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15 Aug 2005

superstar DJs manny lehman and kate monroe to play at nation.V, crowne plaza three-quarters sold

As the Kata-Karon Council is now reconsidering their decision at the Governor's request, Fridae will evaluate several alternatives with the help of the Governor's office in view of the possibility that Karon Stadium may not be a feasible venue for Nation.

Top gay circuit DJs, American Manny Lehman and Australian Kate Monroe, have been confirmed to play at Nation.V on Nov 5 while American David Knapp at the poolside Splash T dance party on Nov 6.

A veteran of major US circuit parties, Manny Lehman has been at the turntables off-and-on for more than a decade before catapulting to DJ stardom with the mega-success such events as the 1999 Palm Springs White Party and Montreal's Black and Blue Recovery Party. Lehman, who's known to be a great fan of the diva vocals and progressive tribal tracks, can also heard on the Queer as Folk Series 2 Soundtrack CD.

Dubbed Australia's First Lady of House, Monroe has been repeatedly voted one of the top 20 DJs in Australia by Inthemix. Her distinctive style has led to an extensive touring schedule over the past five years around New Zealand, Asia and the US. Monroe's regular appearances in her home country includes the Harbour Party in the Domain (Sydney), Winterdaze and Red Raw (Melbourne); and her residencies at Sublime and Queer Nation at Home Niteclub.

After graduating from the University of Miami Law School and passed the Bar Exam, David Knapp decided to follow his passion for music, which has since spanned two decades. Often referred to as The People's DJ because of his unique ability to make each crowd feel like it's the most important party he's ever played, Knapp has held prestigious residencies at Twilo (NYC) and Salvation (Miami), and he has been hailed one of the six top and most influential DJs in America by GQ Magazine in its July 2000 issue. He was also featured alongside Danny Tenaglia, Eddie X, Junior Vasquez and Victor Calderone in the 2002 documentary about global DJs called Dance Culture In The Mix.

In addition to the three main parties organised by Fridae, the region's leading gay party organisers have also confirmed their involvement in co-hosting five parties held at the Crowne Plaza Karon Phuket Beach and Phuja Nirvana @ Phuket Festival. Partygoers will be treated to leading Asian circuit DJs including David S (Taiwan), Rock G (Hong Kong) and Sawa (Japan). Co-organisers include HX Production and Cocktail (Hong Kong); G5, Wonderland and Follow Me (Taiwan); Paradise Ball (Japan); and Liquid (Malaysia). This marks the first ever collaboration between the major event organisers from the region on this scale.
One of the published venues, Karon Stadium, may however have to be changed due to a breakdown in talks with the local city council.

Despite having been given the go ahead by Governor Udomsak Uswarangkura and the Tourism Authority of Thailand Phuket, the Kata-Karon Council has voiced concerns over noise levels and closing times.

The Council's decision however, only affects two of the nine parties planned. The schedule and locations for the other seven parties to be held at Crowne Plaza and Phuja Nirvana remain unchanged.

The Governor of Phuket and the Tourism Authority of Thailand expressed the city's honour to host Fridae's fifth annual gay and lesbian party, which is recognised as the largest event of its kind in Asia.

Phuket Governor Udomsak Uswarangkura said: "Phuket is pleased and honoured to host the Nation party organised by Fridae. The city has much to offer visitors in terms of hospitality and we will work closely with the organisers to ensure that the event is a successful one."

The event also has the support of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, which expects the events to attract at least 2,000 people and generate 24 million baht for the island over three days.

Ms Suwalai Pinpradab, Director of Tourism Authority of Thailand Phuket said: "Phuket very much welcomes travellers from all over the world and looks forward to playing host to this internationally acclaimed event. It is a good opportunity to introduce Phuket as an alternative destination to Bangkok for first time visitors."

Fridae, who is working together with the Police on security issues, is appreciative to have the support of the relevant authorities.

"We are committed to working closely with the Governor's office, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and the Phuket Business Association to ensure the success of Nation.V. We are grateful for the warm welcome that they have extended to the thousands of Fridae members who are planning to visit Phuket in November," said Dr Stuart Koe, CEO of Fridae.

Mr Joseph Zitnik, General Manager of Crowne Plaza Karon Beach - the party's host hotel - shares the organiser's enthusiasm in playing an integral role in Nation.V: "The hotel, along with the entire tourism community of Phuket, looks forward to supporting this well organised, high quality event for the enjoyment of all participants."

Nation.V partygoers will enjoy exclusive use of Crowne Plaza Karon Beach Phuket where all pool and after-hours parties will be held.

The hotel has sold out its Villas while the take-up rate for rooms are more than three quarters for the period since it accepted bookings less than three weeks ago.

At Governor Udomsak's request, the Kata-Karon Council is now reconsidering their decision. In view of the possibility that Karon Stadium may not be a feasible venue for Nation, Fridae is currently evaluating several alternatives with the help of the Governor's office and the TAT.

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