Will NYE in Puerto Vallarta Become a Gay Superspreader Event?

by EDGE

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Wednesday December 30, 2020

  (Source:Getty Images)

Despite more than 1.3 million coronavirus cases throughout Mexico and upwards of 131,000 in the state of Jalisco — home to the bustling LGBTQ city of Puerto Vallarta — some gay party promoters intend to kick off 2021 with a bang that could potentially become the super spreader event of the season.

White Party Puerto Vallarta continues to advertise and sell a range of events from Wednesday, December 30, 2020, through Sunday, January 3, 2021, featuring top DJs including Ben Bakson, Dan Slater, Liza Rodríguez and more.

All three tiers of the weekend-long VIP passes are sold out, leaving only individual tickets for Wednesday's main event and Friday's Brazilian-themed carnival. All events are scheduled to happen rain or change, though venue locations and artists are subject to change, which might throw an unwanted kink in revelers' plans.


The latest safety protocols from Puerto Vallarta Tourism, released December 22 and valid through January 10, suspend bar and nightclub activities after 7 p.m. and a total suspension of New Year's parties and events. Hotels are currently operating at 75% capacity, with common areas operating at 50%.

Hotels are operating at 75% of their capacity, with their common areas operating at 50%, including their beach services. Hotel pools, beach clubs, spas, gyms, and restaurants are already available to guests.

The White Party website and EventBrite ticketing site both outline safety protocols, which read:

"Event Health and Safety Guidelines: Limited Event Capacity; Temperature Checks; Mandatory Masks required for entry to all venues; ALL State Health Guidelines strictly enforced for ALL guests."

There is no indication of whether masks will be required throughout the events. Any venue changes have yet to be released to the general public, with parties originally scheduled for Jeffrey Sanker's new Puerto Vallarta nightclub Industry and Mantamar Beach Club as well as several beach parties. A December 26 Facebook post indicated venue change information only available to ticket holders.


For some, the numerous COVID-related deaths from this year's Winter Party in Miami Beach aren't putting a damper on these year-end festivities. That event, which took place March 4-10, resulted in a backlash from those who felt presenters and attendees behaved irresponsibly.

"We can't have the kinds of crowds we've had, the kinds of gatherings," said Miami Beach Mayer Dan Gelber back in March. "I walked down Ocean Drive yesterday, and what I saw was incredibly disturbing, it wasn't just the typical large gatherings of people, but it was young people who believe they're invincible and probably don't really think of this in any way as a health crisis."

EDGE interviewed White Party founder Jeffrey Sanker in March at the onset of the pandemic about the future of his large-scale events.

"Our customer's health is our first priority," said Sanker, keenly aware of what had transpired after the Winter Party in Miami Beach. "I want to move forward being positive that we're having the event," said Sanker, speaking of the White Party Palm Springs, which had been rescheduled for Halloween weekend but ultimately postponed until April 2021. EDGE reached out to Sanker for comment regarding the New Year's Eve events and did not receive a reply.

Event producer Will Gorges is also forging ahead with two events on January 1 and 2, both taking place at Rancho Grande de Los Pinos, just outside of Puerto Vallarta in the adjacent state of Nayarit.

At least one previously planned event was suspended. The Bearadise Beach Party, originally scheduled for December 29, was cancelled, though a similar event is planned for January 28, 2021.

Much like the U.S., Mexico's reopening strategies have mainly been left up to individual states. As reported by Travel Weekly, Jalisco has been more aggressive in its reopening in an effort to stimulate its tourist-driven economy.

The newly enacted restrictions may be too little too late for this queer mecca. According to Puerto Vallarta Daily News, "cases have only increased rapidly since the reopening of economic activity at the fastest pace since the beginning of the pandemic."