Jimmy Boegle
A scene from last year's White Party. Credit: Jimmy Boegle

For some people, it may be hard to believe: Many attendees of this weekend’s White Party 2014 will be younger than the event itself.

Organizer Jeffrey Sanker said the first several White Party events he did actually lost money.

“But I always knew it was a good event and eventually would do well,” he said via email. “I’m glad that patience paid off. I’m thankful that we’ve been able to do this for so long and look forward to the future.”

The White Party brings in world-class DJs, musicians and other performers for the various parties that take place throughout the weekend. This year, Ariana Grande—named the New Artist of the Year at the 2013 American Music Awards—will headline the White Party. (Of course, surprise guests are always a possibility, too.)

White Party headliners have led to some of Sanker’s favorite White Party moments, he said.

“I have two fondest memories: The time when Jennifer Lopez was the surprise headliner, and when Lady Gaga headlined (just one year after she performed as the third act at the Sunday Pool Party),” he said. “Both did it to show their appreciation for their gay fans.”

As mainstream acceptance of LGBT culture has grown, so, too, has the White Party; this year’s sponsors include big names such as Fiat and SiriusXM radio.

“I think this year, we have the most diverse group of attendees ever,” Sanker said. “I see White Party continuing to be that way. Every year, we get a lot of first-timers, and many of them return again and again.”

Of course, White Party has brought a lot of exposure to the city of Palm Springs, as tens of thousands of out-of-towners show up to attend the event each year.

“I think White Party has brought a lot of visibility to Palm Springs and awareness of what a magical and welcoming place it truly is,” Sanker said. “Over the years, we’ve had so many first-time visitors just fall in love with the area and return year after year. A lot of them tell me they wound up moving here after coming to White Party.”

White Party 25 takes place Friday, April 25, through Sunday, April 27, at the Renaissance Hotel and the Palm Springs Convention Center. Weekend passes begin at $399; tickets to Saturday’s White Party are $160. Individual tickets to other events vary in price. For tickets or more information, visit www.jeffreysanker.com.

Jimmy Boegle is the founding editor and publisher of the Coachella Valley Independent. He is also the executive editor and publisher of the Reno News & Review in Reno, Nev. A native of Reno, the Dodgers...