Liquid Tampa (1502 E. 7th Ave., Tampa) opened three years ago and quickly became one of the hottest places to party not just on the weekends, but all week long. With two floors, three separate bars, and high-quality DJs and performers, it’s easy to see why Liquid has earned itself a devoted following.
Four months ago, the management at Liquid started planning their third anniversary party, which promises to be bigger than any other night in the club’s history. When Liquid had the opportunity to bring in former member of *NSYNC, Lance Bass, for the celebration, owner Michael Mikula just could not pass up the chance. “He’s the biggest personality Liquid has welcomed thus far,” Mikula told Hotspots. “We obviously always strive to do bigger and better events so we worked with several people and we felt Lance was the perfect fit,” Mikula said.
Liquid Tampa’s third anniversary party, hosted by and featuring a performance from Lance Bass, will start at 9 p.m. on Saturday, April 11. The music during the anniversary party will be provided by DJ Power Infiniti, with an opening set by Billboard Magazine reporting DJ Greg Anderson. Cover is $10, with VIP meet and greet options priced at $30. For the VIP price, ticketholders will get front of the line privileges upon entering the club before 11 p.m., the exclusive use of a VIP bar, and a meet and greet and photo opportunity with Lance Bass. These VIP tickets are guaranteed to sell out, so be sure to buy yours at lancebassliquid.eventbrite.com as soon as possible.
I talked with Lance Bass about the busy life he lives in California, and about his “second home” here in Florida in this exclusive Hotspots interview.
Florida obviously holds a special place in your heart. What is it about Florida that you love so much?
One thing that I love about Florida is that it’s a melting pot. All people from all walks of life live there. You rub elbows with everyone. That was definitely what I loved about Florida when I originally moved there when I was 16. I was very sheltered, and I quickly learned that there isn’t just “one type” of person. It was nice to be introduced very quickly to all walks of life in Florida. I love that and I think it’s shaped the person I am today.
You were down here recently for the big Love is Love mass wedding in Fort Lauderdale. Why did you feel it was important to be a part of this event?
I thought it was so important because Florida was one of the states where it was hardest to approve marriage equality. Having a special connection there myself, not to mention that my husband [Michael Turchin]’s entire family lives in Florida, I thought I had to be a part of these changes, so when they announced they were doing the Love is Love event, I knew that I had to be down there and be a part of it. Florida is like a second home to me, so I wanted to let people know that I loved them and I wanted to show my face.
Which, by the way, how is married life? You’ve been married for how long now?
It’s been three months!
What was it like to film the entire wedding process for a television special?
It was pretty scary at first, because you never know those kinds of shows are going to end up. They are always looking for drama, and you never know how you’re going to be “edited” in a situation like that. But I had full trust in E! and full trust in the producers and I have to say they made it so easy for us. It was enjoyable to shoot this special. Not only was it exciting to plan the wedding, but now we have something that we can show our future kids and grandkids. Now we have the best wedding video ever! [laughs]
How excited are you that you’re going to be hosting and performing at Liquid’s third anniversary?
I’m very excited because I’ve never partied at any of the clubs in Tampa before! I’ve done Orlando, and I’ve done Miami, but it will be really nice to come to Tampa and see what they have to offer. I’m also really excited because I get a chance to perform. I never get to go out and perform at clubs ever, so it will be great to perform this song that I love so much, and see my gay Floridians! [laughs]
Can you tell us about the song you will be performing at Liquid?
I released a song last year with a few people, including Snoop Dogg, and it went #1 all over Europe. Now I’m going to perform an American version of this song; it’s a duet with Bella Blue and I love it. It’s a great dance song so hopefully it will get everyone dancing.
You have two satellite radio shows on SiriusXM. Tell us about them.
They’re keeping me busy over at SiriusXM! The first show I do is the Pop2k Countdown on the Pop2k channel each weekend. It’s probably the more popular of my shows. I count down the top 30 songs which charted from this specific week in a particular year of the 2000s. The songs are so nostalgic and it’s so fun listening to all of them.
Then I do Dirty Pop on SiriusXM OutQ Monday through Friday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. It’s always been a dream of mine to have my own talk show with my friends and talk about music and movies and television. That’s exactly what we created, the kind of vibes and discussions you have when you’re having a drink with your friends sitting around the coffee table. It’s my favorite two hours of the day.
For people who may have not heard Dirty Pop, what would you say to people to encourage them to listen?
If you want to have a fun time on your drive home from work, this is the party you definitely want to be at, for sure. We have fun with discussing everything because we’re wrong half the time, and that’s what I love about the show, because it’s friends arguing and we may not know everything about a topic, but we’re stubborn. It’s fun to see and hear people with different opinions fighting and arguing. Then, since it’s live, you have callers phoning in and they’re yelling at us too, and it’s just such a fun experience I get to have daily!
You’re very involved and hands-on when it comes to your advocacy work and your charity work. Are there any projects you’re working on right now?
There are so many right now! I have my hands in a lot of different pies. I work very closely with The Trevor Project and that’s one of my favorite organizations because they help a lot of people in the South and that’s where I’m from. What I like about The Trevor Project is that they do a lot of outreach to kids in the South who are growing up, like I did, feeling like they are the only gay person in town. GLAAD and HRC are two great organizations I’ve had the pleasure of working with, and then I’m on the board of the Environmental Media Association. The environment is very important to me and we do amazing things by spreading messages through the media which convince people to take care of themselves and also help look after the planet better than they were.
A while back you said that Perez Hilton bullied you into coming out. Now that you’ve been out to the public for nearly ten years, do you regret any of the decisions you made at that time?
I do, actually. I think most people who have been in that situation would look back and do it all over again if they could. I wasn’t prepared and ready to speak publicly about being gay. I didn’t know much about myself at the time, and I didn’t know much about the LGBT community. I was just getting educated about it, and I was feeling like I might be ready to tell my story…I was in a good relationship, my friends knew, my family knew, so I was out already, but when you’re a celebrity that’s not enough; you have to be “publicly out.” And I ended up being pushed out, so while I was on my way, I wasn’t fully ready to articulate all the things I wanted to say. I wasn’t educated enough.
So if I could do it all again, I totally would. I would have contacted GLAAD and HRC and asked them to help me like other celebrities have done after me. I just wish I didn’t have to do it as an ultimatum or by myself, and I did do it by myself. I was told, “We’re writing a story about you tomorrow. We can either do it with or without you.” So within 24 hours, I did the interview and it was on newsstands. I don’t think anyone should be forced to have to tell their coming out story in just 24 hours.
I had quite a few people ask me if there is an *NSYNC reunion in the cards for you anytime soon. So, is there?
That’s the question of the day for sure! Look, we love each other, we’re brothers, and we went through something that will bond us for life. After the group broke up, we’ve still constantly talked to one another, every week, for years. But as far as appearances, we have no plans to get back together. I don’t see us reuniting as *NSYNC ever again.
What does the future hold for you?
This year has been very good for me as far as television and film is concerned. We will be announcing a few projects this summer, including some I’ve written. If anyone hasn’t seen the documentaries Kidnapped for Christ or Mississippi I Am yet, I really recommend they do so; these stories meant so much and I was honored to tell them. Then, finally, my husband Michael and I are looking at starting our own family! We can’t wait to raise some good, upstanding citizens!
Liquid Tampa is located at 1502 E. 7th Ave. in Tampa’s Ybor City neighborhood. Hours of operation are 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. on Mondays and 4 p.m. to 3 a.m. Tuesdays through Sundays. For more information, visit liquidtampa.com. For more information on Lance Bass, visit lancebass.com.