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DJ Peter Rauhofer, Mansion nightclub face protest over Sunday night dance party during Winter Party Festival

BY STEVE ROTHAUS, srothaus@MiamiHerald.com

Activists plan to protest a Grammy-winning DJ's Sunday night dance party at the Mansion nightclub on South Beach, which they say competes for gay tourist dollars with a Winter Party Festival fundraiser.

``We just want to make sure the public is aware, and the patrons who show up understand, this is not a sanctioned event,'' said protest organizer Rick Siclari, executive director of Care Resource, South Florida's largest HIV/AIDS service agency.

Siclari is angry at celebrity DJ Peter Rauhofer and Opium Group, which owns Mansion, for holding dance parties in 2008 and 2009 that competed with Care Resource's annual White Party festival during Thanksgiving weekend.

Last year, only about 100 people came to White Party's Sunday night fundraiser, costing the agency about $20,000, Siclari said.

``We took a low-key approach, which was a mistake,'' said Siclari, who decided to organize a protest of Rauhofer's latest Miami Beach dance event, which will be held Sunday night opposite a Winter Party Festival fundraiser by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.

orbit2Winter Party is a six-day annual festival that attracts 10,000 gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people to South Beach. Two-thirds of Winter Party profits are distributed by the Dade Community Foundation to gay nonprofit agencies throughout South Florida.

``If good people stand by and let these things happen, it's really our fault too,'' said co-organizer Laurence Moser, who has printed T-shirts, fliers and posters to promote the protest.

He hopes about 70 people will show up at 10 p.m. Sunday at Washington Avenue and 12th Street near Mansion.

``We're going to be pretty much in their face. We're going to be engaging people in line,'' Moser said.

Vanessa Menkes, Opium Group's vice president of communications, explained her company's position in an e-mail to The Miami Herald:

``The Opium Group has a long-standing commitment to providing its venues for dozens of charitable events each year and was approached by Winter Party only after it had entered into a contract with Peter Rauhofer for this Sunday night.

``As many have correctly commented, the Winter Party has evolved from a single event to a weekend with a multitude of events competing for charity and tourist dollars. Just as they choose which event they would like to attend at one of Miami Beach's 20 or so venues Sunday night, we believe visitors also make a choice to attend Winter Party or donate directly to the HIV/AIDS charity of their choice. We sincerely hope that the mission of Winter Party is realized more than ever this weekend and, as previously publicly stated, we are happy to offer them one of our venues free of charge on an available Sunday on a future date.''

The national task force will not participate in the protest, said Russell Roybal, its deputy executive director of external relations.

Sexy``We are concentrating on our own event that Sunday,'' Roybal said. ``We support folks planning to organize or do whatever they want to do. We teach organizing, right?''

Rauhofer declined to comment, except for a short message sent to The Miami Herald via Facebook: ``Sorry, I will be unable to attend this protest due to a prior engagement. Maybe next time.''

Winter Party Orbit dance photos by MRNY


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That's gonna be a hell of a protest. 7 people against 1500?
The community already has spoken. They want Peter @ Mansion otherwise it wouldn't be sold out again!

...isn't it ironic how Task Force is all of a sudden distancing themselves from protesting?!

Just do the right thing ... I'm more inclined to spend money when I know even a small amount is going back to a greater good. How many of us really give directly to HIV/AIDs service organizations? This is a no-brainer for me. Go to the parties that help community organizations over individuals.

It's the Task Force's own fault. They knew the cause itself would never raise as much money as a party with a cause tied to it. So they created this monstrous event which has been co-opted by the private businesses and enterprising party professionals. You reap what you sow. Deal with it.

Peter Rauhofer's tactics are beyond sleazy. His promotion efforts are intentionally misleading, designed to trick people into thinking he's somehow affiliated with the charitable events hundreds of volunteers have spent months working on. He's done this time and time again. I'm glad people are finally standing up to say: ENOUGH!

The only people who will attend Rauhofer's event are those who don't care about their own community. Frankly, I have no interest in hanging around such folks.

I'll be at the official party, Orbit at Space, with good-hearted people who actually care about their own community. I wouldn't got to Rauhofer's event if you paid me.

SPACE is the ONLY place to be on Sunday night. And for all those nay-sayers, imagine if a major rock star decided to do a huge concert on the same day as Live Aid and promising NO money to a charitable cause. You'd think they were scum. Well, so is this Rauhofer. The Task Force uses the money raised to support more than a dozen local charities who desperately need the money.

For any of you that think that either party (The White Party or Peter Rauhofer's Party)is a positive thing for the community is misinformed. Both events provide a place that includes a high percentage of drug use or alchoholic intake which inevitably leads to promiscuity without the use of protection. In fact, my theory is the event increases the number of gay/bisexual cases of HIV than it prevents or helps. It's a vicious cycle. All of these events should be stopped and replaced with more responsible events.. (and I'm a gay man) I will not sponsor any gay/HIV organization that promotes these events. I believe they're irresponsible.

Well, if anybody gets in my face...I will and I mean I will beat the living hell of them. Especially if I see that moser guy. Notice how the TF has remained silent throughout this drama. Smart. Mr Moser and Care Resource are going to hurt the Task Force and any future reconciliation with Peter.

I want everybody to think about this....These parties are suppose to raise funds to pay for the executives high salaries, and some well they say 2/3 goes to the community. They are abotu HIV/AIDS. Well, one problem here....People come to these parties mainly to have fun, do drugs and sex. Many of them unprotected. In a single weekend, more people will become HIV positive because of these parties. Sad but it's the truth..so are we trying to help the community or increase HIV?

"Brad" aka "Laurence Moser".......GOOD WORK! I am sure you & your friend Ric Siclari make Miami proud! Protesting is the wrong way to ever get any Opium owned venues in the future. Even task Force is clever enough to distance themselves from you losers. lol

Dear Ben. A:

My comments are my own, not those of "Laurence Moser." You are wrong to think there are not hundreds of people who are fed up with Peter Rauhofer's misanthropic behavior and opportunism. His career is already tanking.

And to "Mark" who complains about the "high salaries" of nonprofit executives, you don't know what you're talking about. The salaries are fair, on the low side of market-rate. Comparatively speaking, the funding of LGBT nonprofits pales in comparison to that of the right-wing organizations that are actively working against us.

What is wrong with you people who care so much about some stupid DJ that you actually side with HIM over the nonprofits that serve you and advocate on your behalf?

If I had my way, folks like you would be ineligible for the services these nonprofits provide.


All 70 people will wiil be paid to show up at 10 p.m. Sunday at Washington Avenue and 12th Street near Mansion Mr. Rathouse!

Brad you are a fool. National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is the lowest rated charity. Check www.charitytracker.org. You can do it. Brad. 2 stars. And yes its a .org governement run completely independent and rated number one for money sites at money magazine and CNN.com.

Boca Scott: To quote an unsavory Republican with whom you probably have much in common: YOU LIE.

www.charitytracker.org does not exist.

You can, however, look up the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force on the independent website www.guidestar.com, which is the definitive website for finding out how well charities are run. Reviews there give it an average rating of just under 5 (out of 5) stars.

You honestly think people are being paid to protest Rauhofer's misanthropic behavior? You honestly can't grasp the notion that the people who support the nonprofits that serve our community are genuinely upset?

Now tell me again, who is the fool, Boca Scott?

I think he meant charitynavigator.org. They indeed have only 2 starts, but it's going to a good cause so ..?


Thanks for that, KC. According to charitynavigator.org, two stars means "needs improvement." My guess would be that their cost of fundraising is a little too high to get a higher ranking. Why? Because events like Winter Party are expensive to produce. And what undercuts the net amount raised for charity? Events thrown by people like Rauhofer, who capitalize on the hard work of the charities, but give nothing back to the community.

For a complete picture, I would also look at the ratings of the 31 South Florida LGBT organizations that have been beneficiaries of the $2 million raised by Task Force events.


Sad that Care Resource and Laurence Moser are organizing this event. It's going to ruin the reputation of the Task Force. To Brad, do you ever wonder why White Party over the years have been failing? They are one of the most corrupt organizations I ever known. Don't tell me about your reputation. I applaud this protest because all it will do is have people look into your organization more and corruption within. Anybody ever wonder why White Party the last few years have not been good...Nobody wants to work for them anymore. None of the DJ's and very few promoters. They insist on 100% of the profit but forget, clubs, people working, the djs, etc all got to be paid but care resource keep insisting on 100% of the profit.

Does anybody remember Vito Abbate? He is a great example about how Care Resource tried to put him down and ruin his Parties when he ran against them...THEY TOLD LIES!!!! Vito was a well respected man and even put lots of time into Care Resource. Although, his parties where non sanctioned..he continued to donate a portion of his profit to that dam organization because he believed in its cause. After he died, Care Resource had a memorial service in his honor after all the crap they put him through. THAT IS ASHAME. NOW THEY ARE DOING IT TO PETER WHO ONCE HELPED THEM RAISE THOUSANDS!! SAD!

I like to clear one thing, I am talking about Care Resource and not the Task Force because the article states that Care Resource which runs White party in Nov and Laurence Loser Moser is behind the protest

I think this is THE most ridiculous smear campaign! We are talking about the music industry, the fans that care about the music, and THE hottest club in Miami. Peter Rauhofer has not done anything illegal or immoral. Using words like "rogue" and "siphons off revenue," "stealing," and "conspired" are loaded fabrications, deliberately used to hurt your competitor. These kinds of tantrums are best kept quiet and handled with dignity!
Furthermore, to the marketing team responsible for tonight's event hosted by the "officially sanctioned Winter Party Festival" at Space: This is a desperate attempt to "sell your product." You disguise your strategy as "cause marketing," linking it to a social cause (I'm not denying that funds are distributed for a worthy cause), but when you begin a smear campaign because your strategies have failed, it's not about supporting a worthy cause anymore! Your whole campaign against Peter Rauhofer is a pathetic and deceptive undercover marketing strategy aimed at manipulating the consumers into spending their money YOUR way.
As far as I, and many many others, are concerned, your smear campaign against Peter Rauhofer IS JUST THAT, and clearly NOT a noble one either! WHEN YOU GO TO THESE ENDS TO CONTROL AN OUTCOME THAT SHOULD BE LEFT TO THE PUBLIC, YOUR ACTIONS BECOME HOSTILE AND MANIPULATIVE! I know of NO other group that supports a worthy cause that would EVER go to these extremes to ensure their preferred outcome!
PETER, you deserve an apology from these pouty and manipulative deceivers!

"Outing others because you are not good enough to compete is simply a sleazy business practice." Aaron Wall wrote on SEObook.com

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