Scroll To Top

How the Major LGBTQ+ Events are Responding to COVID-19

Queers at Pride.

Over the past few weeks the coronavirus has spread at a worrying pace, demanding headlines the world over. The entire country of Italy is under quarantine as the hardest hit European nation. Other countries have begun suspending and cancelling large events and suggesting that citizens effectively seclude themselves. And with the cancellation of South by Southwest on Friday, one has to wonder, what is the fate of my other large-scale events coming up in the next few months?

So we found out.

*Note: This story has been updated.

UPDATE (3/26/2020)

RuPaul's Drag Race Live! in Vegas, Drag Brunch, Werq the World's European Tour, and Violet Chachki's one-woman A Lot More Me North American tour, have all been postponed or on hiatus for the foreseeable future. All of those events are presented by Voss Events. The event planners have instead organized Werq the World Livestream, a global digital benefit supporting local queens. It will feature performers like Gigi Goode, Violet Chachki, Aquaria, Vanessa Vanjie Matteo, and be hosted by Bianca Del Rio and Lady Bunny. It is scheduled to air April 4th.

Stand Out, the queer comedy event during Netflix’s Netflix Is a Joke comedy festival, has been postponed along with the entirety of the festival. Stand Out was slated to host Wanda Sykes, Bianca Del Rio, Trixie Mattel, Lily Tomlin and many more as well as the launch of the Schitt’s Creek Farewell Tour. There have been no new dates announced.

Over 100 Pride events worldwide have been either postponed or cancelled. Among those, LA Pride has postponed its 50th anniversary event. New dates have not been announced.

International Mr. Leather and International Mr. Bootblack have postponed their 2020 event. Organizers have said they are “doing all [they] can to ensure IML-IMBB2020 will not be cancelled entirely and our annual Family Reunion will still take place.”

Though Coachella isn’t marketed as a queer, the 2020 iteration was set to host Frank Ocean as headliner alongside a lineup that included Pabllo Vittar, Orville Peck, Kim Petras and more. Lady Gaga also revealed she had a secret set planned for the event. It has now been pushed from April to the weekends of October 9th and 16th. There has been no word on the lineup.

The Black Party has postponed its event until Fall 2020. While the event has not announced official dates for this newly scheduled 41st edition, it has said that in 2021 the annual bash will return to its regular Spring occurrence. Tickets are transferable to either event or refundable if no event occurs.

The White Party Palm Springs has been moved to October 30th - November 2nd. Tickets are non-refundable but can be transferred to the new dates or can be transferred to another person.

Dinah Shore Weekend will occur September 16th to 21st 2020. Ticketholders can transfer their tickets to these new dates or the 2021 event. Tickets can also be sold which organizers will help would-be attendees do but there are no refunds.

Folsom East has cancelled its 2020 event. Though they will return to New York City in 2021, “FSE will still be active and present as a resource and servant to the community through the year.” 

Cleveland Leather Annual Weekend has been rescheduled to November 19th - 22nd, 2020. That conference, which features over 100 classes on leather and fetish, is offering to transfer all tickets to the new dates as well as a majority of the hotel bookings in host hotels. They are also offering full refunds.

ORIGINAL (3/10/2020)

Today, DragCon announced that their Los Angeles 2020 event has been cancelled. “Unfortunately, there's no way for anyone to know what the situation will be like in May,” they wrote in a statement posted to their site. “Due to that uncertainty, and out of an abundance of caution, we've decided that it's in the best interest of the talent, staff, and attendees to cancel RuPaul's DragCon LA 2020.” The event will return in 2021 and the organizers are working with Eventbrite on refunds.

Miami’s Ultra Music Festival, a circuit party mainstay, also sees their event this year cancelled. “It is with a heavy heart that we inform you that The City of Miami has issued an official directive requiring that the 22nd edition of Ultra Music Festival, originally scheduled for March 20, 21, and 22, 2020, will be postponed to March 26, 27, and 28, 2021,” they wrote to Twitter. “This [is] an unprecedented issue which is not being taken lightly, and we must continue to defer to the authorities for guidance.” The letter also said that organizers would be in touch regarding “next steps” for ticket holders but came short of promising refunds. 

While DragCon cancelled, elsewhere in California large-event organizers are holding out hope. White Party Palms Springs released a statement saying that they have no plans to cancel. “We are taking all measures that the Health Department has provided us to protect our community and partygoers,” they wrote in a statement credited to the event founder Jeffrey Sanker. “Every person’s safety is our number one concern and we will continue to monitor this situation very closely.” The event is scheduled for April 24-27.

Dinah Shore Weekend, which is said to be the largest lesbian event on the planet, also plans to host their event. “The county just held a press conference today, 3/8/20, affirming again that to date all festivals are [greenlit] for April,” they wrote to Facebook. That April 1 - 6th gathering will be the 30th anniversary of the event.

A representative for The Black Party tells Out that the event is preparing a statement to be released this week.

In terms of the large leather events, there’s also a lot of monitoring going on. “We are monitoring the situation like everyone else,” Bob Miller, founder of Cleveland Leather Annual Weekend wrote to Out in an email. “As of now we do not plan to cancel the event. CLAW is massive in that it spans multiple hotels and will take over Cleveland in late April.

Though it’s the furthest on the line-up, International Mr Leather is also observing the situation. “We are remaining proactive and well-informed, ensuring our attendees and fans understand that we have their safety as one of our top priorities each year they come through our doors, this year being especially cautious, considering current events,” the event’s social media coordinator Tyesha Best said in an email statement. On their site, IML says that they are “following the procedures recommended by the World Health Organizations, the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as state and local health authorities.”

The event is still scheduled to take place May 21 to 25th.

Out will update this story as things develop.
 
Tags: Health, Nightlife

From our Sponsors

READER COMMENTS ()