Every year, Ibiza is home to Europe’s very epic queer woman’s party, Velvet Ibiza, which is celebrating its 7th anniversary and promises to be next level. Velvet Ibiza is an all-inclusive 5-day and 5-night party and includes transportation from the airport, a bungalow, 3 meals, and activities and parties day and night, and drinks until around 10:30 pm.
This year, international crowds of LGBTQ+ women will be attending Velvet Ibiza on May 2 - 7 to celebrate life, belonging, and freedom. Event organizers have rented an entire resort in order to build a community vibe and allow queer women to connect so there’s no reason to go anywhere unless of course, you want to go shopping, head to the beach, or explore the island.
Creator and Producer
Carine De Mesmaker created Velvet Ibiza in 2015 and has produced it ever since. She is also the mastermind behind Velvet Sixty Nine, the woman’s party in Brussels founded in 2010. Carine has been putting on parties in bars and clubs since the early 80s and owned her own club, Gate, from 1999 to 2004. Her goal is to create a safe space for queer women and to throw amazing parties.
Where to Stay
Velvet Ibiza pool partyPhoto courtesy of Velvet Ibiza
The host hotel is Cala Martina located in the historical Hippie Market, where you can find all things hippie. Hippie Market was founded in 1973 and is the largest and oldest market on the island. Cala Martina is arranged in bungalow-style houses with pine trees and natural landscapes. The pool is situated on the edge of a cliff with amazing views. The demand is so great that a second hotel was reserved. Paraiso Beach is a 4-star boutique hotel next to the host hotel and is only a short walk to all the events. There are five floors with views of the swimming pool or the forest.
For those with a thirst to celebrate, Red Bull Unlocked is the key. In city after city, the most exciting bars, clubs, mixologists, performing artists, and more take over a local landmark building to showcase their signature ambiance while also collaborating for a must-see mashup. And now it's Music City’s turn to seize the spotlight, as the event brings 10 bars together in East Nashville’s Five Points neighborhood.
Fueled by the best of Nashville’s thriving music scene, Red Bull Unlocked has curated an eclectic night of show-stopping entertainment performances including a pop-up Whiskey Jam show, DJ sets, musicians, and more. The full lineup is here:
Whiskey Jam(feat. Dozzi, Willie Shaw, and Johnny Hayes)
Daisha / Rap Girl
Boom Bap(DJ Collective feat. DJ-Rate, Case Bloom)
Whiskey Disco(DJ Collective feat. Coach, Jim O'Shea)
Old Crow Medicine Show’s Jerry Pentercost(DJ Set)
DJ Griffin Green
The Play Mates (Drag Show feat. Sasha, Vanity, Deception, Aura Mayari, Corlis Todd, and Carmin Triple C)
Counting down to the epic celebration, Daisha shares, “I never thought I’d have the opportunity to perform in so many of Nashville’s top spots all in the same night. Fans can expect a lot of bops and high energy. I want people to dance and have a good time.”
Ward Guenther, Whiskey Jam Founder, adds, “Red Bull has been enjoyed at Whiskey Jam since the very first night, so it's only fitting Whiskey Jam is enjoyed at Nashville's first Red Bull Unlocked. Looking forward to this!”
Red Bull Unlocked Istanbul
Photo courtesy of Red Bull
Local favorites including Pearl Diver, Tin Roof, Lipstick Lounge, White Limozeen, and more will join forces for one epic night. Full list of bars and partners below:
The Dinah is returning to Palm Springs this Fall 2022 to celebrate its 31st Anniversary as the largest and biggest annual festival for queer women from September 21st through the 25th.
Pulling all the stops, the legendary event has moved to one of Palm Springs’ most iconic Hotels, The Margaritaville (formerly The Riviera), famous in the ’60s for its role as celebrity central, drawing the likes of Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Lucille Ball, Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Sammy Davis Jr., and Sonny and Cher.
The Dinah is continuing the legend with a show-stopping all-female entertainment line-up. Headlining acts include Fletcher, Haviah Mighty, Cassidy King, IV4, Zolita, IV Jay, Siena Liggins, and 80s music iconic superstar, Taylor Dayne, offering a palette of incredibly talented female pop singers, rising artists as well as new queer talent all poised to make a major impact in 2022 and beyond.
Taking center stage Saturday night is one of the most electrifying queer artists to burst onto the scene, FLETCHER. Her critically acclaimed debut EP you ruined new york city for me, featured her breakthrough hit “Undrunk,” a track that scored the #1 spot on Spotify’s Viral Chart and emerged as the fastest-rising song at pop radio from a new artist in the past five years. Released in September 2020, FLETCHER’s EP THE S(EX) TAPES hit No. 1 on iTunes across all genres drew praise from outlets like Teen Vogue, SPIN, PAPER, GQ, and more, with the EP’s gold-certified lead single “Bitter” fast approaching 200 million global streams. FLETCHER continued her triumphant run with recent singles “girls girls girls” — a bold reimagining of Katy Perry’s iconic “I Kissed a Girl” (released with Perry’s early stamp of approval) — and “Cherry” featuring trailblazing pop star Hayley Kiyoko. Her new single “Her Body Is Bible” is out now and FLETCHER will release her debut album Girl Of My Dreams on September 16th on Capitol Records. She was also nominated for a GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Breakthrough Music Artist and landed on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list for 2022. FLETCHER’s music has amassed over one billion streams worldwide.
Headlining Friday night is 80s pop icon Taylor Dayne who is exclusively bringing her full band to put on a rare and unique show for Dinah goers. The groundbreaking debut single "Tell It to My Heart" turned her into an overnight star in 1987. She followed the smash hit with 17 Top 20 singles including Number Ones “Love Will Lead You Back” “Prove Your Love” and “I’ll Always Love You.” Taylor has sold over 75 million albums and singles worldwide, earned three GRAMMY nominations, an American Music Award, multiple New York Music Awards, received New York Music Hall of Fame honors, and ranked as the Number 18 Female Dance artist of all time by Rolling Stone magazine.
Poised to follow the footsteps of Lady Gaga, Bebe Rexha, Iggy Azalea, and Lizzo (to name a few) is Haviah Mighty who co-headlines Friday night’s Black and White Ball. The burgeoning artist earned break-out success with her album, 13th Floor, making her the first hip-hop artist and the first Black woman to win the Polaris Music Prize, celebrating the “Best Canadian Album of the Year”. She just grabbed a 2022 Juno award and is now on her way to take the US by storm.
Of course, it wouldn’t be The Dinah without the always next-level epic Pool Parties. The weekend pool parties will be highlighted with exclusive live performances by four exciting emerging queer artists Zolita, IV4, Cassidy King, and Siena Liggins who are making themselves visible members of the LGBTQ community that younger people can look up to.
Queer pop sensation Zolita is known for pairing her multi-dimensional songwriting with beautiful, self-directed music videos, earning her multiple viral successes that include singles “Explosion,” “Holy” and last September’s hit “Somebody I F*cked Once.” The first in a trilogy of songs, “Somebody I F*cked Once” was followed by the 2022 pop bangers “Single in September” and “I F*cking Love You.” Now, with more than 90 million views across her videos and a recent performance on the main stage of LA Pride, Zolita has become a powerful voice in the LGBTQ+ community, sharing stories that showcase joyful queer love with themes that span generations.
IV4 was discovered in 2018 after posting her first song, "Because of Me," produced by Smash David and SkipOnDaBeat, on social media and earning tens of thousands of views. Get Rich & Cry Trying is IV4's latest project since signing to Warner Records. The St. Louis-born, Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter previously released the hit singles "Work 2 Hard," and "Swimming" featuring Trippie Redd. We certainly do not see her star fading anytime soon.
Singer-songwriter Cassidy King has successfully built up her reputation as a solo artist with her singles “professional Smiler” and “Wasted”. In her latest EP, Concrete Walls, the Chardon, Ohio native continues to shape her passionately charged resonance delivering a moment of reckoning that only comes with deep self-reflection.
Siena Liggins went from a behind-the-scenes songwriter to one of Billboard’s Top Ten new LGBTQ artists of the year. Ms. Out Tonight, the singer’s debut album serves as a seminar on representing queer sexuality in music. On sexed-up anthems like “Dirty Girl” feat. Yung Baby Tate, “No Valet,” “Girlfriend” and more, Liggins leaves no room for interpretation; she’s going to write songs about her authentic experience as a queer woman.“These are the galvanizing queer voices to watch long after The Dinah is a wrap. They are part of a new generation of queer young artists who are determined to change the long-held stereotypes of this industry” says Mariah Hanson.
IV Jay makes her Dinah debut on Friday, September 23 at the Girl Spot Pool Party. At just 18 years old, R&B singer/songwriter, IV Jay just released her EP IV solidifying her place as an artist to watch. “I’m proud to have put together such an incredible lineup of marquee talent and community icons,” comments Hanson. “We can't get enough of these exhilarating female artists, and neither will you!”
Update: According to the Ray Boltz website, the Christian musician is now retired and living in Florida with his husband. Read on to learn more about Ray Boltz, his music career, his family, and why he decided to come out. In 2010 his album True won Album of the Year at the OUTMusic Awards.
During the course of 15 years in the Contemporary Christian Music Industry, Ray Boltz acquired three Dove Awards, two gold albums, one gold video, 12 number one singles, and sold more than 4 million units of product. Then, he decided to let the world know he's gay.
Why now? Why, after 30 years of marriage, four children, and a career most Christian artists only dream about, would Boltz step boldly out of the closet?
Growing Up in Indiana
In order to understand his actions, it is important to understand Boltz’s background. He grew up in a small town in Indiana with his parents, an older brother, a younger sister, and a younger brother who passed away three months after being born.
He went to public schools and attended a small one-room Methodist church. But even during these young formative years, Boltz would find ways to express his musical ability aside from taking piano and guitar lessons and singing special music at church.
“I was always writing songs…even as a little kid," Boltz said. "I would lay around in the back yard, stare up at the sky and write songs. I loved doing that.”
“When I was young, I also knew who I was attracted to. But anytime I thought about it, it always came with a lot of guilt. I didn’t know any gay people where I lived and never saw it on television. So I listened to what the church told me about homosexuality. And that is, that it was wrong. But if I truly gave my heart to Christ, I could get victory over anything. I just needed to serve the Lord, and He would take care of it.”
That was the mindset that would affect every thought and every action Boltz would have.
Boltz attended college at Ball State University and graduated with a major in marketing and a minor in radio and television. While he was in college, he married Carol, who would be his wife for 30 years. During his college days, he began singing in a variety of churches and associations. This eventually led to him going full-time in contemporary Christian music in 1986.
But when Boltz stepped boldly out of the closet only a few months ago, some of his fans might have felt deceived. After all, Boltz has been blessed with a beautiful family and a successful career that put him on a national and international platform to proclaim the 'good news of Christ.' Yet all that time, Boltz was hiding the fact that he was gay.
I wish I could take people into where I was…to walk a mile in my shoes," Boltz said. "I set out to deceive no one. I believed with all my heart if I prayed enough, if I believed enough, if I read the Bible enough, if I sought counsel enough, if I fasted enough, then these feelings and thoughts would go away. I spent my entire adult life fighting and struggling that way. I don’t think that is deceptive at all. If anything, I was the one who was deceived…by well-meaning people who said it could be overcome.”
Deciding to Come Out
Boltz read every book he could find on the topic, and outside of a Christian counselor, told no one about his struggle.
"After 30 years of trying to overcome this, I finally realized this would never change," Boltz said. "Being gay is not something I do, it is who I am.”
Another counselor Ray was seeing felt he needed to be completely honest about who he is. So one night, Ray was sitting with his family. They knew he had been depressed for quite some time but had no idea what was going on.
His family asked, “Dad, what’s wrong?”
Finally, after years of devastating struggle, Boltz said, “I’m gay.”
“I had never said these words to anyone, outside of a counselor," he said. "But I felt if I couldn’t tell my family, the people closest to me, who could I tell?” It was an emotionally overwhelming time as a family, but a time that would strengthen them as a whole.
“Each member of my family, all four children, and my wife, came to me individually saying they loved me, they cared about me, they accepted me,” Boltz said.
“We still love each other," Boltz said. "We talk every day. But we both knew it would be healthier if we separated.”
Ray Boltz on His Faith, Sexuality, and Gay Marriage
And now, four years later, Boltz has made more of a public statement about his faith and sexuality. Why now? Why, after coming out to his family four years ago, would Boltz feel the need to come out in a public way?
Boltz said when he came out to his family, he inadvertently put them in the closet.
“I had a good marriage," Boltz said. "People never suspected there were any problems. So if my kids were asked why we separated, they couldn’t be honest. By coming out publicly, they could be honest and authentic.”
Since coming out to his family, Boltz spent much of his time visiting a variety of Metropolitan Community Churches and other gay-affirming churches.
“These churches were no different from the churches I had sung in for the past 30 years," Boltz said. "They were seeking to worship God in a way they see fit.” They eventually began asking him to sing.
“I knew if I was going to do that, then I had to be completely honest and authentic about my life," Boltz said.
Since coming out publicly, Boltz said his faith has deepened.
“I have come to a point in my faith where it is okay to question things…I don’t want to believe something just because culture says I should believe it," he said. "This is reflected in my songwriting as well. It isn’t wrong to express doubt. Our faith can grow through doubt.”
Though Boltz has overcome the barrier to authentic happiness, many in the Christian music industry are likely still hiding the fact that they are gay out of fear of losing their career, or simply not being able to reconcile their faith and sexuality.
“I can’t be a poster child for people to come out," Boltz said. "But I can say everyone needs people in their lives they can be honest with.”
Boltz said that he plans to continue writing and singing songs in the future. Now he'll be able to share fully who he is and what he believes.
"I think being partnered is a possibility, but what I’m learning is that before you can be happy with anybody else, you have to be happy with yourself and I’m finally coming to that place,” Boltz said.