Should the City of West Hollywood spend funds on a sober New Year’s Eve party? That’s the question that will be discussed during a regular West Hollywood City Council meeting on Monday, November 20, 2023. In Agenda Item 6-D the City Council will consider a request to co-sponsor “VIBEZ: A Sober New Year Celebration” organized by The Phoenix and members of the sober community on December 31, 2023, from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. in West Hollywood Plummer Park’s Fiesta Hall.
The Phoenix is a 501c(3) organization that leads events and programming for the sober community in the Los Angeles region and across the country. The Phoenix is requesting to host “VIBEZ: A Sober New Year Celebration”, which provides 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 entertainment, a local sober DJ, dancing, light refreshments, and New Year’s countdown. Other fun, wellness activities such as tarot reading, intention setting, massages, arts and crafts, and a photo booth are scheduled for the event as well. 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. The 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 continuous sobriety.
Since 2014, the City of West Hollywood has funded a New Year’s Eve event called #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 was held virtually during COVID. The event created a fun and safe space for the West Hollywood community to ring in the New Year. Last year, the Global Institute for Public Strategies decided not to move forward with hosting #BOOM!.
Last year, The Phoenix hosted VIBEZ at Fiesta Hall and it had a strong turnout of attendees. This year, Global Institute for Public Strategies will be working collaboratively to support The Phoenix to ensure the sober community has a fun, safe space to ring in the new year.
Given that #BOOM! is not taking place this year, the event organizer is requesting use of the allocated budget, which amounts to $15,000, be redirected to the VIBEZ event. An additional allocation of $1,395 is being requested to cover the City’s public safety costs, which will involve having Block by Block Security Ambassadors present at Plummer Park during the event, and janitorial costs before and after the event. The City will need to provide staffing for this event because it is taking place at a City facility.
Last year’s event attracted an estimated 500-600 attendees throughout the evening. To address this, City staff will work closely with the event organizers to ensure adherence to Fiesta Hall’s capacity limits, which can host up to 300 people concurrently. Ensuring the safety and well-being of all attendees remains a top priority for City staff, and a plan will be in place to ensure the successful planning and execution of the event.
To learn more about The Phoenix, visit: https://thephoenix.org/