For over a decade, founder and producer Joe Hawkins, has been delivering epic times to gay men of color with his popular Blatino Oasis, Palm Springs getaway retreat.
Blatino Oasis has grown to become California's largest getaway for gay and bisexual men of color. The continued growth and longevity of Blatino Oasis, is all the more astonishing and remarkable considering that the events attendees are 80% men of African descent, yet the city of Palm Springs is less than 4% Black and the state of California continues to lose African Americans to more affordable states. Subsequently, spaces for the LGBT community have almost completely vanished from the scene. Los Angeles closed its last black gay owned nightclub "The Catch One" in 2016, creating a void that Hawkins describes as sad and alarming. He should know, in addition to producing Blatino Oasis, he has produced California's longest running Hip Hop party "Club Rimshot" in Oakland, California, every Saturday for 22 years. Mr. Hawkins is also a trailblazer in more ways than one. He was the first gay African American to be featured on national television in the 90's, the Oprah Winfrey Show, defending his right as a gay man to parent his then 6 year old son. He is a founding member of Oakland Pride and has been a grand marshal for both San Francisco and Oakland Prides just to name a few of his accomplishments.
Hawkins said “Now more than ever events like Blatino Oasis are necessary here in California to bring the community of gay men of color together. Blatino Oasis is entirely produced by men of color for men of color, and that is a powerful statement in today’s climate.
Blatino Oasis over the years has featured celebrity entertainment such as Real Housewives Atlanta star Kandi, and rap artists Trina, Foxy Brown, and gay rap artist Fly Young Red. But the event is less known for its music entertainers and more for its socializing, male bonding activities and erotic performers.
Although the event includes a welcome reception, dance events, an awards brunch, and comedians, Hawkins said that having erotica on the schedule of activities has always been a highlight of the event.“Our Saturday daytime erotic pool festival seems to always take the spotlight away from everything else that we do because, it's erotic and extremely sexy.” Hawkins said.
At press time, this year's presenting sponsors are Jack'd Mobile App, Desert AIDS Project, GED Magazine, the Advocate Magazine and Gloss Magazine.
The official kick off event will take place on Friday, April 28, with a free welcome reception event at 849 Restaurant in Palm Springs, from 4pm-7pm. Later that night Copa Palm Springs, will host the official kick-off dance party, featuring a small army of erotic dancers from 9pm-2am. CCBC in Cathedral City is host to the Saturday pool party from 11am-7pm, and all of the after hours events from 1:30am-6am. The Barracks will debut as host of the Saturday night dance party and even more erotic dancers, from 9pm-2am. And on Sunday, Bonta Restaurant in Cathedral City will host the awards ceremony and comedy brunch from 11am-2pm.
For more information about Blatino Oasis, visit the website by clicking here.