SummerTramp wants to get all the boys soaking wet. This year, the sexy, flirty pool party makes its L.A. Pride debut, migrating from Downtown to the newly renovated West Hollywood Park. Produced by Andrés Rigal and Luke Nero, the aquatic event promotes a sense of unity within the LGBT community that meshes perfectly with this year’s “… And Proud of It!” theme.
“All of us at SummerTramp are so flattered to be chosen to be a part of L.A. Pride this year, and we feel it’s a perfect fit for everything Pride stands for,” says Rigal. “SummerTramp has always been a celebration of unity within the community. When I first produced SummerTramp, I was surprised that the LGBT scene was so divided. So I intentionally programmed the parties with all sides of Los Angeles to create a space where everyone could let their hair down, take their clothes off, be themselves and ultimately raise their freak flag without any judgment—a place without imaginary lines of East versus West.
“It’s a hidden paradise where drag queens flirt with lesbians, bears swim with Cholas, WeHo boys make out with DTLA queens, daddies canoodle with twinks, brown-meets-white-meets-all the colors of the rainbow-meets-gay guys-meets ladies, and everyone leaves excited to come back next month. Oh, if you’re straight, that’s OK too—we’re all children of the sun. That’s what I love about it. It’s an amazing mix of people of all stripes and dots celebrating unity and summer—together.”
While SummerTramp’s aspirations of inclusiveness and diversity tap into the gay collective unconsciousness on a universal level, the party itself is a genuine product of the L.A. fringe scene. Rigal recounts how SummerTramp sprouted from pre-hipster Downtown roots.
“I’ve lived Downtown for almost nine years. This was way back before Art Walk and just the tip of the beginning of the gentrification of Downtown,” says Rigal. “Besides The Standard Hotel, swimming pools were a luxury that we didn’t have. My friends and I would ride our bikes to the latest lot party to lay in the sun and celebrate summer. This became a yearly tradition for all of us. Unfortunately, with Downtown’s growth, all the lot parties disappeared.
“This was 2010, and I had wanted to produce a summer party but was having a hard time finding an available pool. I was also tired of the pretentious pool scene in Los Angeles. They may have people, a body of water, music and the appropriate spirits, but something about the experiences still didn’t convince me it was intended to be fun. I asked myself, what happened to celebrating summer? So after some deep thought, I decided to pick up the torch and produce my official version of an anti-L.A. pool party—a parking lot aboveground pool party with an inflatable waterside.”
Partiers familiar with the DTLA incarnation of SummerTramp should anticipate noticeable differences between the original and Pride versions, specifically in scope.
“We’re still finalizing details, but the Pride incarnation of SummerTramp will be much larger than its DTLA drag mother,” Rigal explains. “The event will be on a giant 10,000-square-foot AstroTurf lot and will have two pools and a 100-foot waterslide all within the festival. [To give you an idea, the slide Downtown is only 40 feet long.] Also, L.A. Pride attendees will be able to enjoy two days of fun in the sun with 17 DJs spinning everything from house to ‘50s and ‘60s soul with The Mess Around once the sun sets.”
Anyone even partially familiar with Pride knows music is its life blood. That’s why SummerTramp will showcase some of the most talented DJs in L.A., including Aaron Elvis, Casey Alva, Josh Peace, Chris Bowen and Daisy O’Dell, as well as Victor Rodriguez hosting the aforementioned retro funk heavy The Mess Around Lot Hop on both Saturday and Sunday night. The meshing of eclectic musical sensibilities gives the event a unique vibe.
“We intentionally program each event with the best DJs in Los Angeles, from all corners of nightlife,” divulges Rigal. “This is a huge part of the diversity and success of SummerTramp. Each DJ has a chance to spin their own flavor for one hour, which keeps the event dynamic, interesting and accessible. Ultimately, SummerTramp is the people’s summer party, and we try and program it that way.” And the people appreciate it. L.A. Pride producer Jeff Consoletti promises, “SummerTramp will help L.A. Pride totally blow it out of the water.”
SummerTramp is free with Pride admission on both Saturday and Sunday, June 9-10. On Saturday, the daytime pool party madness lasts from noon to 8 p.m., when The Mess Around with Victor Rodriguez starts, lasting until midnight. On Sunday, the daytime pool party lasts from 1-8 p.m., and The Mess Around goes until 11 p.m. Bring your swimsuit, sunscreen and a towel.