Edison Farrow has what many may consider a dream job.
At least three nights a week -- and a couple of extra nights a month -- he hosts a party for gay Miami at some of the city's most glamorous and trendy hot spots. There's The Simple Life each Thursday, Hype on Fridays, Jump every Sunday, Martini Tuesdays once a month, and a new monthly event called Plastic is in the works.
But Edison's duties go beyond hosting. As the one-man force behind SoBeSocial Club (http://www.sobesocialclub.com/), it's also his business to organize and promote the events. His duties include designing the fliers and website, and booking venues and performers for the events.
It all started 10 years ago with Martini Tuesdays, a weekly gathering of a few friends at that time.
"It was never meant to be an 'event' and I never planned to become a promoter," Edison said. "I called 10 friends with the idea to meet at a chic hotel bar once a week. It grew and grew and by the fifth week, seventy five people were attending."
Today,depending on the event and venue, attendance ranges from 200 to 1,000 people, he said.
Perhaps the surge in the events' popularity reflects gay men's desire to meet in places and social situations where they can make real connections. With their ear-splitting music, poor lighting and distractions galore, bars have lost their appeal for many gay men looking for more than a hookup.
"When Martini Tuesdays started, it just blew up," Edison said. "It was obviously filling a social need that was missing in the community. This was in 2001, before the gay lounge era, when things were more dark and late night."
Bar culture in general has changed, according to an article I read a few years back. At one time bars were the places gay men went to meet new people. That changed with the advent of Internet dating. The bars became hangouts for groups of friends -- and bachelorette parties -- out to drink and dance but not necessarily to meet people. Why make the effort to overcome the sensory challenges of a bar to make a connection when you can browse for men in front of a computer in the comfort of your home?
Despite the dominance of matchmaking and cruising online, SoBeSocial Club and other clubs show there's still a demand for social outings.
"That is a lonely world," Edison said about the Internet. "There is something more fulfilling about being around people and meeting face to face and interacting."
Edison Farrow is the godfather of South Beach gay nightlife. When he began promoting events under his company name, SoBe Social Club, he pulled the gays out of the Beachs early-millennium social doldrums and reminded them it was fun to go out at night. His creations Martini Tuesdays, the Simple Life at Buck 15 are mainstays of the weekly calendar for any South Beach man who loves men (and the women who are their best friends often join in the fun).
Never one to rest on his laurels, Farrow has created a new reason to drink and be merry: Galaxy Fridays has moved in to Casale, a newish pizzeria on SoBes trendy restaurant row near the Venetian Causeway. Drink and dance on the rooftop patio beneath the starry sky hence the name Galaxy with guys who enjoy wearing tight T-shirts and fashionable footwear. And theres no cover charge! Beware, the line downstairs is lengthy after 11 p.m. But to paraphrase Gretchen Wieners from Mean Girls, Farrow cant help it if hes popular.
Fridays, 9:30 p.m., 2009
A recent Martini Tuesday at the Gansevoort South. Photo courtesy of Edison Farrow.
By Juan Lopez
Martini Tuesday is a weekly traveling cocktail party that meets at different venues on South Beach every Tuesday at 9 p.m. In its 8th year, Martini Tuesdays touts itself as a night for networking and meeting new friends and there is never a cover charge.
The Tuesday night party is the brainchild of Edison Farrow.
"I started Martini Tuesdays in January of 2001 as a get together for a small group of my friends. The first week, I called 10 friends and asked them to meet me once a week for a martini club. It was meant to be just for 10 friends, sitting around a table talking,” Farrow said. “Fourteen people showed up the first week and did just that. We sat around a table at the Winterhaven Hotel on the outside terrace and talked. By the second week, 35 people attended. The fifth week, 75 people.”
The location of Martini Tuesdays are usually held at Miami's chicest hotels and lounges. Recent fave locales include the Mondrian, Gansevoort South and Viceroy hotels. There's always a signature martini that is offered at reduce price. Other drinks are available and prices vary depending on the locale.
"It is a great night for meeting, socializing, or just to see a new venue that you have never been to," Farrow said. Find out where the next location for Martini Tuesday is by visiting www.sobesocial.com
Buck 15 off Lincoln Road had its Thursday night party listed as one of Out Magazine's "60 Greatest Gay Bars in the World". Photos: Edison Farrow.
Wanna hang from the rafters (literally, patrons have been known to do so) while getting down to an eclectic mix of 80s and 90s pop, rap and house music spun by a hipster drag queen? Then check out Simple Life Thursdays at Buck15.
Located atop Miss Yip, a chinese restaurant off Lincoln Road on South Beach, Buck15 was recently named in Out Magazine's "The 60 Greatest Gay Bars in the World"
Simple Life Thursdays is the creation of Edison Farrow, one of the longest lasting promoters on South Beach (Sobe Social, Martini Tuesday, the old Friday nights at Jade Lounge).
"Buck15 has a fun, no attitude energy and a Manhattan/East Village feel," Farrow said.
The party started seven years ago when Farrow was given the night by the then manager of Buck15 to bring in a crowd. Simple Life Thursday's crew consists of Farrow along with Chyna doing door duty and DJ Daisy D spinning the tunes.
"Daisy D keeps the party jumping every Thursday night with an amazing variety of open format music. There are no limits to the music format. If it is a great song, she plays it," Farrow said.
There's never a cover, the drinks aren't super expensive and bottle service is available. Get there early to avoid the line (say 10:30 p.m.). If you make it there past 11:30 p.m. be prepared to wait. The space is not huge inside, so expect a tight, cozy feel. The crowd consists of young trendy 20-somethings. So if you're not into fashionable twinks, don't bother. The party starts early and starts dying down around 1 a.m. Buck 15, Lincoln Lane, Miami Beach; 305-538-3815
Courtney Kardashian, Khloe Kardashian and Edison Farrow
Edison Farrow in 411 Magazine People Profile
Edison Farrow, John Waters and Kareem Tabsch (Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival - Programming Director)
Nestor Paz, Ronnie Kroell ("Make Me a Supermodel") and Edison Farrow
Edison Farrow wins Edge New York / Miami 'Promoter of the Year'
Promoter on the EDGE
Edison Farrow - Sobe Social Club Miami Beach, FL
Because in a town that has never suffered from a dearth of parties, Edison Farrow pushed the envelope in 2008 and gave South Beach not only his two long-running weekly events, Martini Tuesdays and Simple Life Thursdays, but also initiated the wildly-successful Miami Beach Gay Bowling League, as well as concerts from the likes of Miss Coco Peru, and a sunset gambling cruise on the Aquasino. And because he co-hosted Susanne Bartsch’s New Year’s Eve extravaganza at the Raleigh Hotel. And because he launched a series of popular t-dances at the beloved club Amnesia (now Opium Garden) and because he re-invigorated Martini Tuesdays to the tune of 1,400 patrons at the brand-new Ganesvoort Hotel and again the next week at the swank new Mondrian Hotel-and because, most of all, Edison Farrow is always looking around for the next best thing to keep the boys happy on the world’s most glam sandbar.
Edison Farrow wins 'Promoter of the Year' at the 2009 Shelley Novak Awards
Edison Farrow and Mary Murphy from "So You Think You Can Dance?"
at Martini Tuesdays
Edison Farrow and Jennifer Holliday
The Divine Miss “M”- That’s Morabito - Returns to
South Beach By Joshua Head
Fl, August 21, 2008, --- On August 31, 2008, a true musical
master returns to
South Beach for Edison Farrow’s second Amnesia Tea
Dance at Opium Garden.
Edison’s Amnesia Ten Year Reunion party last month was a resounding
success, drawing almost 1000 partiers to dance away Sunday afternoon
few nostalgic fans even flew in from around the country for the
event to relive those long lost glory days.With the threat of rain that day, Edison was able to deliver
on the hype.The
previous Amnesia Tea was billed as a reunion, an event that
transported many back to the days when South Beach was King or
“Queen” in some cases.
Labor Day weekend’s Amnesia Tea Dance promises to build on that and
take us forward into a new era.To do that, Edison has enlisted the amazing talents of none
other than Susan Morabito.Morabito’s morning parties at Crobar during Winter Party
Festival and White Party Week are legendary.She is able to take you on such an amazing musical journey
that so few can.And
what a special treat to take that journey at the beautiful outdoor
space that is Opium Garden
We welcome Susan Morabito back to South Beach and
had the chance to ask her a few questions.
Susan’s absence from the South Florida scene has
been a noticeable one.
When asked about her return to “the great sandbar”, Susan says,
“It’s been about two years since I’ve played Miami and I’m very much
looking forward to it.
Amnesia T-dance is a big part of Miami gay history and tradition.
Being a proponent of gay dance history and traditions I’m excited to
be a part of it.”
League reports no more open roster slots
By JAMIE HYMAN
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Want to sign up for the new Gay & Lesbian Bowling League at Lucky Strike Lanes in Miami? It’s already too late.
The League went from open slots to waiting list one day after it was announced by Edison Farrow of the SoBe Social Club.
Farrow said he was approached by the Miami-Dade Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce to kick off the League, and the response has been huge.
“I am happy to add one more new and different activity to the Miami gay community, “ he said. “I think that it will be fun and a great way to meet people.”
“To my knowledge, it will be the first bowling league of its kind on South Beach,” said Raynard Richards, Event Sales Manager for Lucky Strike Entertainment.
The new League will meet once a week on Tuesdays from 8pm to 10pm to coincide with Martini Tuesdays, Farrow’s successful Tuesday night event, which will meet each week in the Lucky Strike Lanes bar. The League lasts ten weeks, starting on Tuesday, September 2 and ending on Election Day in November. So even though the bowling team registrations are full, anyone is still welcome to go have a drink and chat.
Lucky Strike Lanes is located at 1691 Michigan Avenue.
SAVE THANKS EDISON FARROW FOR AMNESIA TEA DANCE
Passage Of Miami-Dade's DP Ordinance Celebrated │ Portion Of Proceeds Benefit SAVE
Miami Beach, FL (Send to Friend) - SAVE wishes to thank Edison Farrow for a great day, Sunday July 6, at the
Amnesia Tea Dance 10 Year Reunion. This dynamic event, filled with music, dance, great entertainment, celebrated SAVE's effort to secure the historic vote of the Miami-Dade County Commission to pass the
Domestic Partners and Family Health Coverage Ordinance on May 20.
The ordinance gives county employees the ability to
extend health insurance benefits to their domestic partners and the dependents
of their domestic partners. In addition, the
ordinance creates a domestic partner registry that county employees, county
residents and visitors may use to officially register a domestic partnership.
A portion of the proceeds from the Amnesia Tea Dance will be donated to SAVE to strengthen its efforts to continue fighting for LGBT equality.
by Joshua Head ..
Miami Beach Fl, June 18, 2008 --- Gone are the days of Warsaw Ballroom, Splash, Pump, Salvation, Paragon, Level, Kremlin, and the Loading Zone. Those gay nightspots defined South Beach in the 1990ĺs. Another weekly event that helped to define South Beach as a gay Mecca was the long-running Tea Dance held at Amnesia (now Opium Garden). Edison Farrow will be bringing back the decadence and fun of that weekly event that celebrated not only gay life, but life in general. Even with a name like Amnesia, it is hard to forget the drag shows and foam parties.
The Amnesia Tea Dance 10 year anniversary party will be held once again at Opium Garden on July 6, 2008 from 3pm until 9pm.
Edison Farrow, Shelley Novak, and the original Tea Dance DJ himself David Knapp share their memories of one of South Beach's greatest treasures. Read on to find out more and see photos of Chyna and Asia and many others.
SoBe Social Club Goes to the Dogs by Parichehr Teimouri
EDGE Contributor Tuesday May 13, 2008
Edison Farrow and Sambuca
On Tuesday, May 20th, from 9:00 PM to midnight, The Oasis Pool at The Raleigh Hotel is going to the dogs, literally. It’s the latest promotion from Edison Farrow, the well-known creator of The Sobe Social Club.
Farrow promotes very popular weekly events and parties at all Sobe’s hotspots. Next week, he has arranged for his ever so famous "Martini Tuesdays" to help benefit animals in need.
He’s calling the event "Mutts and Martinis." Volunteers of The Greater Miami Humane Society will be accepting voluntary donations at the door.
Farrow has arranged for all of his very hip and distinguished attendees that assist by contributing a twenty dollar donation to indulge in a martini specially made with the very exquisite St. Germain liqueur.
"All people and dogs are welcome to come to "Mutts and Martinis," Farrow said. "It is a special evening when you can bring your best friends out for a night on the town."
Sambuca, Farrow’s eleven year old Shih-Tzu, is making a special appearance to help promote the dog-gone evening.
The Humane Society of Greater Miami is dedicated to placing every dog and cat in their care into a loving home and to promote responsible pet ownership.
Some of the services and programs that are currently offered include low cost spay/neuter, grooming, vaccinations, hurricane and disaster preparedness information, pet loss support and humane educational programs that help teach children to respect all living creatures, just to name a few.
They hope to see you and your best friend with a fabulous martini in your hand on Tuesday, May 20th.
In town filming I Love You Phillip Morris, based on the true story of a Texan convict who fell in love with his celly, Jim Carrey,Ewan McGregor and Rodrigo Santoro were spotted doing some field research at Edison Farrow's Martini Tuesdays party at Halo, the gay bar off Lincoln Road, where they were hanging out at a table, drinking champagne (water for Carrey). Said McGregor, "Jim's character is a con artist and an escape artist, who escapes from prison to be with me. It's an incredible story." If you live here on South Beach that story is more typical than incredible, but we'll take it.
On Tuesday, Feb. 26, SoBe Social Club’s Edison
Farrow threw a seven-year anniversary bash for his
original party, Martini Tuesdays. The party was at
Cameo and was packed wall to wall with a hot
crowd. The party featured an underwear shoot for
411 with photographer Dennis Dean, a photography
exhibit by Melissa Rodwell, music by DJ Daisy D, and
of course, amazing martinis.
Farrow says that the secret behind his longest party
is that the formula always works. “What keeps it
unique is the different venues,” he says. “That keeps
it new and fresh.” He says that he is always trying to
do things that are new and different in South Beach.
“A lot of times I see people do things that I’ve seen
already,” he explains. “I like to do things that people
have never done before.”
Farrow, who also throws Simple Life Thursdays
recently hosted a Sunset T Cruise on Aquasino. He
has also hosted a performance with Sandra Bernhard
and the show Queer Riot, which featured Judy
Tenuta, Lady Bunny and Bruce Vilanch. He is planning
on bringing more huge one time events our way
“A lot of people complain there isn’t enough to do,
so I like to bring them new things,” he says.
Downtownĺs Coming Out
BY DAN RENZI
For seven years, Edison Farrow has been hosting his SoBe Social Club parties like Martini Tuesdays and Simple Life at Buck15, bringing the gays (and the straight girls who love them) to the nightclubs of South Beach. His success is partially marked by his insistence to march to his own beat -- literally. It's tragic, the shitty gay music they play at gay clubs, he says. Gays used to be trendsetters, and we got stuck in this time warp 15 years ago and never got out of it. Now the music sounds like pots and pans. I hate gay-club music.
Never one to be boxed in by convention, Edison (no last names necessary) is breaking the mold once again. He's venturing out of the gay nabe of South Beach for his first recurring party on the mainland: Sugar Daddy Sundays, at Circa28. Downtown is just so much more hip and edgy and fun now, he says. It's so cool, so not pretentious South Beach. Featuring three distinct "atmospheres" in separate rooms (including one outdoors), the party boasts a main dance floor whose DJ spins a mix of old-school funk and pop -- and no pots and pans.
Edison Farrow, Bruce Vilanch, Judy Tenuta and Lady Bunny
Queen Latifah heads to the Fillmore
BY STEVE ROTHAUS
srothaus@MiamiHerald.com Queen Latifah is Trav'lin' Light (her new jazz album released Tuesday) and headed to Miami Beach.
The Chicago and Hairspray film star will appear in concert at 8 p.m. Nov. 11, at Fillmore Miami Beach at The Jackie Gleason Theater, 1700 Washington Ave., producer Edison Farrow said.
Latifah launches a national tour Saturday.
'She wasn't coming to Miami. I looked her up and said, `Wait a minute. She's got to come here!' '' said Farrow, a well-known South Beach events promoter.
The gays know Edison Farrow as the familiar face who fills their inbox weekly with nightlife updates and the latest local tittle-tattle. As for the straight crowd, unfortunately they may not be as acquainted. With his perfectly coiffed hair and debonair façade, it’s clear that Farrow is easy on the eyes. However, he is far more than a pretty face. Edison is the creator of The South Beach Social Club. While he hosts several weekly soirées, Martini Tuesdays is arguably the most popular. Now in its sixth year, Martini Tuesdays is a weekly cocktail party that meets at a different venue every week. In the past, Farrow’s parties have attracted stars like Rupert Everett, the guys from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, Janice Dickinson, and a handful of reality TV folks.
In the gay world, it’s easy to fall into the trance of cheesiness and phonies. Edison serves as both an inspiration, and a sigh of relief in knowing that just because I’m gay doesn’t mean I’m doomed for Lycra muscle tees and poorly highlighted hair. I’m clearly not alone when I say that we need more gays like Farrow up in the 305.
Edison was nice enough to make time for little-ole-me and answer a few questions “David Jon style”. Here’s what went down... (keep reading)
MN: When was the last time you ran into a celebrity in Miami?
EF: The last (real) celebrity that I saw was Billy Joel having lunch on Lincoln Road. In Miami, I have to preface this with "real" celebrity.
MN: If you had to be a dog, what kind of dog would you be?
EF: I would be my Shih-tzu. She is so spoiled!
MN: If you had to wear the same brand of clothing everyday for the rest of your life, which would it be? EF: Armani. It is a classic and will never go out of style.
MN: What do you like best about the 305? And what do you like the least?
EF: Best: The international mix of people and cultures. Least: The prices of everything are getting out of control.
MN: If you HAD to be on a reality TV show, which would you be on?
EF: American Idol (if I were a better singer!)
MN: If you had to "make love" to a woman, who would be the lucky lady?
EF: Rhianna. She is gorgeous!
MN: Lastly, and most important, have you ever worn sunglasses at night?
EF: Never! It's tacky.
Shaken, not stirred As Martini Tuesdays marks its sixth anniversary, Edison Farrow reflects on how it all started
SOUTH BEACH PARTY PRINCE Edison Farrow throws four huge parties a week for the local gay crowd. On Tuesday, Feb. 6, he’s throwing a six-year anniversary bash for his original party, Martini Tuesdays.
Farrow says he fell into the party planning business “by accident.”
A former singer, dancer and actor, Farrow started to take website designing classes six years ago while he bartended at Twist. One day, he e-mailed a group of friends asking them to hang out.
“Fourteen people showed up,” he says.
The next week, he did the same thing and 35 people showed up.
“A month later, 75 people were showing up,” Farrow explains. “Slowly, it became my job. Now I have 6,500 people on my list.”
Farrow started his website, www.sobesocialclub.com, to keep everyone up to date on his four parties: Martini Tuesdays, The Simple Life Thursdays, Showgirls Cabaret and Funky Fridays. All of the parties are held in South Beach. Martini Tuesdays is held at varying venues. Simple Life Thursdays is held at Buck 15 Lounge. Showgirls Cabaret and Funky Fridays are both held at Funkshion.
The website grew as Farrow started featuring local news, tourism information, video clips and local events on it.
“There were 450,000 hits on the website this month,” he says. “It’s gone crazy. We’re the only promoters who write what other people are doing.”
In the future, Farrow hopes to add a short TV show to the site, he says.
FARROW SAYS THAT the South Beach scene has changed in the six years that he has started Martini Tuesdays. He recalls that Miami Beach was mostly overrun by tourists six years ago.
“As we’ve grown, the community has changed a lot,” he says. “There are more year-round residents now.”
He says there are other big changes too.
“When I started this, it was really a late-night scene,” he says. “At this point, I can do earlier parties.”
In the past, Farrow’s parties have attracted stars like Rupert Everett, the actors from “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy,” Janice Dickinson and Real World Miami’s Dan Renzi. Some stars even come by unexpectedly.
“Suzanne Somers accidentally walked into a party once,” Farrow says and laughs.
Farrow himself is a local celebrity and will receive a certificate of appreciation from the city of Miami at his
six-year anniversary party.
THE MARTINI TUESDAYS SIX-YEAR Anniversary party will feature musical entertainment from the local group Pangea, which is led by stunning singer Christina Sichta.
The multi-talented Sichta is also a model and make-up artist. She moved to South Florida from New York City 10 years ago on the recommendation of her modeling agency.
“I came here during the winter season and did catalog work,” she says. “I never went back.”
Sichta focuses mostly on her singing career and has performed at clubs and events all over South Florida. She has performed for Farrow’s parties before, but only as a solo artist, never with Pangea.
The singer lists her influences as Aretha Franklin, Nancy Wilson, Etta James, Chaka Khan and Sade. She says she is inspired by working with different musicians and writing in her journal.
Sichta, whose work falls in the jazz genre, is currently at work on an album.
“I hope to have it completed at the end of the year,” she says. “From there, I will promote it and arrange some type of tour.”
“I would like to take it overseas,” she adds.
When asked why, she says it’s because of the audiences in Europe.
“Sometimes the audiences in Europe and Asia are more open-minded to jazz,” she says. “Unfortunately, America has only three genres of music that are mainstream. Europe and Asia have a broader market.”
BUT SHE IS STILL LOOKING FORWARD to performing at the Martini Tuesdays party.
“We will certainly take them on a great little musical journey,” she says. “We’ll start off smooth and then get them on the floor dancing all night.”
There is free admission to the party all night, and complimentary martinis will be served from 9 to 10 p.m.
Farrow says he expects the party to draw a big crowd that will include many of the people who have supported the party all these years.
“People will come out of the woodworks,” Farrow says.
Gay South Beach nightlife king Edison Farrow launches a new Saturday night hit.
By Andy Zeffer
Friday, June 24, 2005
FOR TWO YEARS, Edison Farrow organized and promoted the gay party called Euphoria
Fridays at Jade Lounge.
But that chapter of South Beach nightlife history came to an end about six
weeks ago when the club sold its lease.
Immediately, Farrow started looking for a location for a replacement. In the
process, Farrow switched the party from Friday night to Saturday night in an
effort to fill what he calls a void in the South Beach nightlife scene.
“I only had a few hours to come up with a name,” Farrow explains.
“I was going to keep ‘Euphoria.’ But then it turned into Saturday
night, which called for a name change. The ads were due that day. So I went
through the dictionary and tossed ideas about. When I came across ‘Karma,’
I knew it was perfect.”
Farrow wound up looking at six different spaces for the party before settling
on the Washington Avenue location, which worked out best for Saturday nights.
The spot was once a club called Mickey’s, owned by actor Mickey Rourke.
Since Rourke’s time it has gone on to be a number of venues such as G
spot, Krave and Risk.
Karma debuted on June 11 to an enormous crowd. Farrow’s reputation as
a host preceded him, with scores of people eager to check out his latest venue.
“I was shocked by the huge attendance,” Farrow says. “By
11:30 p.m., we were at full capacity with 150 people in line outside and an
hour wait to get in.”
FARROW CLAIMS THAT PEOPLE have wanted something new for a long time.
“The gays used to be the trendsetters and now we have fallen behind on
the times in so many ways,” Farrow says. “It seems as if the gay
nightlife got stuck in a time warp in the ‘90s.”
Farrow says he is trying to reverse that trend through fresh entertainment,
decorations and music. He says that some people are not used to the style of
music being played and it may come as a shock. But it is all part of moving
Farrow is using DJ’s such as T-Pro and female impersonator Daisy Deadpetals,
who he describes as fresh, innovative and current.
“The concept for the music at Karma is an ‘open format’ consisting
of hip-hop, ‘80s, funk, rock, reggae, and dance,” Farrow explains.
“Almost every gay club has the same house/techno/tribal music that has
been playing for the past 15 years. I just want to create a fresh, new vibe.”
FARROW HOPES THE ENTERTAINMENT AT Karma will draw in large crowds.
It is Farrow’s plan to have a production every week. There are four live
musicians on sax, drums, trumpet, and vocals that jam with the DJ. In addition
to drag shows, celebrities and big name entertainers will be routine, according
to Farrow’s plans. He already has “American Idol” diva Kimberley
Locke booked for Saturday, July 23.
Karma also features “bottle service,” where small groups of guests
do not have to wait in line or pay a cover charge, and they get their own reserved
section to sit in. Karma has a large area for bottle service.
Bottle service is extremely popular in straight clubs along South Beach, but
never caught on in gay clubs. But for the opening of Karma, there were 20 tables
In nightlife, business is unpredictable, and there is no telling how long something
will last. But for Farrow, that is all part of the ride.
“This is such a crazy business,” he says. “Things change
so quickly, clubs get sold left and right. But if the first week was any indication,
Karma will last a long time. Plus, I will try to keep things fresh and constantly
changing. I love organizing parties. It can be a lot of work, but it is fun.”
When Saturday night is over, Farrow has Karma of a different kind to come home
to. The week of the grand opening, he found a tiny stray kitten crying in his
garden. He started feeding it, and now it lives in his garden.
And he named it Karma, of course.
Janice Dickenson, Christopher Ciccone and Edison Farrow
Edison Farrow and Todd Oldham
Edison Farrow and Ted Kennedy
Toast of the Town
By Jeffrey Wilkinson
As effortlessly cool and collected as he is genuine and gracious,
Edison Farrow has turned our town on its proverbial head since launching his
Traveling Tuesdays Martini party three years ago. More than 150 weeks
later and now approaching its third year anniversary the event that
started out as little more than a gathering for some close friends is
still as wildly popular as ever as it moves and shakes amongst South
Beach's hottest hotels and restaurants.
His Midas touch didn't stop there either. It has grown to include the
weekly Friday night Euphoria party at Jade and the Sunday Tea at The
Palace, both must-do events. His SoBe Social Club web site
(www.sobesocialclub.com) has become the de rigueur spot for finding out
what to do in any one given week, with more than 81,000 hits last month
In between have been a smattering of high-end corporate and community
events, from a shopping night at Gucci in Bal Harbour to fronting for
Senator Edward Kennedy and a Democratic Party fundraiser. And let's not
leave out his widespread support for a variety of not-for-profit
causes, such as HIV/AIDS or human rights.
All pretty heady for someone who never started out to hold court over
South Beach's social scene. Moving here in 1995 from New York City,
where he had pounded the boards in a 17-year acting career, it was
never his dream to become one of South Beach's premier event promoters or
social arbiters of the gay community's A-list. The serendipitous
success of it all is something that amazes Edison himself.
I caught up with Edison on a picture-perfect South Beach morning on
Ocean Drive. Accompanied by Sambucca, his beloved shitzu companion, we
ended up being center stage for many passers-by, perhaps the most
colorful of which were a visiting gay couple who stopped to meet
Sambucca. While the one man said Sambucca was, "the best looking thing
I've seen all day," his partner wryly bookended the comment with a,
"Well, I wouldn't go that far." Again, truly just another
picture-perfect South Beach morning on Ocean Drive.
Last weekend was pretty busy for you.
Yes, Jade last Friday and the Palace Tea on Sunday. And it was Art Deco
weekend. When we decided to do Tea Dance last weekend we knew we were
going to break out the feathers and headdresses and make a scene for
all the straight tourists on Ocean Drive (laughs).
You've come a long way from your acting career in New York to moving
here and working at TWIST. How did you wind up bartending at TWIST?
I was pursuing acting for 15 years and always had a side job. When I
came to Miami, I was fortunate to get a bartending job at TWIST. The money
was great, I loved meeting people and it helped to lead me into the
direction of promoting. I worked there for about six years, three years
before I moved to Los Angeles and years after I came back.
And you weren't just your ordinary bartender there - you eventually
started a Disco Sunday night. How did that happen?
I just felt that all of the rooms were playing the same music and I
wanted to try something different. So, I brought in my 70s CDs and
everyone started dancing. So the following week, I came in with 70s
decorations, more CDs, disco lights and it just happened.
Let's talk about your move to Los Angeles. What were you doing there
and how would you describe that experience?
I stayed in Los Angeles for a year and eights months. A long year and
eight months! I was not happy there. L.A. just wasn't interesting and
didn't have a metropolitan feel. When I finally took a vacation and
visited Miami again, I moved back the following week. And, I am very
happy here. Many people say that they want to move to another city
after a year or two in Miami, but they usually come back. It is hard to leave
because when you do, you realize that there is no place like it.
When you came back you became more settled in the community here it
seemed. You started doing a very successful drag brunch at Samba Room
and at other restaurants on the Beach. Was that a new beginning for
Yes. It all seemed to fall in place without really trying. The years in
entertainment, to bartending in clubs, to website design, to 70s
at TWIST, to Martini Tuesdays. Then Drag Brunch, Palace Tea Dance,
Euphoria Fridays at Jade Lounge.
Are you the Howard Dean of gay life? You've been able to capitalize on
using the internet for much of your success. How did that happen?
When this all started, I was in school to become a website designer. I
used my website skills to get this all going. With Martini Tuesdays, I
only used e-mails, never flyers, ads, or invitations. I never saw
anyone do that before. That was what I knew and it worked for me. I guess that
it did start as "grass roots" and underground.
An now it's already the third year anniversary of Martini Tuesdays.
It's right around the corner, Jan. 27 at Jimmy Z.
It's been going strong for three years. I never planned or intended it
to last so long, or to be a promoter. It's been a really great
I remember the first one I attended was fairly early on, at a hotel on
Washington Avenue with some friends visiting from London.
It was probably at the Chelsea. All the venues are featured
chronologically on my SoBe Social Club web site.
We were all very impressed with the vibe you could tell was already
I think it was needed ? because it grew. I've focused on what people
want versus on how to make the most amount of money. Where else can
people get free admission and a reduced drink all night?
So did the SoBe Social Club evolve from the initial success of the
first Martini Tuesdays, as you then looked at other ways to fill a void that
Yes. People started to turn to me and make requests and suggestions for
other events. This has put me in a situation that enables me to create
new events that the community is lacking.
What is the recipe for your success without revealing any trade
Well, I just listen to people and what they want. For the past decade
in Miami, people have been going with the same ideas. I try to start
events that are new or have a new style, theme, time slot, type of music. All
of my events are new in some way. Except for the Tea Dance, that was
something from the past that people were missing. Everyone used to say
"Do you remember the old Tea Dances? I wish that we had those again."
Did you ever get any flack about your "No Jeans, Sneakers, or Tank Tops
Please" request for the Martini Tuesdays?
Hmmm, I know that people do joke about it, but I just didn't want to
have 300 people in sweat pants and tank tops in the lobby of a fancy
hotel. I thought that it would be a bad reflection of the gay
community. We were once the "fashion plates" and now have become the poorly
dressed tank top crowd.
Out of the 150-plus Martini Tuesdays, whats been your most memorable
night or moment?
My most memorable night would have to be my birthday at the Delano
hotel. Great music, great people, so many friends were there. It was a
dream night for me. Even my mother was there. It was her first Martini
Now you've got Euphoria Fridays at Jade, which has had phenomenal
success as well.
It's been great. It's not been the same, same, same. We have live jazz
and house music in the two rooms downstairs and hip-hop upstairs. It
used to be that the straight community followed the gay community, but
now it almost seems like it's visa versa. The twenty-somethings are
looking for something fresh, something other than just the circuit
scene. Plus, there's only a $5 cover charge; it's nominal. People say I
should charge more I just ask "Why?"
Well, you've certainly appealed to a broad range there, from the
younger to the older crowd.
I think it shows the maturation of the beach. When I was at TWIST I
would always get questions about a new place, an early place. I think
we were stuck in a rut and that we're now coming back with more options
and venues. I looked around upstairs at Euphoria the other night and saw
everyone from Christopher Ciccone to Thom Filicia of "Queer Eye for the
Speaking about the scene, I remember back when I was with Miamigo, you
had written a piece about dating on South Beach.
Yes, where everyone's looking and no one meets each other. It's why I
started Relay Dating. I'm going to do it again soon. I have around 60
people on the waiting list.
So what about yourself? Are you dating or seeing anyone special?
Let's just say I'm dating here and there (smiles).
Here and there? How about some words of advice for someone out on the
South Beach dating scene?
It's tough out there! When the most handsome, intelligent, successful
guys tell me that they can't meet anyone, I know that there is a
problem out there. Most of the problem comes from people's insecurities. People
are afraid to approach one another. Meanwhile, the person that you are
afraid to approach is probably dying for you to approach him. The guys
that take the chances and do the asking get the dates.
Any comments about our upcoming season?
I think it's going to be fabulous. New Year's week was one of the
busiest weeks ever. We've got the Carlyle and Victor Hotels poised to
open. And it certainly doesn't hurt the weather's been bad up north
What's in store for the next few years - anything new in the works or
should we just wait and be surprised when things happen?
For the moment, my plate is full, but I am always thinking about new
Hal Sparks, Edison Farrow and Sharon Gless
- by Billy Masters
9 August 2004
Beach's number one party boy and fashion plate, Edison Farrow makes
everyone feel like a star at Jade.
First stop was a
meet-and-greet with the other gay sub-lebrities at Jade,
the place to be in SoBe on a Friday night.No one could have predicted that the sexiest guy I'd meet in Miami
would be Jade promoter Edison Farrow!Edison is a gem, puts on quite a party, and knows how to treat everyone
like a VIP.
Queer As Folk's Scott Lowell and Edison Farrow
Edison Farrow stays busy in two worlds
BY OCTAVIO ROCA
Edison Farrow is looking sleepy, with good reason.
The sometimes actor and full-time founding director of Martini Tuesdays, the traveling social club, lately has been shuttling between serious partying in South Beach and rehearsals for a show in Coral Gables. To watch him in action -- at the China Grill, The Hotel, anywhere Martini Tuesdays meets -- is to catch on at a glance to South Florida's gay allure.
Over brunch recently at the Front Porch on Ocean Drive, his scruffy dog Sambucca yawning in sympathy by his side, Farrow can only sit back and smile as what seems like half of South Beach stops by to say hello.
He is 40 and looks about a decade younger, with surfer-dude blond hair and an easy smile. His voice is, well, sweet, an asset that along with his good looks helped him through countless commercials as well as in roles in All My Children, As The World Turns and One Life To Live. But that's all in the past. And, though the graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts has enjoyed more than a few acting gigs since moving to Miami Beach in 1995, Farrow swears he's not an actor anymore.
"I keep trying to stop acting," he says. "Then a play like this comes along."
The play is David Sexton's new musical It's A Fabulous Life, a very gay take on a very sweet cult movie that previews tonight. Coming on the heels of Bill Yule and Barry Ball's ambitious The Boys of Mariel -- a sort of Love! Valour! Tostones! -- It's A Fabulous Life changes the tone for the holidays at the Teatro Avante with an all-music, all-dancing, all get-a-grip comedy about a young man feeling blue at Christmas and wishing he had never been born . . . gay.
This is definitely not going to be Frank Capra's Its A Wonderful Life.
Nicholas Richberg plays the young man, with Yule returning to Avante as the Angel who sets him anything but straight. Maryel Epps, a sassy South Beach chanteuse, puts in a cameo as the Diva Angel. Then, among the large cast, there's also Farrow.
"It's a beautiful, really funny piece," says Farrow.
"It's also amazing for me to realize that I'd been acting for 15 years in New York," he adds, "and it wasn't until I moved down here that I got to play a gay character."
That was in last season's comedy The Nature of the Beach at the Miami Shores Performing Arts Center. With It's A Fabulous Life, "I have my second."
Farrow has been taking multitasking to extremes, redefining the usual actor-waiter-model troika by adding promoter, website mogul and community activist to his to-be list. This week alone, he celebrated the 150th edition of the traveling social club that has fast become a South Beach gay institution by taking it cross town to Coral Gables and a bash at the Biltmore Hotel. Actually making it to his own Martini Tuesdays on time is tough, and not just because of the play.
Coordinating a Dulce de Leche fashion show, arranging DJs from as far away as the Budda Bar in Paris, donating his time to Democratic fundraisers and dropping in as a guest MC for the Miami Beach Cinematheque are just a few of the things Farrow has managed to fit in lately.
His website, sobesocialclub.com, gets about 50,000 hits a month and has become the place to check on all things gay in South Beach, from the new Friday Cocktails for Women (Friday night at The Hotel) to the next Democratic Gay and Lesbian Caucus party (Wednesday at the Miami Shores Country Club) and even when the Ritz-Carlton on Collins and Lincoln Road is really going to open.
"I do the whole website myself," he says.
Then, of course, there are the martinis.
Not a purist, Farrow enjoys the array of exotic drinks concocted by liquor companies and clubs that come with a Martini Tuesdays schedule booked well into 2004, replacing the authentic gin, vermouth and twist original. Everything from vodka and rum to energy drinks and tropical juices can go into any week's featured "martini."
"You could put beer in a martini glass and call it a beer martini," says Farrow. Why not? ``Now it's about the glass, not about the drink.''
Edison Farrow, Rosie Perez and Alexander Meadows
Edison Farrow, Peter Paige, Elaine Lancaster and Rupert Everett
Friday Nights at Jade Lounge In South Beach Going Strong
By Andy Zeffer
Jade Lounge in South Beach is the place to be Friday Nights as nightlife maestro Edison Farrow gets the weekend off to a rousing start. Farrow, the mind behind the immensely popular Martini Tuesdays brings the same magic to Friday's Euphoria party. Unlike Martini Tuesdays, which hops from one glamorous South Beach spot to another each week, Euphoria keeps a permanent home at Jade Lounge.
One of the ingredients of Farrow's success are that his parties offer a laid back, yet chic atmosphere. And Jade Lounge has multiple rooms that offer different venues. Crowds dance to the music of DJ Jojo Odyssey as he spins dance music on the main floor accompanied by live drums. Drag Queen Adora is on hand to amuse partiers in the front bar. The front bar also features old funk music with live musicians walking around playing the sax and drums. And the upstairs room features hip-hop music.
Euphoria offers people something fresh and different from the typical ear splitting and repetitive dance music found at other gay clubs and parties. In addition, Jade Lounge accepts table reservations for groups that want bottle service. For those looking for a night of revelry, splitting bottle service can actually be cheaper than ordering round after round of individual drinks.
"Friday nights at Euphoria have really turned out to be a blast," Farrow says. "I'm so glad people are enjoying it. It offers something different, and its great to see all these gay guys getting down to hip-hop music upstairs. It's not something you see too often".
Edison Farrow has become a huge success with his South Beach Social Club and various events he has built around Martini Tuesdays. A true a success story, he has gone from planning small get togethers with friends to planning events for the likes of Senator Ted Kennedy. Farrow is also an accomplished actor and appeared in the local hit play "Nature of The Beach". He is set to reprise his part in a film version of the play.
Jade Lounge is located at 1766 Bay Road, at the corner of 18th Street and Bay Road. It is not far from where the once popular dance club Salvation used to be. From 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. free Iceberg Vodka Drinks are available. There is no cover charge until 10 p.m. And guest can party all night with a bar, lounge, and DJ that goes until 5 a.m.
Daisy D, Edison Farrow and American Idol's Kimberley Locke
Never shaken or stirred, but always smooth:
the man behind Martini Tuesdays, Edison Farrow.
By LOANN HALDEN
Such a simple idea, really. Why not offer gay men an
opportunity to get together and socialize in an upscale environment?
Better yet, change the space every week to avoid the "been there,
done that" attitude that every venue suffers from sooner or later.
But of course, it's easy to grasp the simple brilliance of an idea after
someone else has already executed it.
South Beach party host Edison Farrow will be the first to admit that even
he didn't see the success coming until it arrived in the form of
hundreds of devotees for his SoBe Social Club and its Traveling Tuesday
Martini Nights that unite gay professionals of all ages.
Left to right, Benjamin Hein, John David,
and Rafael Rodriguez at Nerve
Two years ago, the former actor "hard to miss as the
hilarious, scene-stealing Mark in last fall's "The Nature of the
Beach" decided to make a career change. No, he didn't envision
himself as Mr. Martini; he went to school to become a Web site designer
and took up bartending in the meantime.
The Martini Nights began as a group of friends meeting up for cocktails
"I just saw so many people wrapped up in the whole drug scene here
and that's not my scene at all," says Farrow, who hails from Long
Island and has lived here off and on since 1995. "I knew so many nice
people that you'd see around, and you'd say "Oh we'll get
together. We'll do something." And with every good intention you never
wind up calling each other: "We'll go to the movies," and three
years later, you've never called each other once.
Martini club founder Edison Farrow
and Andre Barreto at Nerve, April 8
"My idea was a little martini club where like 12
people meet once a week to sit around and talk," he adds. "The
first week, I called 12 friends. I made a little list and said, "I'm
going to form a little social circle out of this. Let's meet at the
Winter Haven Hotel on Ocean Drive at 9 o'clock for martinis." Fourteen
people showed up, we pulled together some tables, and we talked for a few
hours. That was supposed to be the group."
Then he told two friends, and they told two friends.
The second week, 35 people attended. Within five weeks, 75 people were
Today, the number is more like 250 to 350, with significant increases for
special events; the second anniversary of the Traveling Tuesday Martini
Night during this year's Winter Party Week attracted about 600 people.
Perhaps even more amazing: It's still free of a cover charge.
"People are obviously enjoying it," Farrow says. "It's
not what I intended, but obviously it fills a need and people want to
come, so I kept going with it."
Eric Miller, left, and Todd McNiff at the
Raleigh Hotel for the anniversary bash
That would be dramatic understatement.
Farrow's e-mail list has 2,300 names. The Web site, www.sobesocialclub.com,
where he posts the weekly location and martini special, gets nearly 40,000
hits each month.
"I guess because I post a lot of other things on there," he says
modestly, after revealing the numbers. "If people want to know where
AIDS Walk is, if they want to know where some charity function is, most of
the big events are there."
His last bartending shift at Twist was about a month ago. Hosting Martini
Nights has become a full-time job. Given that the venue and the featured
drink "a discounted martini that could be anything from a traditional
cosmopolitan to a "Piranha Bite" or "Saketini" change each
week, his schedule includes frequent meetings with hotels and liquor
"I really think about the crowd, what they want. A lot of times I
like to go to places that the gay crowd would never walk into," says
Farrow, who has taken the Martini Nights to the Loews, the Delano, the
Abbey Hotel, the Raleigh Hotel, Touch, Mynt, and most recently, the new
bar, Nerve. "I like upscale places. People like to get a little
dressed up and go to this. It's the one night that they can bypass the
tank top and put on the dress shirt and dress pants and go out."
Michael, Michael and Gary celebrate the
second anniversary of the Traveling
Tuesdays club during Winter Party Week.
On South Beach, where the gay club uniform usually
consists of track pants and an easily shorn tank top, Martini Nights
provide a reminder that it doesn't have to be that way. Guests heed
Farrow's suggestion to leave the skimpy tanks and tennis shoes at home.
"Years ago, gay men were known as the fashion plates, and it was "Oh
that guy's got to be gay, he's got such a great outfit and everything
matches," and now it's completely opposite. Now gay men wear tank tops
and we're the slobs," chuckles Farrow.
"I remember one time it really struck me. This was soon after I
started the Martini Club that this happened. I was going out to dinner on
a date on Thanksgiving night, we went to a hotel dining room and everyone
that was there was straight and all dressed up, and six gay men walked in,
in tank tops. I just said, "This is ridiculous."
"About five weeks into [Traveling Tuesdays], I started to see it was
growing and then all of a sudden a whole bunch of tank top people started
to show up. I said, "I'm not going to have this grow into two or three
hundred people in the hotel lobbies and have it all gay men in tank tops."
The next week I put a little thing in the e-mail, "no tank tops, no
jeans, no sneakers," and the next week they all were dressed. I didn't
want us to be the slobs representing the gay community."
Todd, Krister, Steve and Bill at the March
Again, a simple thing, but it makes a difference to
those who attend.
"I don't like the shirtless thing. That's just not my thing. It
never has been. I know there´┐Żs a purpose and a point for it, I just
never got into it. It just seems to me to be so predictable," says
Tony Miros. "When you go to a gay bar that has the same party every
week, you feel comfortable but nothing ever changes about it. When you
change the venue, when you make it where they have to wear shirts (laughs),
when you call it a social mixer and it's really not about dancing to
Victor or whoever, it actually makes it much nicer. The beach was actually
missing that. "I believe people really look forward to that night every
Tuesday, especially with taking them different places on the beach that
they wouldn't normally go."
The different vibe of the event also means it´┐Żs not a cookie-cutter
crowd. On any given Tuesday, Martini Nights will have guests ranging from
their 20s to their 70s and they tend to be professionals.
"Often I´┐Żll know two people who are going out for a while and then
all of a sudden, they'll mention, "Oh we met at the martini party,"
" says Farrow. "I love hearing that. All my friends meet their
boyfriends there just not me. They say it's the best place to meet a
Having found his calling as a producer of upscale events, Farrow is
testing the waters for other ideas. He's got relay dating at the Raleigh
Hotel under way and plans for a cocktail cruise. He's also contemplated
a charity event night. But there's no sign that he'll abandon
Traveling Tuesdays. In fact, he'll celebrate his 40th birthday April 15
with the SoBe Social Club.
"Events will come and go," Farrow says. "But I think the
martini party will be here for years to come." For more information, visit www.sobesocialclub.com.
Copyright 2002 - The
Weekly News, Inc.
Traveling martini club
celebrates two years
For the past two years, Traveling Tuesday Martini
Nights have been a ritual of South Beach social life and they and
their host Edison Farrow show no signs of slowing down. The SoBe
Social Club will celebrate the two-year anniversary of its Martini Club
during Winter Party Week.
Join local professionals from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Fat Tuesday (March 4) at
the Raleigh Hotel, 1775 Collins Ave., Miami Beach. More than 500 revelers
are expected for the Mardi Gras-themed event.
What started out as a small idea has turned into a phenomenon for Farrow.
It began as a get together with some close friends after he saw the need
for an evening where gay professional men could get together for a
sophisticated evening, enjoy some mingling, relaxation and conversation,
without all the chaos of the bar and club scene.
"I figured it would be a little list of 12 people and we'd meet
once a week, going out for dinner or to the movies," Farrow says.
Within about a month, there were 100 people showing up. The invitation
list has now swelled to more than 2,300 and attendance ranges from 200 to
350 people each Tuesday at 9 p.m. (Location moves around South Beach). For more information, call Edison Farrow (305) 535-6696 or visit the
Web site at www.sobesocialclub.com.
TWN - Your Number One Source For
Gay News In South Florida
Copyright 2002 - The
Weekly News, Inc.
901 N.E. 79th St., Miami, FL 33138
Phone: (305) 757-6333
Fax: (305) 756-6488
Edison Farrow: South Beach's Hottest Host Traveling Tuesday Martini Nights Marks 100th Event Andy Zeffer
For the past two years, Traveling Tuesday Martini Nights have been a ritual of South Beach social life, an event where the smart and fashionable South Florida set come to see and be seen. Martini Nights recently celebrated its 100th party, and shows no sign of slowing down.
The man behind Martini Nights is Edison Farrow, who, almost by accident, has become South Beach's most recognizable host.
What started out as a small idea has turned into a phenomenon for Farrow. It was never his intention to promote a huge party every week. Martini Nights started out as a get together with some close friends, after Farrow saw the need for an evening where gay professional men could get together for a sophisticated evening, enjoy some mingling, relaxation and conversation, without all the chaos of the bar and club scene.
"I saw so many people wrapped up in drugs and clubs and the scene," says Farrow. He discovered that many of his friends felt the same way.
Finally, he decided to do something about it and gathered a close group of friends for a night out. "I figured it would be a little list of 12 people and we'd meet once a week, going out for dinner or to the movies."
Magical Martini Nights
The first night out, the group gathered at the Winterhaven Hotel from 9pm to midnight for martinis, and Farrow christened it the "Martini Club." The night turned out to be exactly what everyone was looking for a gathering where those present could enjoy each other's company in a classy environment and an escape from the fast pace of typical Miami night life.
There seemed to be magic to it from the get-go. "At one point, a homeless man came over and that was our entertainment for the night. We had a homeless magician," Farrow laughs. "He was actually really great, and I have to say we were impressed by him. I saw him the other day counting change out of his jar."
Word about the get together spread. Farrow received e-mails from more men saying they wanted to attend. Thirty-five people showed up the next week at another location, then 45 the week after that. About a month later there were 100 people showing up. Edison Farrow realized he had started something special. What started out as a modest gathering had become a full-time job.
"That's when I had to set up meetings with hotels. I had liquor companies calling me, and it just became this whole big thing" says Farrow, whose invitation list has now swelled to over 2,000 with an attendance of 200-350 people a week.
Lawrence from Miami Beach comes to Martini Nights fairly often. "It's a great way of meeting a different quality of guy, one who's interested in their work and career," he says. "At the risk of sounding haughty, it's a bit more sophisticated."
"I like the crowd, I like the martinis, I like the locations," says John from Fort Lauderdale, another regular. "And Edison does a great job of making the crowd feel at home. It's like a big house party."
Edison's Elements for Entertaining
There are several reasons why the evening is so special. Guests are asked to come in dress casual, no jeans, sneakers or tank tops. Consequently, the party has a more glamorous ambiance, like that of the famous Beige parties in New York and Los Angeles, famous for their well-dressed and attractive crowds. But unlike Beige, Martini Nights has the advantage of a different location every week. And in South Beach, there is never any lack of stunning architecture and breathtaking interiors. Farrow cites this as being the main thing that keeps Martini Nights so fresh.
"It's funny, having been 100 weeks already it still seems new," he says. "This month I'll probably add five more locations we haven't been to before. I can move around and never repeat." The party has already been hosted at such South Beach landmarks as the Delano, The Loews, China Grill and Pearl.
The crowd is an attractive gathering of mostly gay men, though quite a few women frequent Martini Nights as well. Folks vary in age range and backgrounds, but as a whole, the crowd gives off an urban chic feel, well-traveled and classy. One is likely to encounter lawyers, doctors, businessmen, newscasters and politicians.
One of the perks of giving the party are the many fascinating people Farrow has met since the event took off. "All the politicians come and campaign, because you're not going to go shaking hands at Salvation or Crobar with music blasting and people with no shirts on," he explains.
Through it all, one thing remains the same, there is no cover charge. Farrow has made it clear from the beginning Martini Nights means more to him than just money. He is interested in building a culture. In his e-mail invitations, he includes a newsletter where one can read about local cultural and charity events in the community.
A Twisted Start
Though Martini Nights exploded unintentionally, Farrow is no stranger to South Beach night life. For years he tended bar four to five nights a week at the most well-known gay landmark in town, Twist. It was there he first tried his hand at promoting, putting together the successful Seventies Sunday Disco Nights. Farrow still oversees Disco Nights, and tends bar at Twist once a week. He believes his job at Twist played a hand in his current success.
"It got me to know a lot of people in the community by working there," he says. "I've twisted a beer for every gay man in South Florida!" he jokes.
It's easy to see why people would be drawn to Edison Farrow. He displays a radiant, positive energy and a gracious manner that makes quite an impression. Walking around South Beach with his Maltese dog Sambuca, he is likely to stop every few feet and say hello and make conversation with one of his numerous friends or a waitress standing outside a cafE.
Of course, his blonde good looks and striking green eyes don't hurt either. Farrow pursued acting for 15 years, and relocated to L.A. to follow his dream. He didn't stay in Hollywood very long, finding Miami Beach more to his liking. Upon moving back to Miami, he decided to hang up his acting hat for good and pursue web design skill that has been put to great use in conducting his massive e-mail invites while tending bar again at Twist.
Just when Farrow thought acting was history; he received a phone call that brought it right back into his lap. Some friends were putting a play together and approached Farrow about becoming involved.
"My first thought was ugh, I don't act anymore," he says. "I really don't want to be in a play. That chapter of my life is over."
The folks involved persisted and convinced him to participate in one reading. One reading turned into a second reading, and before he knew it, Farrow found himself cast in the production. The play, Nature of the Beach, was written by local playwright and gym owner David Sexton. "We wound up selling out almost every night," Farrows says. "And now, it's going to be a movie."
According to Farrow, there is a prestigious director involved. The film is expected to have one celebrity starring in it, with most of the original cast reprising their roles, including South Beach's most charming host, who was singled out in reviews for his excellent performance. "It's funny when they say once you stop trying it happens," Farrow muses.
Whether it's acting or bringing people out to the most enjoyable event of the week, Edison Farrow seems born to entertain. Future plans include putting together a night on a boat, as well as a dating event. Regardless of what he does, his contribution to gay social life in South Beach is invaluable, hundreds of folks in South Florida who have sipped a martini or two will tell you the exact same thing.
Men cut to the chase in search for Mr. Right STEVE ROTHAUS firstname.lastname@example.org
So many men, so little time. Two minutes to be exact.
Gay relay dating has come to South Florida. It's a variation of speed dating (or eight-minute dating) that's become the rage among straight singles in San Francisco, New York, London and Paris.
''After two minutes in a bar, I know if I want to go on a date with this person -- or slit my wrists,'' promoter Edison Farrow tells 50 players at the start of gay relay dating, which he presents twice a month in South Beach.
Lance Steinbeisser, 33, a Miami court reporter, signed up because he is tired of finding the wrong kind of men in the usual places. ''It's not hard to meet someone,'' he said. ``It's hard to meet someone who wants more than just sex.''
Farrow said gay relay dating is just like straight speed dating, with one exception: ``At the straight ones, the women just sit around a table and the men move. Their 50 percent have to meet the other 50 percent. At mine, every person has to meet every person.''
It works this way: 50 single men spend $20 each hoping to find Mr. Right. Their names are printed on large ballots. Next to each name is a ''yes'' and ``no''.
The men sit in two rows facing each other. Each pair has two minutes to get to know each other. Then, Farrow blows a whistle. The men change chairs and meet the next person on line. This repeats for about two hours, or until everyone has spoken.
Players indicate whether they want to date a person by circling the yes or no next to his name. Afterward, Farrow collects the ballots and matches the responses. If two say yes to each other, Farrow sends them photos and e-mail addresses.
The rest is up to them.
''It's always surprising to me when I do the results who gets the most matches,'' Farrow said. ``Sometimes the most average guys get the most matches because they are not intimidating, and in two minutes people want to get to know them better.''
The fewer men a player says yes to, the worse his chances of getting a date.
''One person only chose two people. A lot of people chose him, but there were no matches. He was one of the most popular people there, but he only chose two people and those two didn't choose him,'' Farrow said.
``If you can't find someone among 50 people, you're too picky.''
Since beginning in January, all of Farrow's dating events have sold out. The next event will be March 12 at the Raleigh Hotel in Miami Beach.
Farrow, 39, runs SoBe Social Club (www.sobesocialclub.com), which hosts a Traveling Tuesdays Martini Club that rotates weekly among chic South Beach bars and hotels. Participants come from Miami-Dade and Broward counties. Tuesday night, the Martini Club celebrates its second anniversary at the Raleigh.
''I've been doing the martini parties for two years and people are always asking me about a dating night,'' said Farrow, a part-time actor who just started dating someone he met at a Valentine's Day party. ``It's hard to meet people here.''
Relay dating is better than meeting in chat rooms on the Internet, Farrow said.
''Instead of looking at 50 photos and hearing 50 lies, you're shaking 50 hands and you know what they look like,'' he said.
Most relay-dating contestants are average guys in their 30s and 40s.
''It was a little bit of a shock when I found out the range of age,'' said Jose Gonzalez, 28, of Coral Gables, who wants to go out with someone up to age 33.
Half the prospects Gonzalez met asked how old he is. One joked, ``Are you 12?''
``I asked how old are you? Forty-five?''
Another player said he didn't like being asked what kind of car he drives. The most offensive question of the night: ``Are you wearing underwear?''
That didn't bother Beach massage therapist Lohan Bruguera, 40. 'I just laughed. I said, `I am, are you?' ''
For the record, he wasn't.
Early in the evening, most men are very nervous. Some are sweating. A few drank shots of whiskey.
''You're not really getting people at their best,'' said Bruguera, who said yes to 10 men and got four potential dates.
Steinbeisser, the court reporter, is now seeing one of his three matches, a 40-year-old graphic artist.
''Awesome,'' Steinbeisser said after the first dinner date. Things went so well, the next day the new couple introduced their pets. 'We went to Lincoln Road. All three of our dogs sat at the edge of our feet while we were talking. Then, we took the `kids' home and met later for dinner.''
Although romance has blossomed, Steinbeisser said he and his beau are taking things slowly.
''Lots of kissing going,'' Steinbeisser said. ``But I'm a very old-fashioned kind of guy. I'm not the kind of guy who would jump into the sack right away.''
Posted on Fri, Jun. 14, 2002
Sure, SoBe has changed -- it's better BY LESLEY ABRAVANEL
Last month's Wall Street Journal article stating that South Beach has lost its edge still has some locals reeling (on the other hand, it's nice to see that people read newspapers, even if they're only scanning articles to see if their names pop up). At any rate, Edison Farrow, one of Miami Beach's most laid back and humble promoters (he's responsible for the hugely popular roaming Tuesday-night gay martini parties) has responded with an essay titled ''South Beach: The Good Old Days, The Better New Days'' on his website, www.sobesocialclub.com. Farrow writes: 'People always seem to remember the good ol' days and forget about the bad ol' problems ... ''
Among the arguments Farrow makes: Ten years ago, 75 percent of Lincoln Road space was empty and people didn't feel safe walking down the street; and the influx of Manhattan-based businesses popping up such as Bond Street, Nobu, Sushisamba and soon, Cafeteria. ''What I don't miss is trips in traffic to Aventura and Dadeland Malls for a movie ... and a stop at the Gap or Banana Republic; or having to drive in traffic in order to buy quality cooking items at William Sonoma when in that Martha Stewart mood,'' he notes. 'So, the next time you hear people complaining about South Beach becoming a shopping mall as they sip their half 2 percent, half-skim, caramel/mocha, decaf Frappucino with whipped cream on the side at Starbucks, ask them if they'd prefer to drive to Dadeland for it. And check their closets, you are sure to find several items from the `the mall's' Gap and Banana Republic.''
Lesley Abravanel can be reached at Lank@aol.com (fax: 305-538-9565). Only serious events will be considered; please, no solicitations.
know, some guys seem to have all the
luck - like Edison Farrow, for example. Purely out of
necessity Edison created a traveling martini party that is now
one of South Beach's most celebrated weekly social events for the
boys on the Beach. But nightlife and
cocktails are only
one side of this former theatre actor... CONTINUE...>>
EDISONFARROW Bringing People together in Miami Beach one Night at a
Time by Gabrielle
His stunningly successful
gay parties have seized the attention and attendance of Miami's
elite. Edison Farrow's roaming Martini Tuesdays, Rendezvous
Wednesdays on the roof of the designer Townhouse Hotel, and Euphoria
Fridays at the chic Jade nightclub, are bringing gay professionals
together to dance, drink, talk, and, arguably, create a new culture.
As his events are electrifying the gay community, they are also
proudly and merrily claiming territory in otherwise hetero
Martini Tuesdays, Farrow's three-hundred-attendee
flagship event, visits a different restaurant or hotel´┐Żone that
doesn't typically have a gay night each week. The party descends on
"all the fanciest places; the Loews Hotel, the Ritz Carlton, the
Delano, the China Grill. For one night," Farrow laughs sweetly, "we
just get to take over."
Edison Farrow is genuinely,
disarmingly, sweet. The model-handsome forty-one-year-old can't
conceal his beaming grin. Indeed, though he has catapulted into the
role of gay nightlife it-man, he laughs easily during our interview
and expresses wonder at the glittery bustle that has become his
"I never intended to be a promoter," he tells
me. "I just found that there were so many nice people I knew around
town, and you'd say "Oh we'll get together, I'll call you, we'll do
something," but [in spite of all the] good intentions you never seem
to do it. So I listed about twelve people and said I'd love to have
a little social night where we just sit around once a week and
Farrow's "martini club" grew to seventy-five
attendees after just a month, and the buzz attracted media. The
little gathering of friends quickly became a word-of-mouth
phenomenon. As he puts it, "The harder I tried to keep it small, the
bigger it got."
Three and a half years later, Martini
Tuesdays have been held at more than seventy locations. Rendezvous
draws up to two hundred guests a week, Euphoria pulls in nearly a
thousand, and Farrow´┐Ż's e-mail list has spiked to 4,100. Yet, despite
the colossal increase in the size and scope of his parties, Farrow
still treats the events like living-room get-togethers. "I'm running
nightclubs where close to a thousand people come," he chuckles, "but
as people come in I say "Hi, thanks for coming," as if this is my
house or something."
This heart-driven approach is, perhaps,
the secret to Farrow's success. In a city that splices the voltage
of New York with the tanned-god glitz of LA, Farrow has created
places where a gay community can, simply, connect. The parties have
attracted the likes of Suzanne Sommers, Spice Girl Gerri Halliwell,
and drag legend Lady Bunny ("he was looking for the Raleigh Hotel
and came in by mistake, but she stayed for a few drinks anyway").
Even so, they retain a comradery one might be hard-pressed to find
elsewhere in South Beach. Farrow adds that Martini Tuesdays has a
particularly close-knit feel, as its changing of venues causes
guests to have the sense that they're forever sharing a new
Warm, friendly, intimate: when it comes to
Farrow's clubs, these qualities do not translate as vanilla. In
fact, his events can get wild. Fire marshals routinely check on the
overstuffed and booming hip-hop room at Euphoria, and Sunday Teas, a
weekly dance Farrow hosted at the Palace Hotel on South Beach's posh
Ocean Drive, erupted into full-blown, feather-boa'd street parties:
"There were drag queens doing shows and dancing in the streets. So
many people showed up that the Miami Beach Fire Department said that
we were blocking the street and sidewalk and shut us
Somehow, Farrow keeps his fun affordable: Martini
Tuesdays and Rendezvous Wednesdays are free, while Euphoria Fridays
are only $5, a true departure from the double-digit tickets at most
South Beach clubs. On a broader scale, he uses his events to support
community-born events like the Miami International Gay and Lesbian
"I get a lot of phone calls to help people
out with charities, and I've helped people get out and vote," he
says. "I've had people running for Commissioner and Mayor come out
to my parties to shake hands with the gay community." If it's
possible, he seems to operate more as a social service provider than
as an entrepreneur. "It's become my job, but I definitely do it more
for community reasons than just for financial reasons."
As a boy, Farrow says, he couldn't have imagined
that he would one day be living this life. Born and raised on Long
Island, New York, Farrow began his career as an actor. He performed
theatrically for seventeen years, and was seasoned by his travels as
part of a company that performed at "corporate gigs" across the
continent. "One day we'd be in Las Vegas, the next weekend we'd be
in Toronto, the next weekend we'd be in Atlanta."
put Farrow in contact with an eclectic assortment of people, and
doubtless provided him the opportunity to learn the complex art of
mingling. He notes a particular cross-cultural trip to a "weird
debutante coming-out ball" in Odessa, Texas where a group of shocked
mothers shut down the troupe's sexy hip-hop routine.
basing himself in New York, Miami, and, finally, Los Angeles, Farrow
elected to shift gears. He moved back to South Beach (the place he'd
loved the most), aiming to launch a new career in web design. He was
bartending and in school when Martini Tuesdays accidentally took
Now that his professional life has made an unexpected
turn, the web training has proved enormously useful. Farrow says, "I
love being able to go on the website several times a day and make
updates rather than having to call someone constantly to do those
Farrow's theatre roots have also served him well,
providing him with the poise and authority he needs to deal with the
jubilant crowds he amasses. While he resists it, and his already
over-full life would seem to preclude it, Farrow still finds himself
acting from time to time in theatrical productions. (His current
project, a Christmastime musical It's a Fabulous Life, is a
gay-themed spoof of It's a Wonderful Life). "I always say "No, I
don't act anymore," and after saying no so many times I wind up
being in a show anyway," he says, "but it's fun."
a traveler visiting the Miami area for a week, or even a night - seek
out one of Farrow's soirees? Numerous gay residents we've spoken to
recently have recommended Farrow's parties (http://www.sobesocialclub.com/) as "a great
way to meet people and find out what's really happening in Miami
Besides the convenience of hosting these events at
great local venues, Farrow has given residents and visitors alike a
wonderful opportunity to get together and celebrate in one of
America's premier gay and lesbian destinations.