#BOOM!, the drug and alcohol-free New Year’s Eve event that takes place in West Hollywood was cancelled this year. In its place, the City of West Hollywood is co-sponsoring “VIBEZ: A Sober New Year Celebration” organized by The Phoenix, a 501(c)(3) organization that leads events and programming for the sober community in Los Angeles and across the country. VIBEZ will take place on December 31, 2022 from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. in Fiesta Hall at Plummer Park, 1200 N. Vista Street.
A WeHo City staff report states that VIBEZ will provide a safe space for sober people to celebrate the New Year with others in recovery, away from the typical substance-heavy events and parties that mark the holiday. The event will feature drag entertainment, a local sober DJ, dancing, light refreshments and New Year’s countdown. Other fun, wellness activities still in development include tarot reading, intention setting, massages, arts and crafts, and a photo booth. The activities are incentives to gather and create the safe, healing, sober community that The Phoenix has replicated nationally.
The Phoenix is a sober activity community that provides free, active and engaging programming – such as rock climbing, CrossFit, yoga, dance classes, and social events
– to anyone in recovery from a substance use disorder or who chooses to live a sober
lifestyle. Phoenix is not a replacement for treatment, but offers a welcoming, safe and
supportive community to recover and heal, free to anyone with at least 48 hours of
Since 2014, the City of West Hollywood has co-sponsored #BOOM! in partnership with the Global Institute for Public Strategies. The event took place in the West Hollywood Auditorium before it was demolished and then virtually during COVID. The event created a fun and safe space for the West Hollywood community to ring in the New Year. The Institute for Public Strategies decided not to move forward with hosting #BOOM! this year. The Phoenix and some members of the sober community would like to organize VIBEZ in its place to ensure the sober community has a fun, safe space to ring in the new year. The event organizers plan to have 300-500 attendees throughout the evening. The requested budget for the event is $20,000. This funding will go towards: AV rentals and support, marketing, entertainment/talent, food & drink, decorations, and other activities.
This level of funding is consistent with the City’s allocation to the previous BOOM event
when it was held in person. The FY 2019 budget allocation for BOOM was $20,000 and
in FY 2020, the last year it was held in person before COVID, the allocation was increased
to $30,000. During COVID, a virtual event was held with a budget of $15,000. In Fiscal
Year 2022-2023, $15,000 was allocated to a sober New Year’s Eve event.
Since BOOM isn’t occurring, this funding ($15,000) will be allocated to the VIBEZ event,
in addition to another $5,000 from the Special Council Programs account to cover the full
$20,000 request. In addition to the $20,000 requested by the event organizer for the
event costs, this item approves an additional allocation of $1,000 to cover the City’s public
safety costs to have Block by Block Security Ambassadors on site at Plummer Park during
the event. The City will need to provide staffing for this event because it is taking place at
a City facility. As this is a holiday, staff will need to be paid overtime and holiday pay.
These costs will be absorbed by the City.
The item was in the consent at a regular city council meeting on December 5, 2022 and passed. See you at VIBEZ!