By: Lieba Nesis
The Hamptons July 4th has become a juggernaut on every celebrities’ calendar. In 1998 Puff Daddy heralded his new East Hampton home purchase with a star-studded annual July 4th white party, that lasted in different locales for nearly a decade. Those parties were more organic and democratic than the heavily vetted guest list of Michael Rubin’s annual white party-that has taken over the Hamptons summer scene for the past two years. The only possible competition in the Hamptons was Ron Perelman’s August Apollo benefit which ended in 2019 after Perelman experienced financial and health difficulties. The 49-year-old Fanatics founder Rubin, a multi-billionaire ($8 billion to be exact) E-commerce giant who is in the process of selling his shares in the Philadephia 76ers, has taken the helm of the Hamptons party scene with this highly anticipated rager. On July 3rd history was once again made on the $50 million Dune Road Bridgehampton estate Rubin purchased from Ziel Feldman in January 2021.
There is an element of this party that is distasteful, as rich entertainers gather to gloat over their wealth and power, as millions are left reeling from Covid and inflation. The notion of white clad partygoers heading to a Hamptons mansion, to fraternize with fellow celebrities and dance the night away is disconcerting. Regardless, I have attempted to recreate the evening from the Hamptons sidelines based on friends accounts and social media observations.
The Hamptons was in a tizzy on Sunday as people ran to T.J. Maxx to purchase white clothes just in case they received a last minute invite. A friend who knew I was researching the party gave me the telephone number of someone who had tried to enter. A veteran partygoer, this man told me he snuck through the bushes on the beach to see if he could enter from the back. He recounted a full security team on the beach impeding his entry. He next attempted to enter through the side when a drone camera hit him with its lights. That was followed up by a security guard flashing the lights on him and screaming “we know you are there get off the property”! He recounted dozens of people trying to sneak through the bushes or the beach who were unable to get in. The front door was even less forgiving requiring guests to show identification and at one point closing the doors due to overcapacity and too many trying to enter. An invited father desperately implored security guards to let his two sons in to no avail. The frustrated gatecrasher returned to the department store the following day to give back the white women’s pants he had purchased for the party. Fortunately, celebrities were able to remain ensconced in their cocoon away from the plebeian uninvited.
The festivities actually began on Saturday July 2nd as Rubin gathered Drake, Jay-Z and a select group of 20-year-old models for an after party. Drake had just arrived from performing with the Backstreet Boys in Toronto on Saturday, and Travis Scott was in Miami on Saturday entertaining the sold-out crowd at Club Eleven. Despite the previous late night, Rubin was more than alert for the following days festivities which began at sixish. Rubin claims this year was more selective then the 250 invitees of last year but viewing video footage it seemed more crowded as close to 500 people were packed like sardines in his massive house-misrepresentation number 1.
The party was predictably attended by the usual suspects (the same as last year): Travis Scott, Emily Ratajkowski, Meek Mill, J Balvin, James Harden, Jay-Z and Beyonce, Charli and Dixie D’Amelio, Noah Beck, Robert Kraft, Kendall Jenner and her on-again boyfriend Devin Booker, the Chainsmokers, 21 Savage and hundreds of others-yawn!! Okay so this year Drake came in beige, the only one to flout the all white dress code and gave a half assed performance with Lil Baby-another yawn. It was also the first time Drake and Travis Scott reunited since 10 people died and 4,900 others were injured at Astroworld in November 2021-less than a year ago. The visuals of these two basking in their fame when dozens of families lives were ruined in the epic tragedy is reminiscent of the two of them partying at Dave & Buster’s after the horrific tragedy the scope of which they had to have been aware of despite their claims to the contrary. Travis Scott should be visiting the destroyed families not billionaire homes in the Hamptons. Scott sang “Sicko Mode” for Rubin’s shindig-an apt song as he screamed disrespectfully at photographers to move the “fuck to the back” so he could ogle some women on stage-this man is wholly unapologetic.
There were other performances by Quavo, ASAP Ferg, Lil Baby, Lil Uzi, Fab, Diplo, Lil Durk, 21 Savage, none of which were too exciting-the acoustics and set up were lacking. If you had the name “Lil” it was a “little” bit easier to get in! Imbibing of alcohol was off-the-charts as over 400 people went through more than 600 bottles of tequila-while food was in short supply. The fireworks were contrastingly plentiful as well-heeled guests such as Corey Gamble, Kris Jenner’s boyfriend, and foodie Jonathan Cheban (who made the “exclusive guest list”) socialized with Kardashian hanger-ons Stassie and Zack Bia-who DJ’d. Fellow 76er owner Marc Leder attended with his girlfriend Kate Frank. Uber talented nightlife king Richie Akiva quarterbacked much of the performers-most of whom he counts as friends. The ubiquitously adorable Miguel sang some hits as other guests took some hits (of pot). This was not a Miguel-friendly crowd!
The night concluded at 4:30 AM as Rubin shared his girlfriend Camille Fishel face-planted off the stage and ended up in the hospital. Poor people clumsily fall whereas the rich “face-plant”-sounds much more glamorous. Too bad Dr. Oz had already left but thankfully Camille was okey dokey. Rubin was kind enough to share a picture of Camille’s bare breast-after breastfeeding their new baby girl who arrived less than a month ago. The next day a more sedated Hamptons woke up to a gloating Rubin who took to Instagram to say he was “humbled” to bring such an “incredible” group together-an apt description by a low-key Hamptons “Everyman.”
Jewish Voice writer and photographer Lieba Nesis graduated summa cum laude from Stern College and from Harvard Law School. The Jewish Voice is thrilled to have her live coverage of the New York, Hamptons and Miami party and nightlife scene.