"I had a great time seeing many friends and colleagues during BizBash Live in Los Angeles.
I was really impressed with Anthony Bollotta's new LGBT entertainment programs.
Check it out."
Photo: Dangilo Bonilla with Ross Mathews, Straight Talk with Ross cast and Bollotta crew.
EW: "Dangilo, the LGBT niche market is booming. Please tell us more."
Dangilo Bonilla, Bollotta Entertainment’s Operations Manager:
"Right you are! The market feels like it’s really starting to take off and we are at the epicenter of it here in San Diego. I started my entertainment career in the gay nightclub scene, hosting “Bear” and “Leather” genre parties, circuit events and all sorts of other themed events. I have had the opportunity of playing every role: an entertainer, promoter, booker, host, and emcee. Getting involved early, and in a big way, allowed me to build incredible relationships with both local and national talent. And now we are really pushing these events into the public sector, in front of major audiences! Some of our most recent successes that contribute to this big boom are:
In May, we were on the production team for a Stand-up Comedy show benefiting Trans Family Support Services here in San Diego. The show, titled “Comedy Trumps Hate,” was hosted by yours truly, and featured LGBT headliners Ian Harvie (Amazon’s "Transparent”), and New York-based, transgender comic Jaye McBride, as well as musical improv duo, Jesse Suphan and Kat Brown from Finest City Improv, and LGBT ally and former “San Diego Funniest Person,” comic, Allison Gill.
In July, we were fortunate to work with San Diego Pride, booking several main stage headlining acts for their 2017 Pride Music Festival. Among these acts were transgender recording artist, activist and NYC nightlife legend, Dina Delicious, who served as emcee in addition to performing her crowd-pleasing hits, and New York/Fire Island-based transgender DJ, Lina Bradford, who spun a set featuring Pride anthems and retro favorites. We also booked popular hip hop recording artist and LGBT ally, Tinashe, who attracted a crowd of more than 40,000 LGBT music-loving fans!
In addition to the festival bookings, we brought entertainment reporter, TV commentator and celeb podcaster, Ross Mathews, to San Diego this last year. His podcast “Straight Talk with Ross” is a big hit within the gay community… well, within all communities, and bringing him to San Diego for live podcast tapings… not once, but twice, is testament that the LGBT event market is booming! The fact that his performances were sponsored in part by such venerable San Diego institutions as Sycuan Casino and the Hotel del Coronado shows we are headed in the right direction."
EW: "How do you explain this growth in the market?"
"I believe the growth comes from an overall development of a more open-minded society, and the strides for equality that have been made thus far. Not only in our country but throughout the world.
For the San Diego market, one or two major powerhouses showing up and lending support in a big way sets the standard for others to follow suit. The Hotel del Coronado, which began participating in San Diego Pride events just a few years ago, engages our diverse LGBTQIA entertainers, featuring them on their floats to honor the hotel’s prestigious history.
Theirs was one of 246 parade contingents participating in San Diego Pride, which also included such major corporations as Alaska Airlines, Uber, and Bank of America along with local nonprofits, politicians, law enforcement and more! I think this participation is a direct link to the growth of the niche market and I truly believe this market will continue to grow and prosper as we continue to support and bring quality LGBTQIA entertainment to the table.”
Thank you for the interesting conversation, Dangilo.
Wishing everyone a wonderful week.
ALL PHOTOS COURTESY OF BOLLOTTA ENTERTAINMENT