A talented party planner from Los Angeles to New York City and the Hamptons, Blake Sterling is bringing his passion and creativity to the East End with the launch of Disco Tea, the Hamptons new queer monthly summer party.
With over two decades of experience, Sterling has worked in some of the hottest bars and restaurants in New York City and hosted celebrations from Oscar events in Los Angeles to chic garden parties in the Hamptons. As a classically trained chef, he is involved in creating the full experience from food and beverage to music, lighting, florals, and beyond.
After kicking off Disco Tea on June 17th for Pride Month, the activation is on the brink of hosting its third event on August 19th at Old Stove Pubs’s outdoor garden in Sagaponack. Each monthly event highlights a LGBTQ+ charity with proceeds benefiting the life changing services they offer.
Hamptons Social spoke with Sterling about his inspiration for creating the event, how he transformed his vision of Disco Tea into a reality, and the importance of always bringing an element of surprise.
What inspired you to create Disco Tea?
BLAKE STERLING: Gathering at “tea” has been a staple in the queer community since the 1950s when we weren’t allowed to legally congregate. The Hamptons are a magical place, but there aren’t any monthly queer parties for our community to gather, so creating that space to bring the queer community together was at the heart of it all.
What do we have to look forward to this summer with Disco Tea?
At every event, I love offering an element of surprise, so for our last summer Disco Tea on August 19th I’ll be bringing in one of my favorite new dancing drag queens to perform a showstopping mega-mix of songs that’s going to blow our guests away. You’ll have to show up to see who it is!
Can you tell me about planning the event? What are some of the details you came up with?
STERLING: Finding the perfect location was not easy because having a DJ was a must and the Hamptons have many noise ordinances, so we needed a space with no neighbors close by. Thankfully, every venue I pitched was more than happy to host, so we had our choice in the end. I settled on Old Stove Pubs’s outdoor garden area for its beautiful private space with an existing tent offering a rain or shine experience. Each month, we’re highlighting an incredible LGBTQ+ charity with proceeds benefiting the life changing services they offer.
You have already thrown two successful Disco Tea events in the Hamptons this summer. Can you give us a glimpse inside them?
The first two events were such a surprise success. When throwing a party that has no real precedent, you have no idea how it will be received, or if anyone will show, but the community truly did! For our first two events, we had over 300 queer and ally guests partying under the sun dancing to beats by our incredible, handsome DJ Martial Simon. The music was so good I danced for hours with guests.