Local party promoter Sarah Akawa has her work cut out for her this summer. The former Queer Pressure co-producer is set to host a series of ambitious and colorful LGBTQ-focused events in Madison, featuring everything from local DJs to drag kings to live music.
This is the third year that Akawa (also known by her DJ moniker, Saint Saunter) has organized the Hot Summer Gays series, and it looks to be the biggest yet. The tireless advocate for queer social events in the city has partnered with Dyke Dive, along with sponsor A Room of One’s Own bookstore, to organize four days of events spread out over two months, all with a focus on highlighting artists from more under-represented identities.
The first event will be a “Pants Off Dance Off” underwear party on July 19 at Robinia Courtyard, featuring Saint Saunter, DJ Millbot, DJ Kalycho, DJ Claire Dactyl, and DJ Daossier. Attendees are encouraged to wear “anything but regular clothes,” and Akawa specifically notes is “welcoming to ALL genders, orientations, races, ethnicities, sizes, shapes, etc. Haters stay home!”
The next day, July 20, the fun moves to the Wisco (aka the Willy St. Pub and Grill) for a variety show hosted by local comedian Cal Smith. Pick-up games of volleyball will run throughout the day, with a genre-bending line-up of acts from the region, including Madison’s own queer punk outfit Gender Confetti, self-described “galactic mermaid go-go DJ” NatanYael and surreal electro-popper Sym1 both out of Minneapolis, as well as AMY HZL of Duluth, and more.
Following a short breather, the series returns on August 16 and 17 for a drag night at Robinia Courtyard and a blow-out party at the Majestic.
Friday night will play host to DRAG QUEER at Robinia, a queer drag contest with a crowning of “the Drag Queer” at the end. Interested in performing? Sign-ups are open now.
Head over to the Majestic on Saturday night for the final fete of the series, during Madison’s Pride weekend, and featuring longtime local favorite rapper God-des of God-des and She.
DJ Keezy (Minneapolis), Dequadray (Madison), and KIlo aka Skitl’z (Madison) also feature on the bill that’s sure to be a killer party. (tickets here)