Health dept. orders The White Party, The Dinah to cancel events

photo by Gabriel Goldberg

Click here for an updated list of events that are rescheduled or are still happening as planned

Two of the largest gay and trans party events of the year, The White Party and The Dinah, both in Palm Springs, have been postponed in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. 

The order to cancel the April events was issued by the Riverside County Health Department.

White Party Palm Springs, an annual circuit party festival that attracts thousands of men from around the world, was due to take place April, 24-27. Todrick Hall and Meghan Trainor were the headliner performers, with a raft of international DJs supporting.

Photo by Iggy Lopez

In a message posted to the event’s social media last night, White Party’s organizers stated: “Due to the escalation of COVID-19, White Party Palm Springs will reschedule. We are saddened by the situation with COVID-19 and urge everyone to stay safe and to follow the guidelines provided by local health and city officials...

“White Party Palm Springs will now take place October 30th-November 2nd, 2020.”

The Dinah, described as “the largest lesbian event in the world,” is an annual circuit party that draws thousands of women to Palm Springs, and coincides with a popular golf tournament. Organizers of The Dinah released a statement saying, “The Riverside County Health Department has officially canceled The Dinah, effective immediately. We wholeheartedly agree with their decision.”

The statement further explained that tickets and hotel packages purchased through The Dinah will be transferred to the new dates.

Related: Get ready for bedazzled face masks: here are the events that are still happening, or were canceled

The White Party’s statement also said that tickets purchased are non-refundable, and can be exchanged for tickets to the new Halloween White Party Festival (Oct 30-Nov 2), or White Party 2021 (April 23-26, 2021). 

Related: GLAAD awards show and major LGBTQ travel convention canceled over coronavirus

At the time of writing, more than 1,600 cases of COVID-19, a new strain of coronavirus, were being treated across the United States, with at least 41 deaths reported. 

From today, President Donald Trump has implicated a temporary ban on travel from most of Europe to the United States, and most large event gatherings are being canceled. This includes many Broadway theaters shutting their doors for the next 30 days. Forthcoming Pride and LGBTQ events to be postponed include Pride of the Americas in Fort Lauderdale and Miami Beach Pride.

Atlantis Cruise due to go ahead

One event still currently due to take place is the next big Atlantis Cruise. The Atlantis Southern Caribbean Cruise is scheduled to depart San Juan, Puerto Rico, on March, 21. 

As a chartered event, refunds for tickets are not being offered unless passengers fall under Celebrity Cruises “Don’t Sail” list. Celebrity Cruise operates the Celebrity Summit, the boat chartered by Atlantis for this trip. 

The “Don’t Sail” list includes those aged over 70 unless they have a doctor’s letter verifying they’re fit to travel, and anyone immunocompromised or with a chronic health condition. This has left some ticket holders angry and in a dilemma over whether to attend or not. 

Celebrity Cruises is taking the temperature of passengers before boarding and will offer compensation to anyone it turns away if they’re suspected of being ill.

Celebrity Cruises is allowing guests on its organized cruises to cancel up to 48 hours before departure. However, this offer doesn’t extend to chartered cruises – which includes Atlantis. Atlantis says it will only currently give full refunds if cancelations are made at least 60 days before departure.

At the time of writing, Atlantis says the cruise will go ahead.  In an email to passengers yesterday, it stated: “This cruise will operate as scheduled, just as virtually all cruises are operating at this time. We’re in touch with Celebrity on a daily basis, including weekends, with the latest updates. The chances of any cruise being cancelled or altered is extremely small, and we are no exception.”