White Party Palm Springs returns to the desert

White Party Palm Springs

The DJ works the turntables at the White Party Palm Springs’ Military Ball in 2019. Photo: Iggy Lopez.

White Party Palm Springs returns this month after a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19 restrictions.

It’s one of the largest, if not the largest, circuit parties in the U.S., typically attracting more than 25,000 attendees to the desert city.

The event, which launched in 1989, also will pay tribute to White Party Palm Springs founder Jeffrey Sanker, who died last year from cancer.

White Party Palm Springs will take place from April 29 to May 1.

All tickets purchased pre-pandemic will be honored for this year’s party or 2023.

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Headliners include Paula Abdul, who will headline the T-dance May 1. 

With a catalog of No. 1 hit singles including ‘Forever Your Girl,’ ‘Cold Hearted,’ ‘Rush Rush,’ ‘Opposites Attract,’ and ‘Straight Up,’ the Grammy award winner will belt out her biggest hits.

After choreographing music videos for Janet Jackson, Abdul became a choreographer at the height of the music video era in the 1980s and then signed to Virgin Records. Her debut studio album, “Forever Your Girl,” in 1988 became one of the most successful debut albums at that time, selling 7 million copies in the United States and setting a record for the most No. 1 singles from a debut album on the Billboard Hot 100 chart: “Straight Up,” “Forever Your Girl,” “Cold Hearted,” and “Opposites Attract.”

Abdul’s second album, “Spellbound” in 1991, scored her two more chart toppers: “Rush Rush” and “The Promise of a New Day.” 

Abdul’s six No. 1 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 tie her with Ariana Grande and Diana Ross for seventh among female solo performers who have topped the chart.

British singer-songwriter Raye will perform at the main party April 30, and Israeli pop artist Netta, best known for her hit single, ‘Toy,’ will take the stage at the T dance.

Legendary supermodel Beverly Johnson will be named Queen of White Party April 30.

Here are a few highlights.

  • April 29, Jungle Cruisin

The Palm Springs Convention Center will be decorated with a jungle and rainforest theme with DJs Liza Rodriguez (Brazil) and Dani Brasil (Brazil) spinning to kick off the weekend. Partygoers will  dance into the wee hours for a cruise-fest filled night.

  • April 30, Eternal

This six-hour party at the Convention Center will have a superhero theme. Attendees are encouraged to dress as their favorite superhero or in the traditional white. DJ’s Rick Braile (Brazil), Chris Turina (Chile), and Phil Romano (Italy) will be behind the decks.

  • May 1, Big Top Circus

The field across from the Convention Center will be a Big Top Circus for the renowned T-dance that starts in the afternoon and lasts into the night. International DJs Ben Bakson (Germany) and Dan Slater (Australia) will be spinning. The night will culminate with fireworks and a video display  tribute to Sanker.

About the author

Phillip Zonkel

Award-winning journalist Phillip Zonkel spent 17 years at Long Beach's Press-Telegram, where he was the first reporter in the paper's history to have a beat covering the city's vibrant LGBTQ. He also created and ran the popular and innovative LGBTQ news blog, Out in the 562.

He won two awards and received a nomination for his reporting on the local LGBTQ community, including a two-part investigation that exposed anti-gay bullying of local high school students and the school districts' failure to implement state mandated protections for LGBTQ students.

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