While the days in Miami are breathtaking, the nights are what make the city the sizzling, sticky, anything-can-happen playground gay men love. So, when Europe’s largest gay festival was looking to make a splash in the USA, Circuit Festival chose — where else? — the sun-drenched shores of South Beach. That was last year, and the weekend events proved such a triumph they decided to do it again. Circuit Festival Miami returns on Nov. 28 for another massive weekend.
Fifteen thousand gay men in their brightly colored bikinis are expected at this year’s five-night, four-day spectacular. Joining them will be some of the heaviest hitters of the gay party scene, including Abel (Aguilera), Isaac Escalante, Taito Tikaro, Tom Stephan, GSP, Lydia Sanz, Ivan Gomez, Nacho Chapado, Ed Wood and Rick Braile.
“Miami couldn’t be more excited for the return of Circuit Festival,” says local party producer Luis Morera. “It’s not just Florida guys. The business community sees the festival as a boom for our local economy.”
It’s true. Last year’s events drove tourists en masse into Miami’s local shops, restaurants and gyms. “They were taken by surprise,” continues Morera. “It was reminiscent of the late ’90s when Ocean Drive was in its heyday.”
He’s referring to when the infamous strip was a hot spot for fashion models, photoshoots and music videos, with the likes of Luciano Pavarotti, Elton John, Madonna and Gianni Versace acting as the street’s regular fixtures.
Sadly, Versace’s untimely death dimmed much of the neon lights of Miami and Ocean Drive for several years. Thankfully, events like Circuit Festival are helping to bring back the party-til-you-drop reputation, and the local business community couldn’t be happier.
Some of the perks offered to partygoers this year include complimentary gym access and discounts on cocktails, merchandise and food.
Morera is also working hard to keep the goodwill of the community. A portion of the weekend’s proceeds will benefit Miami Beach Pride. Additionally, for the first time he’s introducing a beach clean-up after Circuit Festival so that the sands are left as clean as they were before the weekend festivities. He’s asking partygoers to lend their hands and muscles for the clean-up. In exchange he’s offering free cocktails and snacks at South Beach’s infamous drag venue, Palace Bar.
Circuit Festival Miami launches Thursday, Nov. 28 with an over-the-top opening party at CAMEO. On Friday night, the festival takes over Space Club in Downtown Miami. The Saturday and Sunday events will take place inside Miami’s massive Magic City Studios.
The weekend’s show-stopping event, the La Leche Beach Party, promises to be bigger and more impressive than ever before, with a new location on the sand, a top-of-the-line sound and lighting system, music by DJs Phil Romano and Dan Slater and a live performance by Australian pop singing sensation Zoe Badwi.