It’s the largest party event week for women who love women, and it’s a party for a cause.
Aqua Girl is a charity event that benefits the Aqua Foundation for Women, a not-for-profit foundation that promotes the equality, strength, health, and visibility of lesbian, bisexual, trans, and queer women.
“Everyone who attends gets to enjoy themselves and do good at the same time,” iCandee Events owner, Lynn Bove said.
The foundation provides direct funding, support and programs for the LGBT community. They also give grants and scholarships to leaders in the LGBT community.
Hosted at the oceanfront resort in the heart of South Beach, The National Hotel, Aqua Girl will be a week of parties and events, some offsite, starting at $155 a night. All events are 21 and over.
This year, Aqua Girl has moved it’s dates to September 27 through October 1.
“This year, we felt that there was a lot going on in the April, May and June across the country,” Bove said. “One of the biggest reasons we get a lot of tourists is simply because of our weather. Having Aqua Girl in late September early October was going to generate more of an interest from all the snowbirds specifically on the east coast.”
They are expecting over 5,000 women to attend for the 4 days of events.
Aqua Girl is celebrating 19 years of giving back to the community, and Alison Burgos, founder of Aqua Girl said she is “elated to come back and bring old and new friends together to create a reinvigorated Aqua Girl festival that is modern, and fresh.”
The inception of Aqua Girl started in 1999, with a slightly different concept. Burgos, along with Shescape, a women’s promotion company, held a fundraiser benefiting a not-for-profit organization providing support for people with cancer. Five hundred people showed up to the event, called Sweet Charity.
After the event’s success, in 2000, Burgos and Bove wanted to create a longer event: a 5-day party called Aqua Girl, with proceeds benefiting different charities. In 2004, the Aqua Foundation for Women was born.
“Our main event is the Aqualicious Pool party on Saturday afternoon. This year we are bringing in major staging and giving it more of a festival vibe. We also have a solid line-up of female DJ's from across the nation showcasing their talent. You will also be able to ‘rub elbows’ with some of the most popular LGBTQ influencers in the nation,” Bove said. If you book two nights at the host hotel, the pool parties are free.
The lineup of performers for the event include Grammy nominated singer/writer Leslie Cartaya, YouTuber Amber’s Closet, and singer Madison Paige.
“We would love to have Lady Gaga but it’s not in our budget,” Bove said jokingly.
Other artists include Leslie Cartaya, DJ Citizen Jane, and Zheno.
The talents are picked based on who “seem to be Aqua Girl favorites and other talent from around the nation that have a broad appeal and that are making a mark in the LGBTQ nightlife industry.”
Another highlight of the events for the week is the co-ed Evolution Tea Dance on Sunday. Bove said it’s “great to see both the guys and the girls having fun with each other.” This year, DJ/Producer Cindel and DJ Whitney Day will be spinning.
“We are so excited to be working with Aqua Girl again this year. We are always looking for new and exciting ways to elevate guests’ experiences while providing our own unique, fun and edgy advocacy, and I think us working with Aqua Girl on this event is a great place to do that,” said Eric Minor, Events Director at Impulse Group.
Impulse Group is a volunteer coalition of gay men, dedicated to promoting the sexual health of gay men around the world, in collaboration with the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. The event will take place at The National Hotel, but if co-ed isn’t your style, there are plenty of other female-only events.
“With nine cultural events, and parties to satisfy an array of tastes, everyone can join in the fun,” Bove said.