Austin’s ‘Wolf Pack’ hosts Texas’ first-ever lesbian resort takeover
Once upon a time, four women joined together to form a pack. Their mission: To the change the landscape of how lesbians meet and play.
Michelle Solórzano Daly and Kelly West, along with their best friends Gabby Ayala and Ashley Marshall, joined together to form a company, Wolf Pack Productions. But everyone knows them as the Wolf Pack.
They’ve crafted happy hours and Pride events. They host regular, massive ladies’ nights at Austin’s new LGBTQ club, Highland Lounge.
They’ve proven that they know how to bring the girls and they know what the girls want. And now their biggest event is about to unfold — Plezzure Island, the first-ever all-female Texas resort takeover, coming to Galveston at the end of the month. The lesbian/woman centered (trans inclusive) event is a weekend of pool parties, a beach party, nighttime entertainment, DJs and a slew of lesbian celebs, including DJs, writers and TV stars.
The weekend opens with a VIP cocktail party and “speed dating” session. Friday includes a ton of daytime events, followed that night by a pajama party called The Sleepover, followed Saturday by a performance by Hunter Valentine and more activities.
We tapped the ’Pack to find out why they created this event and what they hope it will deliver.
— Jenny Block
Dallas Voice: Lesbians have a bad rep for not wanting to go out. Do you think that stereotype is true? Ayala: This has been a stereotype of the lesbian community for a long time. There is the belief that we go out when we are single and then stay home knitting and drinking tea and raising our cats when we couple up.
Our community is so diverse that it is tough to make a blanket statement and say we are all one thing or one way. What we found out from the success of Lesbutante and The Boss events is that maybe the once a month and occasional happy hour is the right cadence.
There is something so incredibly exciting about seeing 400 to 500 women gather, so our goal is to create a space where that happens. We have done that in Austin with L&B and now we are taking the show on the road to bring that party to a greater audience. Us lesbians are a fun people. We like to go out. We like to socialize and we know how to party. You can’t put us in a box… unless we want to be.
What made you think there was a need/desire for an event like this? Daly: There’s the Dinah Shore in Palm Springs; Aqua Girl in Miami; and Girls in Wonderland in Orlando. So what do we have left? Middle America and the great state of Texas.
They say everything is bigger and better in Texas, and that’s what we are about to show the world with a touch of good old southern hospitality. The expenses pile up when you have to book flights, rent cars, purchase weekend passes, budget for alcohol/food etc. Texas is such a large state that we expect 80 percent of our attendees to come just from all of the different cities in Texas, including Austin, Dallas, Corpus Christi, San Antonio, Houston and Laredo; although we have women coming from the D.C. area, Denver, New Orleans, and Florida.
By hosting a four-day event like this in Texas, it will allow those who haven’t been able to afford going elsewhere the opportunity to experience a space where they can be themselves; make long lasting friendships; find love; and meet others just like themselves.
Other than having a great time, what do you hope attendees will get out of this weekend? Ayala: This event is about so much! A great time will be the baseline for this experience. We are also bringing a sense of community to this event. Whether you roll in with a whole crew or by yourself, we want you to leave with new friends. You will have at least four after meeting us.
We are taking it back to summer camp where you meet a whole bunch of cool kids and you cannot wait to see them the next year. Last but not least is the southern hospitality our guests will experience. I remember when I moved to Austin from California the biggest thing that stood out was how nice everyone here is! We want to give that to our guests who are visiting from all over the country.
Is this more of a couples event, a singles event, or both? Marshall: Definitely an event for both — we’re focused on providing a space for attendees to enjoy with old friends, make new friends, and maybe even find a special someone… even if it’s only for the weekend. Our speed-dating event straddles both aspects — not only focused on hooking people up but also introducing attendees to the women with whom they’ll be sharing the experience.
What are you most excited about the weekend? Ayala: I am so excited for the moment that I can step back and look at the crowd. I just want to watch the crowd enjoy the experience we have created. Enjoy each other and the vibe. I can already see it. Goosebumps.
Marshall: I can’t wait to see all of the events come to fruition but I’m most excited about our Friday night event, The Sleepover — we’ve got such an exciting evening planned with a live performance by BedPost Confessions (one of my favorite Austin performance groups) and our favorite DJ, DJ Citizen Jane, who has flown in from Miami for the weekend. The vibe is going to be very sexy and vibrant — although I still need to pick out my pajamas.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 23, 2016.