Spears debuted La Fête du Rose, a pink and white-themed shindig that celebrates all things rose, in 2018. The spring affair is now rebranded as Celebrez en Rose, or French for “Celebrate in Pink,” and kicks off its four-city tour to Washington, D.C., Houston and Chicago at Atlanta’s Historic Fourth Ward Park on Saturday, May 7.
“We wanted to create something on our own,” said Spears, who has also organized and curated the National Fried Chicken Festival since 2016. “We saw the evolution of rose as a product and a brand, but also as a lifestyle. We thought we could mash the two and create something unique and special that folks would really enjoy.”
Credit: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP
Credit: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP
Now in its third year in Atlanta after a two-year hiatus because of the coronavirus pandemic, this year’s launch under its new name during Mother’s Day weekend features photo installations and performances by singer Robin Thicke, Grammy-winning legend DJ Jazzy Jeff and singer/actor Rotimi. Vocalists Mya, Tamia and multi-talented hip hop icon MC Lyte will take center stage at subsequent shows in other cities.
“It’s really a balancing act,” Spears said. “We’re not a music festival; we’re a wine, fashion and Instagrammable moments event that just so happens to have great music.”
“We thought it would create great visuals and give people the opportunity to be unique and creative with something that had not been done before,” Spears adds. “There are all-white concepts and events all throughout the spring and the summer, so we wanted to change it up, and it was a good opportunity for us to do that.”
DJ Stormy Monroe was blown away by the concept after performing at the inaugural rose event in Atlanta. The Caribbean descendant who regularly spins at Tribeca Buckhead, Red Martini and Spice House Midtown assures the weekend will be exciting and memorable.
“My job is to make sure that everybody enjoys themselves,” said DJ Stormy, a New Orleans native now based in Atlanta. “I’m the pre-game turn up, so I want to curate the music experience that they literally will sing along, stand on their feet the entire time and get into that vibe.”
Spears is making some cosmetic changes to enhance and improve event logistics since the last Atlanta event took place at Piedmont Park in 2019. There’s now a Rose Garden, which Spears refers to as “the party within the party,” that includes its own DJ separate from the main stage, hors d’oeuvres, and a specialty rose-based wine and cocktail tasting menu.
The VIP area comes with a “love package” featuring meals catered by chef Wolfgang Puck.
Celebrez en Rose is also partnering exclusively with three Black-owned wine companies: La Fete Wine Company, Michael Lavelle Wines, and McBride Sisters Collection.
“As an entrepreneur and CEO that has multiple ventures, we are always looking for opportunities to partner with other Black entrepreneurs and brands,” Spears said. “We’re able to get a consortium of partners together who are all representative of Black excellence and bring them all together.”
Since the only Celebrez en Rose last year was held in Washington, D.C., Spears has been working especially to prevent long lines from forming at both the event entrance and by the bar. Producing an event on a large scale also comes with the disbelief from the business community that his Black- and male-owned public relations and experiential marketing firm can consistently produce successful programming across disciplines.
“Belief is nothing without the work behind it,” Spears said. “What I’ve dealt with for the last 14 years is when you’re the outlier, people are slow to engage and give you a chance. When something hasn’t happened before, folks are very leery about engaging. Believe that something is possible, and be dogmatic about believing in yourself and your ability to execute.”
Spears is hoping for Celebrez en Rose to operate as a gateway for his company to take on more lifestyle-based projects after concentrating on mission- and cause-based marketing the last 14 years. He takes pride at being perceived as “an outlier” and prefers fully executing his vision to fruition despite the obstacles that present themselves to deliver impeccable customer friendly experiences.
“There’s always something that needs to be done, and nothing will replace actually doing the work,” Spears said. “We’re continuing to monitor the landscape and make adjustments, but making sure that we’re keeping folks engaged and motivated in this new landscape is a priority of mine as the leader.”
Celebrez en Rose
Noon May 7. $85-$400; VIP cabana for 10, $5000. Historic Fourth Ward Park, 680 Dallas St. NE, Atlanta. celebrezenrose.com.