You'll be forgiven if you're not familiar with Oly Innes, but perhaps the party-starter known as OLLYWOOD rings a bell. Perhaps, if you've been lucky enough to be London-based, you've experienced his baby, the regular Daddy Issues party he throws with Borja Peña. The party's reputation for fun is outstretched only by its signature merch line, with everyone from Boomer Banks to Years & Years frontman Olly Alexander sporting the Rooney-designed shirts. Next week, OLLYWOOD brings the event to the States (where he has relocated), starting in Los Angeles this June 22 at the LASH. Jealous denizens of New York worry not--a pop-up will launch an the east coast this fall). We talked with OLLYWOOD about the origins of the Daddy Issues name, what makes a "daddy," and what Americans can expect at the inaugural jam.
What inspired you to bring the party to the States and to LA?
Daddy Issues is now celebrating its first birthday this month in London. DJ Borja Pena and I ran the party together until February in the UK, then I moved to Los Angeles. I wanted to bring the party to the States now that I'm based here. The party is very popular back home and the demand was already there to bring it here. We did a pop up in San Francisco which was really fun. We are really excited to now have the party happening every month in London and Los Angeles. We launch in LA at the Lash downtown on Thursday, June 22.
Right now, the concept of the "daddy" is so on trend. I think older men are having a moment. I saw really young kids on Instagram starting to call me daddy and I thought it would be fun to start making t-shirts; Borja came to me with the idea of doing a party together and the ideas just sort of merged together. We work with Instagram star @heyrooney on all our branding and now the t-shirt line is just as in demand as the party and we are expanding to hats, swimwear, sweatshirts and more.
How would you describe the vibe of a Daddy Issues party? Do you think anything about that will change with a new location?
Daddy Issues is all about inclusion and no intimidation. We celebrate all types of the queer community. It's the perfect party, where all types of guys from super masc top daddies to mega twink fem boys can mix. Usually parties will try to sell the idea of getting wasted or getting laid. We are all about great music and fun.
Who would you describe as the ideal DI party-goer? What's their aesthetic, their attitude? Who can people in LA expect to see attending?
I always say there's three types of guys at Daddy Issues. First there's the daddys, the baby daddys (Daddys in the making) then daddy boys (daddy admirers). Our party is welcoming of anyone who is out for a good time. I think we definitely have a strong sense of humor in all our branding and creative that other parties might lack. We don't take ourselves too seriously and I think that makes us more accessible.
What do you think DI brings to the LGBTQ nightlife scene that other parties don't?
We don't run the party for money and happily put everything we earn back into the next party. We always make sure the venue is decorated so it feels like an individual experience. We always give away free @heyrooney tee's and pins at all our parties. We give out tequila shots and Daddy boys dance with little clothes on. It's going to be FUN.
Any plans to expand around the US?
Yes! We have just confirmed September 8th as our NYC launch where we will also be launching the first Daddy Issues zine. More info to come on that soon. Please follow us on Instagram to keep up to date.