come. Here’s wishing each of you a safe, happy and profound sense of pride not only this weekend, but also everyday. Don’t blink, you do not want to miss a thing.
June 1, 2012
The DJ’s, crazy venues, photo shoots, go go boy and dancer auditions, drinks, glitter, fund raising, parties, deadlines, blogs, set design, floral installations…or, as it’s known at my house, Tuesday. Hello world! I am honored and excited to be included among this amazing group of spectacular promoters from around this great country for the 2012 OUT Magazine and Stoli Nighthawks. Chicago in the summertime is intense fun with people from all over the Midwest hitting boystown to make the most of the warm weather and sexy events such at International Mister Leather, gay pride, Market Days and even Halloween. I am fortunate enough to be a part of this amazing city, its energy and the best people on the planet and look forward to giving you, the readers a behind-the–scenes peek into our teams events which span the spectrum of corporate parties to product launches and charity galas with the occasional fashion show and throw-down dance party in there to make you lose your tank top and dance your butt off.
CircuitMOM Productions, Inc., started back in 1997 and thanks to your support, we have been all over the U.S. and Canada not only producing our own events, but partnering with other promoters to bring you performances at circuit parties, music festivals and charity events along with introducing new talent to the masses. Launching the REVOLUTION dance party series in Chicago last year brought back the large-scale party in this town and the high-octane response has been overwhelming. IML, Pride, Market Days, Labor Day and Halloween in Chicago are a “must do” on your travel itineraries, so book it now and come have the time of your life. Chicago is a beautiful city that is easy to navigate and offers world-class museums, sports, clubs, food and the stunning skyline and lakefront. Living!
In my Nighthawks blog each week, I will feature Top 10 lists from DJ’s from around the world to give you a taste of what the dance floor vibe is outside of our own club bubbles. Exclusive podcasts, new music previews and hopefully some entertaining backstage stories will keep you coming back each week to check out what is going on in Chicago and with the other Nighthawks. Club promotion work is the ultimate “smoke and mirrors” experience (pun very much intended), so here’s your chance at the inside scoop.
I am sending out a huge thank you to the countless people that make up CircuitMOM Productions, Inc., because without them, none of this would be possible. Also, to Stoli Vodka and OUT Magazine, I greatly appreciate the honor and opportunity to be a part of this project again this year. Please visit us at www.circuitmom.com, follow us on twitter and Facebook @CircuitMOM.
Here’s to an amazing summer and fall filled with amazing music, friendship, pride and uplifting equality!