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It's Vegas Season, Baby: 18 Highlights for Your Summer Itinerary



With Memorial Day now in the rearview mirror, you may be suffering from an acute case of summeritis, itching to get away and let loose. While we'll have to wait for the solstice on June 21 to officially cannonball into summer, there is another season that's already underway, one you may have been waiting all year for: Vegas Season.

Las Vegas has long been known as one of the top destinations for LGBT travelers. And Vegas Season is all about celebrating the LGBT community and giving visitors exactly what they want: great weather, good times and no rules. And you have the entire summer to celebrate in unrestrained style. This season Vegas is offering enough activities to keep any LGBT Vegas-goer busy all summer long.

Check out some of Vegas Season's hottest dates — sure to tempt you, below...

Mandalay Bay Beach Concert Series


With 11 lush tropical acres, a sand-and-surf beach, lazy river, four pools including a wave pool capable of six foot waves, the Beach at Mandalay Bay (favorited by Towleroad readers as the most beautiful pool) is unlike anything else you'll experience in Las Vegas. Making this space even more unique is the beachfront Mandalay Bay Stage which rises over the resort's wave pool and lets concert-goers bring blankets, sit on the beach, wade into the surf, or rent a relaxing beach bungalow or villa for a more exclusive concert experience.

Here are some highlights:

6a00d8341c730253ef01b7c78f54fc970b-200wiChris Young will be hitting Mandalay Bay on June 6. This Grammy-nominated vocalist is also frequently declared one of country music’s sexiest men by People and Country Weekly magazines. So get ready to say, howdy. Next up in the concert series is 311, who will be treating the crowd to 311's hits, classics and rarities on over Independence Day weekend on July 3 and 4. And Grammy winner winner, humanitarian, singer, songwriter and producer Ziggy Marley rounds out the Mandalay's season on July 31. After seeing him on the Mandalay stage, you’re sure to be feeling “Wild and Free.”

The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas Boulevard Pool Concerts


The Cosmopolitan (another Towleroad reader favorite) features three distinct pool experiences unique to Las Vegas including their famed Boulevard Pool complete with a stage where unconventional artists and the biggest names in music perform live concerts. 

Neontrees_364X287First up this Vegas Season, Southern stud Billy Currington will bring his handsome assets and country swagger to The Cosmopolitan as he performs songs from his fifth studio album, We Are Tonight, on May 29Out and proud Mormon pop star Tyler Glenn will take The Cosmopolitan stage along with his Neon Trees bandmates and indie pop-rock singer-songwriter Alex Winston come June 12, dishing out the sleek, modern alternative brand of pop the band is known for. Following them will be the Barenaked Ladies with the Violent Femmes and Collin Hay on July 18. The BNL will be performing tracks from their latest album, Grinning Streak while the Violent Femmes will cover classics like "Blister in the Sun" as well as songs from their new EP, Happy New Year. The Cosmopolitan's summer concert series will conclude with Slightly Stoopid on August 14, bringing the band's unique fusion of folk, rock, reggae, blues, hip-hop, funk, metal and punk to the Boulevard Pool.

4B0D0227DD3664DC1BFE91586F63FE53Mariah Carey, The Residency at Caesars Palace

Mariah Carey, the best-selling female artist of all time, arrived at her new home, The Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas on April 27, marking the official start of her Las Vegas residency. With 18 Billboard Hot 100 #1 singles (17 self-penned), more than any solo artist in history, Mariah’s Vegas headlining residency, titled “MARIAH #1 TO INFINITY,” will be a career-spanning chronological celebration of her #1 hits. To mark her arrival, Mariah rolled into town with a parade of 18 mobile billboards, each representing one of her inimitable #1 hits. Expect similar showmanship when Mariah hits The Colosseum stage. 

Upcoming show dates are July 8, 11, 12, 15, 18, 19, 22, 25, 26.

Insomniac Electric Daisy Carnival 2015, 6/19-6/21

Electric Daisy Carnival, produced by Insomniac Events, is one of the biggest music festivals in the United States. Each year, this celebration of electronic dance music reaches new heights with state-of-the-art lighting design, large-scale art installations, interactive circus and theatrical performances, and unparalleled audience participation. 

25A9CA43E1F083E9175486819ADF85EDMelissa Etheridge, 8/7

Out gay rock icon Melissa Etheridge is bringing her show-stopping style and a collection of brand new songs to Las Vegas this summer. Fresh off her new album, "This Is M.E.," the Oscar and Grammy Award-winner is hitting the road with new hits as well as some of her best known songs including "Come to My Window," "I'm the Only One" and "I Want to Come Over.” 

Eddie Izzard, 6/12-6/13

Making a stop in Las Vegas during his Force Majeure World Tour, renowned comedian Eddie Izzard will be performing for a limited, two-night engagement. Izzard began his latest tour in March of 2013 and by its completion will have performed in more than 25 countries on five continents--and in three languages! Perhaps best known for Dressed to Kill and his appearances in Ocean’s Twelve and Ocean’s Thirteen, Izzard’s unique, tangential, absurd and surreal brand of comedy cracks up audiences everywhere he goes. 

Aretha Franklin, 8/14

The Queen of Soul and the No. 1 vocalist of all time according to Rolling Stone, Ms. Aretha Franklin will be performing at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace for one night only this summer. Franklin recently released a new album, Aretha Franklin Sings the Great Diva Classics. Among the songs included are Adele's "Rolling in the Deep" (with a bridge from the Motown classic "Ain't No Mountain High Enough") as well as a mash-up of "I Will Survive,” Destiny's Child's "Survivor" and "I'm Every Woman.” Fans will be pleased to know Aretha will sing these and other hits when she hits the strip in August.

8D8493A0E02116FDB4DE4F8869020132Kathy Griffin7/3

D-list diva Kathy Griffin is bringing her notorious brand of barbed comedy to The Venetian Las Vegas just in time for 4th of July and, as always, her show promises to be a no-holds-barred takedown of anyone and anything in the news and on our minds today. Lovers of sarcasm, truth-telling, political criticism and outspoken humor are sure to be rolling in the aisles.

Kelly Clarkson, 8/15

The Grammy-award-winning Kelly Clarkson is back on tour this summer with her latest album, Piece by Piece, featuring fresh hits like “Heartbeat Song” and “Invincible”, a brash empowerment anthem that is signature Kelly Clarkson. Performing at Mandalay Bay, the original American Idol will also be joined by the aca-awesome Pentatonix who are known for their stylish and inventive covers of pop hits as well as their own original songs. 

ENVY1449Shedonism 9/17-9/21

Known as the official women’s events of Las Vegas Pride, this jam-packed weekend celebrates the feminine art of being sinful. Excess, indulgence and debauchery reign supreme here, with devotion to pleasure being de rigueur and un-lady-like behavior highly encouraged. Day parties, nightclub parties, pop stars, singers, dancers, performers, DJ’s, comedians, show girls, poker tournaments & a parade (just to name a few) combine to provide an “L”GBT experience like no other.

PoolLas Vegas PRIDE, September

Held each year at the Clark County Amphitheater’s beautiful outdoor main stage, Las Vegas Pride offers an expansive food court, convenient drink stations with hot bartenders from local LGBT bars and more than 100 exhibitors on site. The Pride also has family friendly offerings, with a Family Activity Zone filled with fun activities for parents and children 12 and under.x

Gay Days Las Vegas, 9/8 - 9/14

In its 4th year, Gay Days Las Vegas 2015 will include a travel-retail expo, pool parties, and other events all around town. In case that isn't alluring enough, a portion of the proceeds from Gay Days benefits local non-profit organizations. Who said partying wasn't philanthropic?

Ricky Martin, 9/15

As part of his One World Tour, gay and latino pop icon Ricky Martin will perform at Las Vegas' Planet Hollywood this summer with songs off his brand new album A Quien Quiera Escucher (To Whomever Wants to Listen). The most personal and intimate album Martin's released to date, A Quien Quiera Escucher includes the song "Disparo al Corazón" ("Shot to the Heart”), the video for which has the Latin stud celebrating marriage equality and paying tribute to love in all its various forms.

It's only a little bit of what Vegas has in store for you. To find out more about celebrating Vegas Season and planning your get away, be sure to click HERE


Ellen Tags Along With Gay Teen and His Straight Best Friend to See How Their Prom Date Went: VIDEO


Last month we reported on Anthony Martinez, the gay student at Desert Oasis High School, who tweeted that he really wanted a guy as his date to prom. Jacob Lescenski, his straight best friend, stepped in with a "promposal" that might be the sweetest display of true friendship ever.

Shortly after their story went viral, Ellen invited the two best friends on her show to let more of the world know their story and to reward the couple with two $10,000 checks for making a difference.

Ellen's camera crew were on hand at the prom this past Saturday to see how the special night (and the duo's memorable/nerve-wracking slow dance) went down. Jacob's parents were also interviewed and what they had to say really put things in focus.

"For a lot of people it really touched them to not really worry too much what someone else might think," said Jacob's mom. "It's amazing that two juniors in high school could actually make the world think a little bit." added Jacob's dad.



Continue reading "Ellen Tags Along With Gay Teen and His Straight Best Friend to See How Their Prom Date Went: VIDEO" »

Walmart Refused to Write 'Gay' on Cake Celebrating Gay-Straight 'Promposal' - VIDEO


As we reported earlier, a cake celebrating the adorable promposal shared by Nevada teen best friends Jacob Lescenski, straight, and Anthony Martinez, gay, was censored by a local Walmart bakery that refused to give Martinez's aunt a cake with the word "gay" on it.

AUNTFox 5 KVVU reports:

Sandoval said the initial associate told her she couldn't write that on the cake because it included the word "gay," and that was against store policy. She then asked to speak with a supervisor.

"[The] Supervisor takes my phone, looks at it, and was like stuck for a minute, and she was like, 'OK, I'm sorry, we can't use this'. And then I said, 'I'm going to ask you what I asked her because you're the supervisor. Why can't I use this? I don't understand. It's one word. It's gay,'" Sandoval said.

Not able to use her original idea, Sandoval instead had "You matter, Prom Kings" written on the cake. 

According to Fox 5 News, Walmart claims "proper management wasn't contacted" during the incident and that "nowhere in their store's policy does it say the word 'gay' can't be written on a cake":

A store manager is set to contact Sandoval to make this wrong right. Sandoval said although she appreciates the gesture, it's a little too late.

"It wasn't hurtful. It was to make my nephew happy, to see a smile on his face. I love that smile, to see that smile, that's all I wanted, and I'm disappointed. I really am," Sandoval said.

Watch the news report from Fox 5, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Walmart Refused to Write 'Gay' on Cake Celebrating Gay-Straight 'Promposal' - VIDEO" »

'Teen Vogue' Documents Gay Teen and His Straight Best Friend On Their Hella Cute Prom Night: VIDEO


6a01bb07a7d602970d01b8d108b903970c-500wiYou will likely recall a story we brought you last month of of a gay teen near Las Vegas, Nevada receiving an adorable "promposal" from his straight best friend. Anthony Martinez had wanted--badly--to go with a guy to prom and took to Twitter to make his desire known. It was Anthony's tweet that caught his straight best friend Jacob Lescenski's attention. Jacob decided he would ask Anthony to prom and do it in a big way. He had his friends help make a giant poster for Anthony that read, "you're hella gay, i'm hella str8, but you're like my brother, so be my d8?" The promposal went viral and even landed the duo on Ellen. 

Now, Teen Vogue has tagged along with Anthony and Jacob to document their prom night, meet their families and find out a little more about their friendship. 

RELATED POST: Ellen Has a Surprise for the Straight Guy and the Gay Best Friend He Invited to Prom.

PromThough heartwarming, their story is not without reminders of prejudice. One of Anthony's family members had planned to get Anthony a cake that read, "You're gay, he's straight; you're going to prom, you couldn't have had a better date" but the bakery refused to make the cake because it had the word "gay" in the writing. 

Talking about the experience, Jacob says, "I expected people to say, 'This is different. This is not OK.' But it is OK. And that's what we're trying to prove."

Watch as the boys shop for tuxes, talk about their friendship and enjoy the big night, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "'Teen Vogue' Documents Gay Teen and His Straight Best Friend On Their Hella Cute Prom Night: VIDEO" »

Gay Teen ‘Promposed’ To By Straight Best Friend Thanks Supporters: VIDEO

Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 12.44.33 PM

Social media exploded last week with an outpouring of love and positivity toward two Las Vegas high school students after straight student Jacob Lescenski asked his gay best friend, Anthony Martinez, if he wanted to go to prom with him.

Now Lescenski and Martinez are returning the love by acknowledging their supporters in a video posted to Martinez's Instagram. The two shot the video while at a state conference for their school and although Martinez noted they were both tired from the conference, they both wanted to take time out of their busy day to thank their supporters. 


Continue reading "Gay Teen ‘Promposed’ To By Straight Best Friend Thanks Supporters: VIDEO" »

Gay Teen’s Straight Friend Asks Him To Prom With Hella Cute ‘Promposal’

Screen Shot 2015-04-24 at 12.17.37 PM

Despite the series of inappropriate prom proposals appearing in various news stories this prom season, a young gay teen received an adorable "Promposal," from his straight best friend reports newnownext. Las Vegas high school student Anthony Martinez posted to Twitter that he wished a boy at his school would ask him to prom, stating that he didn’t care whether it was an official date or not but just a date to the school prom.

Martinez's straight best friend, Jacob Lescenski considers Martinez as a brother to him and decided to ask him to prom after his other date declined. Lescenski asked close friends of his to help him assemble and create a giant poster for Martinez.

Said Lescenski:

"I decided on going to prom alone because my original date idea didn't work out so well. Then one night I saw Anthony, who is my best friend, tweeting about wanting a date.

"So, I came up with the poster idea, asked my friend Mia to make it and asked him that next day. No one knew about it except for me, my friend Jamie and Mia who made the poster. It was a giant surprise to everyone, especially Anthony!"

Lescenski "Promposed" to Martinez on Wednesday at school shortly after lunch where Martinez was in the lunch room selling prom tickets. After selling tickets, Martinez ascended a pair of stairs on his way to class where he was met by Lescenski and the giant poster asking him to prom. Martinez happily accepted Lescenski's cheeky "Promposal."

Said Martinez:

"I saw this giant poster and assumed it was for another person—until I read 'You're hella gay.'"

The proposal has since spread like wildfire across social media, with many of the posts praising and expressing positivity toward the two. Martinez has already clarified on Tumblr that the date will include pictures, dinner and dancing; strictly platonic of course.


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