Every year at Miami’s Winter Party they put on a event dubbed, The Hottest Winter in the World. With this year being the 20th anniversary we decided it was time to bring the mastermind out from behind the curtain. Each year Derek Yee volunteers his time to orchestrate, along with a committee of people, what has turned into one of the hottest, longest running and most popular circuit/dance events in the world. Our editor-in-chief caught up with this infamous magician of music and glitter to find out what makes men and women take their problems to the dance floor annually.
Here is part two of our interview with Derek Yee…
Max MacDonald: Has there been an event idea where you have said, “Um we can’t do that in Florida?
Derek Yee: Not really. Miami Beach is a very progressive city and the people who live and visit here love a great party. The more over-the-top, the better. I think someone suggested we do a water park event like our friends in Orlando do every summer. That’s not too far- fetched for Florida. But the closest water park to Miami is about an hour north, and I think we’d have a hard time pulling that one off.
MM: What is the theme of this year’s party and what can attendees expect?
DY: Winter Party’s driving theme continues to be the “Hottest Winter in the World,” but this year is very special because it is also the “20th Edition.” In “gay years” 20 is a long time! The original Winter Party founders will also be joining us to celebrate, and we will be officially recognizing them at our VIP Reception on Saturday night. The Beach Party will be featuring two DJs: Brett Henrichsen and Joe Gauthreaux. We’ve got lots of other surprises in store for our guests. They’re just going to have to come to Miami to see and experience it in person!
MM: What is your favourite event to attend?
DY: It would be a choice between the Beach Party and the Sunday night event. It’s also a great time to enjoy the event with all of the volunteers that worked all week long helping out at various other events. It’s also great to see the smiles on the faces of all the new friends you’ve made over the course of the week. Sunday night is a close second, mostly because it’s the last chance you have to dance and enjoy the party with your friends before we pack things up for next year.
MM: How important is your volunteer event force?
DY: Very. I’m a volunteer, and more than 75% of the planning committee that prepares months in advance for Winter Party is volunteer. We have hundreds of volunteers that sign up to do everything from logistics and production, to go-go dancers at the beach. In some shifts we have more than 200 hundred volunteers signed up! To support our volunteers, we’ve created a “Sponsor a Volunteer” program that allows people to make a donation to help feed the volunteers that work all week long.
MM: What is a big no-no for attendees to remember when attending Winter Party 13? What one thing would get a party goer thrown out or banned?
DY: Aside from doing anything illegal, I can’t really think of anything that would get you barred from Winter Party. I always encourage our guests to “be smart, be safe and don’t overdo it.” The health and safety of our guests is important to us to ensure they have a great Winter Party experience.
Winter Party Information: www.winterparty.com