Back before Art Walk and at what Andres Rigal calls, “the tip” of gentrification, there were only a few venues open for summer fun. Besides The Standard, swimming pools were a luxury that DTLA just didn’t have, and then he gave us SummerTramp.
There year was 2010. Andres Rigal wanted to produce a summer party but was having a hard time finding an available pool. Tired of the pretentious pool scene in Los Angeles where they may have people, a body of water, music, and the appropriate spirits, still Rigal felt something about the experience didn’t convince him it was intended to be fun.
“I asked myself, what happened to celebrating summer? So, after some deep thought, I decided to pick up the torch and produce the official anti-LA pool party aka parking lot above ground pool party with a inflatable waterslide. A party for everyone.”
At an early age when most of his friends were idolizing the latest pop-star or sports figure, Rigal was looking up to nightlife luminaries and impresarios like Steve Rubell and more recently, Brent Bolthouse as these, to him, were mythical creatures of the night.
“I remember thinking how for one night these guys would create another world right out of their imaginations. I mean, how cool is that?”
Rigal spent years working his way up in the talent agency business at Creative Artists Agency where oversaw live musical tours for acts like Green Day and Katy Perry, but soon found he wasn’t happy. A close friend got him a gig booking at Bardot where he met Luke Nero. It was a match made in hedonistic heaven, and inspired him to throw his most successful event, the saucy outdoor hap, known to most as SummerTramp.
SummerTramp is a celebration of unity within the gay community. When Rigal first produced SummerTramp he was surprised that the LGBTQ scene was so divided. So he intentionally programmed the parties with all sides of Los Angeles, to create a space where everyone could let their hair down, take their clothes off, be themselves and ultimately raise their freak flag without any judgment.
Summertramp is a place without imaginary lines of East vs. West. A hidden paradise where drag queens flirt with lesbians, bears swim with Cholas, WEHO boys makeout with DTLA queens, daddies canoodle with twinks, brown meets white, meets all the colors of the rainbow, meets gay guys, meets ladies, and everyone leaves excited to come back next month. Oh, if you’re straight, that’s okay too…
”We’re all children of the sun. That’s what I love about it. It’s an amazing mix of people of all stripes and dots celebrating unity & summer TOGETHER.”
Today, Andres Rigal is a Nightlife/Special Event Producer and the co-founding member of the DTLA Proud Festival. The PROUD incarnation of SummerTramp will be much larger than it’s original drag mother. The event will be on a giant 16,000 sq ft Astro-Turfed lot in Pershing Square and will have two pools, a giant inflatable shark waterslide, and a massive octopus dry slide, all within the festival.
SummerTramp is purposely programmed with the best DJs in Los Angeles, from all corners of nightlife. This is an huge part of the diversity and success of SummerTramp. Each DJ has a chance to spin their own flavor for 1 hour, which keeps the event dynamic, interesting and accessible.
“Ultimately, SummerTramp is the people’s summer party and we try and program it that way.”
When Rigal’s not making DTLA wet and wild, he’s working on his other brands like his weekly Saturday night event Commodore at Henry’s in West Hollywood or his monthly events MR. BLACK and EVITA which move around the city to different venues.
When taking a break from the monstrous party scenes he helps create, Rigal takes time out to appreciate classic cars, and fancies himself as a huge car nerd. Check out SummerTramp during PROUD Fest, August 7th at Pershing Square.