In the sometimes fickle gay world, ten years can be a very long time. But for local promoters Tommy Dolanjski and Anna Thorsen, or TommyD and Anna T Fabulous as they prefer, ten years is easy if you have a winning formula like they have with the annual Rapture Pride parties.
TommyD, Anna T and their team have been producing Rapture for three years now as The Flame & The Dame having taken over from the previous promoters, and according to TommyD its longevity can be directly correlated to their attention to detail.
“There’s a lot of work that goes into every event,” said TommyD. “I can say that we work extremely hard, and it pays off.”
And getting that pay off means thinking of the small details and, of course, making sure the talent, lights and sound are first rate.
“So many elements make a good pride party,” explains TommyD. “Without good talent the production is worthless. Without good production value, it’s just a DJ in a box. So we stick to those three main things [talent, lights, sound]. Everything else is an added bonus.”
And in believing that sometimes more is sometimes better, those bonuses appear to working for TommyD and his team with Rapture consistently selling out each year. “There are times I’ve heard ‘you go so over the top’ but I mean, it’s a gay party! It has to be over the top”.
Getting to the point of exceeding expectations though is not something that happens overnight confesses TommyD, with the Rapture party planning starting literally a few weeks after Pride ends.
“Pride starts getting planned in September. I know, sounds crazy but there’s a lot of stuff you have to do. Mainly put out feelers to DJs who can get booked a year in advance, to see their schedules and if there’s an interest to come to Vancouver Pride.”
Getting that talent is probably the toughest part in planning Rapture admits TommyD, but he works with the philosophy that if the talent isn’t good, the party isn’t going to be good. “We look at who plays around the world, who hasn’t been here in a while to keep things interesting, and someone that people want.”
For this year’s parties, TommyD promises a lot, admitting he and his crew really do try to top themselves each year. “One of the most difficult things is to raise the bar even higher than we did the year before. After last year’s shows, you can expect more. Just more”.
“That’s a difficult question because I’m always excited to bring everyone together,” said TommyD. “I have worked with Ana Paula and Shokra before, and Shokra is a very close friend. Paulo has been on my list since I started. But Lena Love, I am super excited about to work with. She is an inspiring performer and there is no one like her as far as I’m concerned. But really I think I’m most excited about having everyone in the same room. It’s the best part for sure.”
Along with the varied DJ talent, the Rapture parties will all be hosted by YouTube sensations Jessica and Hunter. “YouTube stars are the new celebrity and we couldn’t think of anyone better than these two hilarious internet comedians,” said TommyD.
Whether you go for the talent, the music or perhaps even just to celebrate Pride, one thing is for sure, with The Flame and A Dame in charge it’s no wonder the Rapture parties have endured.
Rapture: Ignition stars Brazil DJ ANA PAULA with an opening set by Toronto’s DJ JEREMY KHAMKEO. Special Performances by LENA LOVE and hosted by JESSICA AND HUNTER & BRAD FASHION.
Rapture: Victory stars LA superstar DJ PAULO with an opening set by Vancouver’s DJ LANDON JAMES.
For complete talent and event information visit http://www.tfdpresents.com.