We've been seeing a certain bumper sticker plastered to more than a few cars around Scottsdale as of late declaring "I ❤ Pool Parties." Said stickers were created by El Santo Cantina (in honor of its new monthly fiesta of the same name), it's an emotion shared by the proprietors of many hotels, nightspots, or other joints around Scottsdale or the Valley boasting swimming amenities on their properties.
Ditto for the thousands of thrill-seekers and chill-seekers alike who turn out to any DJ-laden poolside fiesta that will occur over the weeks ahead, including the following five must-see water wingdings this month.
Release Pool Parties at Talking Stick The larger of this North Scottsdale resort's two swimming spots was a popular destination last summer, and not just because the water was cold and the staff is friendly. A big factor to draw people in for a dip was Talking Stick's "Release" events, which run every weekend through September, and offer out-of-town guest DJs spinning up Top 40 and dance hits all afternoon while drink specials can be had at the bar and attendees score promo giveaways.
This year's series debuts this weekend when Las Vegas selector G-Squared visits on Saturday, May 4, and the Bay Area's DJ Chris Harnett stops by on Sunday, May 5. The parties run 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is free for ladies, $10 for dudes.
I ❤ Pool Parties at El Santo The Facebook page for this monthly event at El Santo unabashedly claims that it's a "bikinis wearing, beach balls tossing, cocktails drinking, photo booth picture taking, piñata busting, pool splashing, DJ beat pounding disaster (in a good way) pool party!" While we've never much "disaster" taking place in its swank swimming hole, save a few mistimed cannonballs or a couple iPhones phones getting accidentally dunked, the description pretty much sums up an average summertime afternoon spent at the North Scottsdale joint.
Witness it for yourself during the latest I ❤ Pool Parties, uh...party on Sunday, May 12. The particular DJs bashing beats include locals Trilltone, Nameless, Switchem, and Will Power dropping hot spins from noon "until sundown and beyond." Admission is free.
Steve Aoki at Māyā Day & Nightclub By all accounts, Māyā made a major splash during its weeklong grand opening. Not only did throngs of stylish nightlife types flock into its huge, neon-lighted dance club inside, they also cloistered away in VIP cabanas or gathered in and around the hashtag-shaped pool to watch on in reverences as ultra-talented DJs like Calvin Harris perform on either the elevated or floating stages.
Now that the curtain-raising formalities have been dispensed with, the beach club's proprietors and promoters will be bringing in some even bigger talents all summer long. Like Dim Mak czar and hipster party king Steve Aoki, who is scheduled to appear during Memorial Day Weekend on Sunday, May 26. Doors open at 11 a.m. General admission is $35 and VIP treatment is $150.
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Daylife Saturdays at Spanish Fly If the crowds at Māyā prove to be too thick for your tastes, however, consider heading a few blocks east over to the Scottsdale entertainment district's original beach club, particularly for its weekly Daylife Saturdays celebration.
Tacos are available for $1 each and house margaritas are only $2 during daytime hours. There's also a nonstop buffet of beefcakes and bikini-wearers about, especially in the summertime, which should please any red-blooded member of the opposite sex. Spanish Fly's guest DJs are typically top-notch - like the talented Thomas James, who performs on Saturday, May 11 - and can keep the party primed with just the right club banger. Hours are from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Admission is free. Sunshine Underground at Hotel Palomar The names Sean Watson and William Reed are pretty much synonymous with pool parties in Phoenix. Both local DJs have been involved with many such see-or-be-seen events over the past half-decade, from the original incarnation of Adult Swim at the San Carlos way back when to last year's Sharks & Minnows.
This summer they're at again, as Watson and Reed are teaming up to promote a "rooftop pooside fête" every Sunday afternoon at the Palomar's outdoor Lustre Bar starting on Memorial Day Weekend. As always, they'll tag team the mixers along with Deux Yeux and a variety of special guest DJs of the local and nationally known variety from during every edition. According to the event flyer, the parties, which go from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m., will also include performances by Reed's side project Blaque Panther Disco. Sunshine Underground launches on Sunday, May 26. Admission is $5.