NYCPride Announces the DJs for the 2012 Dance on the Pier—the Last Pier Dance at Pier 54
(Dance on the Pier at Pier 54)
For 26 years, New York's gay pride celebrations have culminated around the Heritage of Pride's massive fundraising dance-a-thon on the Hudson River, Dance on the Pier. But the dance's long-time location at the border of the West Village and Chelsea, Pier 54, has not withstood the test of time, most recently loosing a sizable 10-foot chuck to the river only a week before last year's event. Therefore, Heritage of Pride has decided that June 24th's Dance on the Pier: 26 will be its final year at Pier 54.
"Unfortunately Pier 54 is slowly deteriorating and will be torn down after 2012 to be rebuilt at a later date," explains Heritage of Pride's managing director Christopher Frederick. "It's our understanding after Hudson River Park rebuilds it will no longer be an event space but more of a park, which as you can imagine doesn't work well with 14,000 dancing feet." While Frederick says HOP plans to move the event, it is still not clear exactly where the new dance will take place. "We want to keep the heritage of the event intact with it being a large space," he adds. "It's been challenging to find a space big enough to accommodate a crowd of 7,000 men in New York, but we're confident that the legacy of our event will continue."
But the location, which has hosted the likes of Janet Jackson, Jennifer Lopez and, of course, Whitney Houston, holds a special place in gay New Yorkers' hearts. That's why HOP has planned to send off Pier 54 with a bang and has secured two top names in the DJing world for its final spin: The Perry Twins and Boris. "We wanted the DJs to reflect a wide diversity in sound," says Frederick. "The Perry Twins are great at getting the crowd going and playing the vocals that everyone expects with a daytime event. Boris is a legendary DJ that has been in the New York nightlife scene for years. He's on a whole different level than anything we've ever done before and will be the perfect fit going into night."
For Los Angeles based DJ-duo Doug and Derek Perry, Dance on the Pier: 26 caps a two-year run headlinging some of the country's largest gay events, like Winter Party in Miami and Bay Dance in the Fire Island Pines. "We've spun at lots of gay pride events in the US and Europe and they're always very fun. What makes pride in New York even more special is that the gay rights movement started there," admit the hunky gay brothers from Los Angeles. Though it's their first time attending the event, they are confident their sound is a perfect fit for the day's festivities. "It's a celebration, so we'll be playing a lot of vocals and songs that make people happy. We try to read the crowd and see what they're into and play off that while spinning energetic music that we like to play. We like a good amount of vocal songs and normally when we DJ, we mix it up with electro, dutch, tribal sounds that are a little eclectic, but kinda make sense together at the same time."
Meanwhile, for local favorite Boris, headlining such an important event in his own backyard is really an honor. "I was extremely flattered [to be asked]," he says. "I have many gay friends and they expressed to me how great this event is and how much of an honor it is to be asked to play. I cannot agree with them more, such a big important weekend for the gay and lesbian community, and I feel this party is the pinnacle of that celebration and I plan on giving them an amazing show to remember for many years to come." Boris also admits that spinning for gay crowds is one of the most satisfying experiences he's had behind the decks. "I have done the Black Party and some [other gay events] and crowds usually come for one thing and that's to dance and have fun," he admits. "The most energy I have ever seen in a crowd has been at some of the gay events I have done. The fans range in all ages and sizes and come ready to party."
While there is no doubt Boris and The Perry Twins will deliver an appropriately bittersweet evening of gay camaraderie on Pier 54 on June 24, gay New York is also burning to know one more thing: will there be a special guest performer this year? Sadly, Frederick is expectedly coy on the subject. "We're still working on all of the surprises," he explains. "Luckily, we just landed our first ever Presenting Sponsor which will no doubt elevate the overall Pride experience." Till then, we can only wait as the rumor mill churns. But one thing is for sure, with or without Pier 54, Dance on the PIer will continue to be one of gay New York's favorite events.
Dance on the Pier: 26 will take place on Pride Sunday, June 24. Visit NYCPride.org for more details.