Day parties are not a novelty.
The last decade or two, day parties—or club-like festivities that take place during daylight hours—have taken place across the country, mostly as part of some major event like NBA All-Star Weekend or Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, for example.
But as of late, day parties are becoming a standard, standalone option, almost as popular and available as night parties, such as the ones that take place at nightclubs. And, in the last few years, San Diego has kicked off its own sizable day party scene, mostly with the help of some locally based organizations and others that have targeted it as a day party destination.
Host With the Most
Loren Cobbs, founder of San Diego Melanin, which hosts one to two day parties a month, said what makes the city an ideal location for these types of events is, first and foremost, the weather.
“San Diego is a beautiful city with great weather and a thriving young professional community,” she said. “These qualities make San Diego a great place for social engagements like day parties. Additionally, San Diego has some great DJs that we have been able to work with who set great vibes for our day parties.”
Its latest event took place on Sunday, Sept. 15 at the Rooftop by STK at the Andaz Hotel. Tickets for that day party, an end of summer soiree, ran between $15 and $25 per person.
Cobbs, who began hosting day parties in San Diego in 2017, said San Diego Melanin hosts 500 to 600 guests per party that generate thousands in revenue. She said the company generates nearly $180,000 in revenue on an annual basis and growing.
“Since we’ve launched, day parties have grown in popularity (locally),” said Cobbs. “We started throwing day parties a little over two years ago and we’ve seen the trend expand and grow exponentially since we started.”
Kazeem Omidiji, president and CEO of Association Entertainment Group LLC, hosts day parties roughly twice a month, with San Diego being one of the company’s rotating cities of choice. He said San Diego was handpicked by AEG because there was a demand for it.
“Day parties is a growing trend (in San Diego),” he said, adding that each of his events host 400 to 500 people. “There have always been (one or two) day parties in San Diego, but now they are targeting certain demographics … There was a demand for it here in San Diego, thus, it was a natural fit for the Association to help fill the void.”
Omidiji said through his travels, he was able to witness how other cities, like Washington, D.C. and Houston curated events for their communities, and he wanted to do the same for San Diego. He said he partners with local organizations such as Central San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce, Sip Wine & Beer, and Baja Society Tours for his day parties. He added there are incentives for all those involved, including the venue, which may see an increase of sales during that particular event/day, as well as possible returning customers.
All Ages Welcome
Cobbs agrees, stating that venue partners tend to increase sales as a result of day parties.
“San Diego Melanin day parties generate tens of thousands in revenue for our venues,” she said, “and a great crowd of folks who come to have a good time.”
Tonya Tolver, founder of Nation of Billions LLC, a San Diego-based company behind SDC Steppers and Melanated Over 40, the former which host day parties in San Diego on an annual basis, said these types of festivities not only target millennials, they also cater to an older crowd that still want to party but not be out all night.
“I believe (day parties) are becoming popular (because) of different demographics, such as age,” she said, adding that her events usually host up to 200 people and make between $2,000 and $3,500 each. “As we get older, we still want to have fun, just not all night … I can go out, have an awesome time with my friends, peers or co-workers, while drinking, eating and adulting, all before 8 p.m.? I’m choosing that option every time.”
Tolver added that Nation of Billions has worked with San Diego’s N City Sports Lounge and VYBZ Kitchen & Lounge, among others, and that the venues get exposure to new paying customers as a result of the partnership.
Billy Carter and Brian Levett, founders of Celebrity Entertainment, a San Diego-based party promotion company founded in 2018, said San Diego is late to the day party game, but is quickly catching up.
“San Diego is a transplant city due to our military population, (but) the day party culture… is very prevalent on the East Coast and in the South,” Carter said. He said that one of the major advantages to day parties is that, you can party all day and not necessarily regret it the next day since you can still get a full night’s sleep post day-partying.
Carter and Levett added that, thanks to other groups that came shortly before theirs, like San Diego Melanin, there is a sort of confirmation that day parties, particularly in local urban communities, can be successful and profitable in San Diego. As a result, they plan to not only promote events in S.D. come 2020, but also host their own.
Joshua Liberman, general manager of restaurants and bars at Kimpton Solamar Hotel in the Gaslamp Quarter, said the location’s rooftop venue, Upper East Bar, has hosted casual day parties since inception. But, in 2016, after noticing the demand for daytime festivities, it decided to shift focus and create a more elevated day party where guests could enjoy a craft cocktail, pool snacks, and a bottle of wine that has been specially selected for the downtown outdoor scene.
“We wanted a (day) party where our hotel and outside guests feel like they are at a friend’s pool party,” he said. “I love Vegas pool parties as much as everybody, but sometimes you want a party where you can engage in conversations with your friends and enjoy controlled chaos.”
Much like Cobbs, Liberman, who said day parties at Upper East Bar bring in 500 to 700 guests per event, credits San Diego’s almost static 75 degree and sunny weather pattern for its recent inflow of day parties. Rooftop parties are all over the United States, he said, but San Diego is fortunate enough to be able to host them nine out of 12 months out of the year.
This is in large part why the future of day parties in San Diego looks promising, according to those in the industry. And, local day party organizers and promoters are excited for its growth and for what’s to come.
“I’m truly happy to see the influx of events that have since emerged because it now means that San Diego has a diversity of events for the community to enjoy,” said Omidiji. “San Diego was lacking in this department for years and now there is a demand for such events.”