Disco Tea Party Brings Hamptons Queer Community Together
There’s a new local queer party in the Hamptons called Disco Tea — and, yes, you can finally dust off your dancing shoes when you’re out east.
Brought to you by chef and event planner Blake Sterling, Disco Tea is bringing the Hamptons’ LGBTQ+ community together on a monthly basis for a no-cover dance party that, until this summer, was conspicuously missing from South Fork social calendars.
“There’s [no event] that had a monthly ongoing presence, that also has no cover, that also has a live DJ,” says Sterling, who splits time between a home in Springs and another in Brooklyn, and who recently became a father. “There was a void there. So many people asked me, ‘Why you? Why now?’ People have been talking about doing something like this for decades.”
The Bridgehampton bar and restaurant Almond is known for its gay-friendly atmosphere and tends to act as a casual Friday meeting place for the local queer community; however, until Disco Tea planted its first rainbow flag at the Old Stove Pub in June, there was little in the way of an organized, promoted event uniting that same community in one setting.
The Disco Tea parties have thus far been just that, as well as a smashing success, Sterling says. The former chef’s apprentice at former Brooklyn eatery Blanco says he’s already strategizing about ways to keep the party going year-round. Between the music, the crowd, and the general vibes, the word has started to spread and interest in being part of the event is taking off.
“People are talking about it in Fire Island and P-town, and in the city people are starting to come out for it … it’s been organically word of mouth. We definitely want to expand it … someone said it could be like the gay Coachella of the Hamptons … I do imagine it growing into something that is much bigger than just the local community,” Sterling says.
Sterling, who’s been working in hospitality since he was a teenager, is known for throwing very exclusive parties from Oscar parties in LA to private NDA-sealed Hamptons affairs. The beauty of Disco Tea, he said, is that it’s open to everyone, regardless of how you identify.
“My husband said his favorite thing was that there were so many generations [at the events], and people of all different ages were talking and mixing and mingling and dancing,” Sterling adds.
Although the first three events were held at the Old Stove Pub in Bridgehampton, Sterling said he’s received numerous requests from local venues — and private individuals — who want to hold the party, and he’s keeping the final location for September’s event a secret until the week before, mostly for crowd control.
The music at the parties has so far been provided by DJ Martial. “Pure joy and euphoria,” Sterling says about the vibes. “DJ Martial’s music is so light and upbeat and happy … it’s remixed pop and disco, and songs that people can just sing along to and get lost in the moment.”
The last Disco Tea party was sponsored by the dating app Archer, and proceeds from the events help support youth-related LGBTQ+ charities.
“People were coming up to me like I was the gay Mother Teresa rescuing children off the street,” Sterling joked about the reception he’s gotten for Discotea from the Hamptons queer community. “It was so sweet and overwhelming … people were just like, thank you so much, our community needs this.”
For more information, go to discoteahamptons.com