Keith Haring’s art has made an impact on me in the last year. In fact, I made two trips to Los Angeles to see his works – one at The Broad last summer, and over the weekend at Luna Luna, the forgotten German art amusement park lost to time since 1987.
He would be the same age as me, had he survived AIDS. I was fortunate to be living in small town rural Michigan during that period and avoided the fate that befell so many of my generation.
Keith’s legacy at this installation was a carousel ride with his signature images. It was a reminder of how much I enjoyed amusement parks as a child. What was most interesting at Luna Luna was the The Timeline – “part mood board, part cultural history” with it’s deep dive into the history of the 20th century. Still photos chronicle the good and especially the bad such as World Wars I & II, the rise of Nazism, all the way up to the AIDS crisis. Surrounded by the joy of Luna Luna made me pause as we move ahead into a pivotal year of 2024.
What will one year from now bring? I remain cautiously optimistic with resolve to do my part to make sure that history does not repeat itself. What will you do?
Brad Fuhr, your Gay Desert Guide on KGAY 106.5 Palm Springs
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Palm Springs International Film Festival 2024
The 35th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) runs Friday, January 5–Monday, January 14. One of the largest film festivals in North America, the Festival welcomes over 136,000 attendees each year for its lineup of new and celebrated international features and documentaries. Produced by the Palm Springs International Film Society, all 12 days are packed with events and film screenings, featuring over 180 films from 70+ countries at various venues in Palm Springs and Cathedral City. This year, the line-up includes award-season front-runners, international Oscar submissions, a spotlight on South Korea, family screenings, LGBTQ+ stories, and much more. Check out a list of recommendations here. See you at the movies! More info
The PSIFF is also known for its annual Palm Springs Film Awards, honoring the best achievements of the filmic year by a celebrated list of talents. On Thursday, January 4, the annual Film Awards will kick off the festival at the Palm Springs Convention Center from 5–9 pm. The Palm Springs Film Awards are one of the largest events in the film world with 2500 guests and more than 1000 staff in the room. The Film Awards Gala honors the year’s best achievements in cinema in front of and behind the camera, including Emma Stone, Cillian Murphy, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Carey Mulligan, Colman Domingo, Billie Eilish and many more. The festival opens with a screening of Wicked Little Letters Starring Olivia Colman and Jessie Buckley on Friday, January 5, and the festival will wrap up with Best of the Fest screenings taking place Monday, January 15.
Rock the Park: The Tina Turner Tribute by Debby Holiday
Palm Springs’ popular outdoor concert series, Rock the Park, is back for Season 3. These free, monthly tribute band concerts will again be at the new Palm Springs Downtown Park at 7 pm on the first Wednesday of each month through May. On Wednesday, January 3, Rock the Park features Debby Holiday with her Tina Turner Tribute. Attendees are encouraged to bring blankets and/or folding chairs. More info
Positive Life Series – Commitment to Life
The HIV+ Aging Research Project Palm Springs presents the Positive Life Series on Tuesday, January 2 at 6 pm at the Palm Springs Cultural Center. This month, the topic is a documentary screening: Commitment to Life – A documentary of the AIDS Crisis in Los Angeles and the start of APLA, with speakers Bill Weisenheimer & Jeffrey Jenest, Former Board Members of APLA. Up next month: Beyond Testosterone (2/6), HIV and the Law (3/5), CROI Update (4/2). More info
Boxing Culture and Queer Photography
The Palm Springs Art Museum presents Mixed Feelings: Boxing Culture and Queer Photography on Thursday, January 4 from 6–8 pm in the main museum with speakers Rudy Mondragón & Jonathan Carver Moore. “Mixed Feelings” is a back-to-back lecture experience on unrelated topics (that are somehow connected). Two speakers talk about their respective areas of expertise and you get to make the connections during the Q&A. Get tickets
YogaFit Mind Body Fitness Conference
The YOGAFIT Mind Body Fitness Conference will take place Wednesday–Sunday, January 3–7, at the Margaritaville Resort. This conference is designed for yoga teachers, personal trainers, nurses & massage therapists. Join a rich and diverse population of yoga enthusiasts, from seasoned teachers and experienced yogis to first-timers and everyone in between. More info
PALS Death Cafe
PALS (Planning Ahead for LGBTQ Seniors) presents a Death Cafe on Thursday, January 4 from 2–3 pm on Zoom. A Death Cafe is a group-led open conversation about death and dying; and in doing so to live life more fully. It is not a counseling or bereavement group; and there is no agenda, specified topics, or designated outcomes. Join the conversation, bring your curiosity and questions, and engage in a discussion about the aspects of death and dying that interest you. More info
First Fridays El Paseo
First Fridays El Paseo takes place this week in the famed shopping district of El Paseo, from 4–7 pm on Friday, January 5, (and the first Friday of every month through May 2024). The event features a variety of activities, including: ArtWalk El Paseo, a self-guided tour of over 15 fine art galleries; El Paseo Cruise Night, a classic car show and cruise; Biennial Sculpture Exhibition, a display of 18 new sculptures with QR codes for more information, and a collection of interior designers, home decor, and consignment shops in the El Paseo Design District. You can also enjoy free rides on the El Paseo Courtesy Carts! More info
Gilligan’s Island – The Musical
Desert Theatreworks presents Gilligan’s Island – The Musical from January 5–28. America’s most iconic sit-com from the 1960’s comes to the stage reincarnated as a fun family musical. Written by the original TV show’s creator, Sherwood Schwartz, all the show’s beloved characters seem to have leaped straight from the TV screen to the big stage, bringing their hilarious adventures along with them. The skipper and his hapless first mate, Gillian; millionaire Thurston Howell and his wife, Lovey; film starlet Ginger Grant; farm girl Mary Ann Summers; and the professor battle hurricanes, quicksand and even an alien with their usual fierce determination. Will they finally make it off the island? Get tickets
One Vision of Queen feat. Marc Martel
The Show at Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa presents One Vision of Queen feat. Marc Martel on Saturday, January 6 at 8 pm. Few singers have shaped music history as much as Freddie Mercury did during his life. A natural baritone, he had an incredible ability to color his voice across its range. Now Canadian rock singer Marc Martel is bringing the legend back to the stage. Get tickets
Drag Brunch in the Desert
Palm Springs is a glittering oasis not just for snowbirds and vintage enthusiasts, but also for drag aficionados. Our vibrant drag scene pulsates with sass, sequins, and sky-high wigs. There are drag brunches not only on Sunday but Friday and Saturday as well! We have listings for drag by day of the week in the Gay Desert Guide Nightlife Channel. Just look for the “Drag Shows in the Desert” listings! You can also find a general rundown of drag offerings in our Drag Shows with Courage, Ostentatiousness, Charisma, and Kookiness article, featuring shows at Oscar’s, Reforma, Chill Bar, one eleven bar and more!
CV Firebirds Pride Night with KGAY
KGAY 106.5 invites you to join the festivities on the Coachella Valley Firebirds Pride Night, on Friday January 19 from 5–9 pm at Acrisure Arena. Join us for Pride Night in a space that welcomes everyone. Come for a cocktail social hour and see your favorite local drag queens take the stage ahead of the Coachella Valley Firebirds vs. Calgary Wranglers game, and enjoy pre-game plaza events, special in-game giveaways and more! Special $99 package gets you: Signature Pride Night cocktail, ticket to the pre-game drag show, center ice seats at the game, and private VIP ticket throughout the game. Get tickets
Our Visitor Map & Guide
If you haven’t yet done so, check out our Visitor Map & Guide! To help you find everything you need as a visitor or local, we feature the top places for Food & Drink, Nightlife, Shopping, Attractions, Gay Resorts with passes, Dispensaries, and other services. Look for our printed version around town if you’re here, or if planning a visit, you can view and download it right here, right now!
Click below to sign up for our Gay Desert Guide Oasis Insiders Newsletter to get our Weekly Blog, Top 3 Events for the weekend, Hot Deals and Cool Events all delivered to your inbox every Friday!
On the Air: KGAY 106.5
WIN tickets to the Palm Springs International Film Fest
KGAY 106.5 and 103.1 MeTV fm have your tickets to The 35th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival, running Friday, January 5–Monday, January 14. The film festival is bigger than ever with over 175 films from around the world. The line-up includes award-season front-runners, international Oscar submissions, a spotlight on South Korea, family screenings, LGBTQ+ stories, and so much more. Talking Pictures hosts in-depth discussions with directors, writers and actors from the year’s top titles. Enter to WIN on the KGAY Contest Page and the MeTV fm Contest Page
The KGAY 106.5 Retro Lunch airs Monday through Friday at noon, with DJ Galaxy (Vincent Corrales) and DJ Eric Ornelas playing an hour of their high-energy throwback mixes. On Sundays, we put all five hours together for the Retro Sunday Brunch from 11 am–4 pm. Perfect party music! Listen Online. DJ Galaxy can also be found spinning at Impala Bar & Grill for Divas on the Dance Floor on Thursdays at 8 pm, and the new Friday Fusion T-Dance Happy Hour Social, Fridays from 4–8 pm also at Impala!
The KGAY 106.5 Sunday Tea Dance with DJ Modgirl airs every Sunday from 4–6 pm (right after the Retro Brunch). DJ Modgirl (AKA Kellee McQuinn) is all about “Music! Dancing! Fashion! Fun!” and she throws down the most irresistible, uplifting beats each week. Listen online.
On the Air: 103.1 MeTV fm
103.1 MeTV FM is KGAY’s sister station, featuring a unique mix of timeless and memorable music incorporating a wide variety of classic hits, deep tracks and softer sounds spanning several decades of popular music, including the ‘60s and ‘70s with a touch of the ‘50s and ‘80s. Listen online