Nation.VI to be the grand finale, Fridae to focus on web and advocacy
13 Oct, 2006
Nation.VI, scheduled to be held in Phuket from 20-22 October, will be Fridae’s final event. The company, which also operates Asia’s largest gay and lesbian portal, will now focus on regional expansion and advocacy work.
Founded in 2001 with its main mission to “Empower Gay Asia,” Fridae has since been widely known for its innovative and industry leading social networking portal (www.fridae.com), and party events which have attracted tens of thousands of participants from all across Asia. It is considered to be a pioneer in Asia for planning large-scale, multi-day dance parties such as Nation and Snowball, Fridae’s events typically feature international headlining DJs and employ state of the art audiovisual equipment, pyrotechnics and lasers.
Widely considered to be one of Asia’s best party events, Nation has attracted some 8,000 people in 2004 in Singapore, leading the international press to dub Singapore the new “gay capital of Asia.” The party was subsequently moved to Phuket in 2005 due to political objection in Singapore, and has since received support from both the local government and the Tourism Authority of Thailand.
With close to 300,000 active users and a new women’s portal on the works, the company has made a decision to focus on taking its current portal to a new level and regional expansion.
Stuart Koe, founder and CEO of Fridae said: “When we first started throwing parties, the concept of a multi-day gay party with international DJs and punters flying in from around the world was fairly novel in Asia. Now, there are now a number of impressive party organisers in the region – it is time for Fridae to focus on empowering the Asian gay community through other means. Meanwhile, Fridae will remain committed to supporting and working closely with party organisers in the region as we have been.”
Fridae will now focus on building its industry leading portal, with Version 5 and a brand new women’s portal “W.Fridae” scheduled for launch in early 2007. Version 5 is expected to integrate many “Web 2.0” features such as blogging, photo and video sharing, as well as innovative new features to enhance the experience of Fridae’s members. Based on audited traffic data from Nielsen//Netratings, Fridae.com attracts 380,000 unique browsers and 50 million page impressions every month.
In addition, Fridae plans to launch a new advocacy network of activists, legal counsellors and support groups.
"Gays and lesbians in Asia continue to be subjected to institutional and political discrimination, homophobia and stigmatisation. One way to overcome this is for the various stakeholders across Asia to come together, learn from one another, and collaborate," said Dr Koe.
The Nation party, now in its sixth and final year, is expected to be one of the best events Fridae has produced. Headlining the party is two-time Grammy Award nominee Tony Moran, one of the most sought-after DJs on the party circuit. In addition, another nine DJs from eight countries will be featured, as will video-artists the Brothers Gruchy from Australia. This year, Fridae has partnered with famed women’s party organiser Two Queens of Singapore to produce W@Nation which will feature activities exclusively for women.
Both events will run concurrently from 20 to 22 October at the Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort & Spa with several W@Nation activities to be held at the Phuket Orchid Resort.