When Thunderpuss takes the stage at Hunters Nightclub Feb. 9, the thousands of people packing the parking lot will assume they’re at a Pride On the Drive (POTD) event.
They will be wrong.
That’s because even though POTD is this weekend, POTD also doesn’t exist. That show, plus Kristine W on Saturday, are Hunters events, and Pride Fort Lauderdale (PFL) advertises a VIP area.
But like so many things connected to PFL, details are sketchy, fuzzy, and often feature incomprehensible, circular reasoning.
POTD came into the public consciousness a year ago, when PFL failed to produce any Pride events on Friday night plans down by the beach. The idea became a collective rescue to help PFL save face and give people a fun night.
Wilton Manors Business Association (WMBA) and Hunters booked in DJ legend Thunderpuss, reuniting for the first time in nearly 20 years. Originally scheduled for Thursday of Pride 2023, it moved to Friday when PFL bailed on the beach.
PFL was allowed to slap their logo on promotional materials, but sources close to the 2023 event tell OutSFL that Pride’s financial contribution, if any, was minimal.
In 2024, PFL canceled its signature events (which were set for this weekend), the parade and Pride party near Fort Lauderdale Beach. POTD expanded to two nights to help businesses which count on the big weekend for sales.
Hunters’ and Alibi’s parking lots will be the center of attention. But the events are, technically, just parking lot parties.
Jeff Sterling of Wilton Manors Entertainment Group (WMEG) says POTD is a marketing concept designed to help any and all businesses along Wilton Drive have a successful weekend.
He told OutSFL that WMEG would promote any bar or restaurant this weekend, and POTD is in no way linked or tied down to one location.
This is somewhat of a surprise to Hunters. Despite shelling out more than $45,000 for talent, staging, and other costs for the weekend, their logo is absent from much of the prominent advertising. In addition to holding the events, Hunters is supporting a VIP area for PFL and making a donation to the organization.
However, according to people close to the event, Thunderpuss and Kristine W concerts are PFL’s events, not Hunters, and PFL is doing the ads. WMEG is doing POTD ads, prominently featuring PFL, but no venues.
If you’re confused, you’re not the only one. “It’s chaos.” Those were the words of Hunters’ Bruce Howe when trying to explain the situation.
In the end, both Howe and Sterling believe commitment to community is more important than who gets credit. Wilton Manors and the LGBTQ community support the weekend and pack the Drive. That is what Sterling wants.
“I don’t really care why; we just want them to come here.”