Downtown’s BONAVENTURE HOTEL was home to L.A.’s largest — and longest, at nearly two days — New Year’s Eve party, GIANT VENTURE, thrown by promoter DAVE DEAN, and featuring DJs SANDRA COLLINS, DANNY HOWELLS, JASON BENTLEY, PAUL OAKENFOLD and CRYSTAL METHOD. Not only did the 10,000 tix sell out, but so did all the hotel rooms, which were available only to party guests. The registration line of mostly 20-somethings (with mismatched wheelless, of course, soft luggage) snaked well around the two acres of indoor lake immortalized in the sci-fi flick Logan’s Run — and much like in Logan’s Run, the over-30s were pretty scarce at this scene. The men were the best argument yet for that played-out Queer Eye for the Straight Guy phenom. Even the shiny-shirted circuit queens in attendance could have used some help from the fab five. The hotel’s signature glass elevators were packed as tight as olive jars with ecstatically smiling party people traveling up and down to the six different event sites spread throughout the hotel. At 3 a.m. the pleasure palace folded down to just the Pasadena Room, where finally security had something to do (not a single problem all night) when water-gun-wielding go-go artiste HANNAH SIM couldn’t take the heat of her plastic costume any longer and stripped down to what she usually performs in — her skin, which evidently is not allowed at the Bonaventure. She was egged on by the throng watching her perform in a multilevel neon plexi cube that also contained a Taiwanese television crew and three wheelchair-bound hunks. At 11 a.m. a couple of hundred sunglasses-sporting revelers moved poolside to the bash hosted by NAKED LA (for an additional 10 clams), but it was all grins and no baring it. No one swam. By 10 p.m. the still-smiling crowd was migrating to the reopened VIP room, featuring the last DJs standing, ARCHITECTS OF SOUND and DJ SOL. And these hardy revelers were doubtlessly still smiling as they headed out of downtown on Friday morning.
Clubsters who chose to avoid the crowds and commotion of downtown’s Giant and Together as One New Year’s Eve parties may have thought Hollywood a better option, but it ultimately proved no less chaotic or congested. The most crammed jam may have been at the HOLLYWOOD ATHLETIC CLUB, where the annual cluster of rock/new wave/electro/pop promotions attracted its biggest turnout ever. It was nearly impossible to get from room to room, especially the mega-clogged Synthetic/Bang area, where Interpol’s electro-goth gawd CARLOS and Moving Units’ rockin’ roboto BLAKE spun the geometric-haircut set into a frenzy with bleepy beats; meanwhile, in the main ballroom, go-go queen MZ. ALLANA and DJ king JOSEPH BROOKS conjured up the spirit of the much-missed Club Makeup. But the real mayhem was taking place, as it so often does, in the less crowded rooms: Designer JARED GOLD mugged among the glammed-out posers at APOLLO STARR’s photo-fantasy booth; an out-of-control pillow fight left the entire upper level of the building in wet feathers by the beginning of 2004; in the downstairs pool room, Party Monster JAMES ST. JAMES accosted young fellows, film crew in tow, for some kind of gays-gone-wild-type doc. That’s one way to start the new year with a bang.