|Jennifer Josef, ILGA-ASIA|
|Jennifer Josef, ILGA-ASIA|
Bangkok has a long way go before it officially makes it on to the LGBT tourism map, but the city is definitely a great place to be when it comes to circuit parties, thanks to amateur-turned-veteran organiser gCircuit.
The company is known globally for its rave, SK series, organised annually for the past five years to celebrate the Songkran Festival. The three-day event, which welcomed almost 10,000 clubbers last year, recently became Asia’s biggest gay event and saw participants coming from all over the region and beyond, including Japan, Australia and the US.
SK5 2011 has also been nominated for US-based magazine, JustCircuit’s 7th annual awards for International Circuit Party of the Year and Best Set Production of the Year. That makes it the first party event from this side of the world to be recognised alongside established names like the Circuit Festival in Barcelona and Montreal’s Black and Blue. The magazine presents awards to singers, DJ, artists, non-profit organisations and individuals who contribute to LGBT scene at large and will announce the winners in Miami in March.
The event is the brainchild of Thai Sumet Srimuang and his boyfriend, Singaporean Tom Tan, who continue to organise the SK series today
“We just love to party, and we went to pretty much all over the world to enjoy good circuit parties and good music,” says Sumet. “We enjoy beautifully set up parties, with thoughtful logistics, decent vibes and of course safety. And we’d always thought Bangkok should have a circuit party like many other big cities. So one day we thought, ‘hey, let’s organise a party and invite our friends’. It was a crazy idea, but we managed and it turned out to be such a big event.”
The first SK was conceived in 2007. Thanks to their extensive experience with global circuit parties and connections with friends all over Asia, gCircuit pulled off a three-day party at the five-star Millennium Hilton Bangkok and the then-top club Narcissus on Sukhumvit Soi 23 with DJs David S and Joe Castro as the main acts. Word spread like wildfire and soon enough, the SK party became many clubbers’ yearly April ritual. Many love the hyped-up vibes and professional set up of the party, while others rate the performances by world-class DJs and dancers till late.
Openly labelled as a “gay party”, gCircuit is fully aware that they have very limited chances of receiving financial aid and partnership offers, but Sumet and Tan refuse to back down. “All our profit comes purely from ticket sales. It’s enough to do what we do and we’re not complaining. We both have our day jobs, and the party is what we do just because we enjoy it so much,” Sumet enthuses.
“We really pride ourselves on big, beautiful productions,” Tan adds. “And it’s not all about drinking and dancing; we’re slowly building a strong circuit community in Bangkok that becomes more and more international. Every year we surprise our fans with new additions, more DJs and better production. We want to become a circuit party organiser that sets the standard and raises the level of circuit parties in Thailand”
The SK6′s Opening, Main and Closing Party themes are Wild, Wow and Wet respectively. Songkran 6 is happening on April 12 and 13 at Zen@CentralWorld, and on April 15 at Fallabella on Rajdamri Road.
DJ Alexander from Los Angeles will be the main DJ on the April 13 for the “Wild” party, with support from DJ Louis T from Malaysia. We have also have our homegrown DJ Spectrum K from GOD headlining gCircuit’s very first pool party as well as DJ Head and Tony Moran from New York. Bidding adios to 2012′s SK6 will be the final Wet party at Fallabella where DJ Preeda of Thailand will open for main DJ, Alex Acosta from Mexico.
“Bear, Bath and Beyond” pool party at the new Sofitel So Hotel on Sathorn Road is the first gCircuit exclusive “bear party” catering to those with a few extra kilos and their admirers. And this year we adding fashion to the party. There’s gCircuit’s very own version of a sexy Victoria Secrets’ fashion show called the Super Stud Show. Our five go-go dancers this year are being flown in from Japan.
The advance three-day gPass, which costs Bt4,500 (standard) and Bt5,400 (VIP), is available till April 11. You can buy tickets at the doors, too, but it’s one-day pass at full price – Bt1,900 per person. Online purchase is available at www.gCircuit.com. Thai nationals can get discounts on the tickets at Thai Ticket Major and Paragon Cineplex. Call (02) 262 3456.