Nightlife

EDGE Editor Heads noiZe Magazine

Wednesday Mar 5, 2008

Steve Weinstein, the editor-in-chief of EDGE, has put on another editing hat in addition to editing all of the EDGE sites (EdgeBoston.com, EdgeDallas.com, EdgePhiladelphia.com, etc.). Weinstein is taking on editing noiZe magazine, long heralded as the gay community's bible of the circuit scene.

Formerly known as Circuit Noize, the name change reflects the magazine's move beyond just big dance events in other aspects of gay men having a good time. Weinstein plans to reinvigorate the popular magazine for its 15th year of publication. Currently distributed on a quarterly basis in over 50 cities in the North America, Europe and Australia, noiZe plans to increase publication frequency to six issues annually later this year. The websites (www.noizemag.com and www.partyfinder.com) will continue as before.

These efforts recognize the integral role of the exciting party scene in the foundation of gay culture, while adapting to the changing needs and desires of its core readership.

"There's been talk of whether the circuit scene is dead," says Weinstein, who has written extensively in publications such as the Village Voice, Out and HX. However, Weinstein, who wrote an article for Out on the changing party scene and has covered parties for EDGE, sees no reason to pronounce the party scene DOA.

"It's not dead, it's evolving," says Weinstein. He believes gay publications must adapt to a diverse new readership and expanded party opportunities that transcend the typical dance club: gay cruises, ski weekends, international festivals and more. "A lot of younger gay guys look at the typical circuit party--a couple thousand muscular guys with their shirts off, wearing jeans, dancing in a room to a thumping bass beat--and they see it as outdated... as their uncle's circuit party," he said. As the author of the definitive guide to gay Fire Island, Weinstein knows whereof he speaks.

NoiZe has consistently enjoyed a loyal readership through international placement in clubs, bars, lounges and other gathering spaces. NoiZe distributes over 40,000 copies.

"We're the only magazine that focuses on travel and parties," says Publisher Stephen Ceplenski. "There are a million places that tell you about skin cream, how to meet a boyfriend, and what gay rights bill is passing" he says. "But if you're interested in getting out there, having a good time, and going to parties... this is the only place."

The publication also continues to encourage a unique sense of interactivity with partiers, employing a team of "noiZe Boys" in major American cities. Besides providing delectable eye candy, noiZe Boys personally distribute promotional copies, CDs, t-shirts, and sponsorship material to engage readers beyond the printed page.

According to Weinstein, one thing that won't change is the noiZe dedication to providing the ultimate party experience. "I didn't come to reinvent the wheel," says Weinstein. Weinstein plans to keep the tone light and festive without undermining the noiZe focus on safety and harm reduction (not necessarily abstention) in sex, drug use, and other facts of party life.

Indeed, amidst all the excitement over the shifting face of the party scene, some things remain the same. "Everyone likes a good party, traveling, and a fun vacation," says Ceplenski. "But when you're in your own tribe - whether that's defined by gender, race, or sexuality - you just have a sense of freedom. And in today's world, that gives a huge sense of relief and comfort."

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