Executive Director of PhillyGayCalendar

HIV … Aids… words you've heard, and maybe even use in your day to day vernacular, but how much do you really know about the disease that once swept a nation / culture?  Cherry Pop and Brandon Robert have teamed up again to put togehter a 1 night only show that aims to raise awarness and money that can be used to educate future generations so we can continue to move forward towards a cure and eventual eradication of HIV. 

This Friday Dozens (literally, dozenS) of performers will grace the stage at Voyer to entertain the masses.  What makes CODE: Red different than most other shows is the heart behind it, and the personal stories that get woven into the evening. 

I had a chance to talk with producers Mikel and Brandon via facebook to get insight into why this night is special to them.  I asked Mikel  why he thinks CODE: Red is continually a success…




I think code reds apparent success is based off of the mission we have for the event. Most people love being entertained, but we took the show to the next level by making it a charity event. It's a night where people can show support, give back to their community, learn about prevention and hiv resources, a night to be heard. Brandon and I work so hard in producing a flawless show, and we are so touched by the positive feedback. The response for Code:Red 2015 has been outstanding, we didn't expect that we would sell out of table and seats within 24hrs of online ticket sales. The thing I look forward to the most each year is just being at the event. The energy in the room is so powerful. The audience is engaged, the entertainers are electric, and the people behind the scenes are committed. It's definitely the event to be at. There's nothing else really like it in the city. I really enjoy the Breaking the Silence moment that I started last year and will continue to do this year where I invite any openly positive individuals onstage to stand beside me to show that it is OK to be known as HIV + in a fight to end stigmas surrounding the virus. It takes a lot of courage. This year we have something really special planned for the Breaking the Silence moment. Let's just say "I'm proud". Being on the production side of an event is extremely stressful. It is difficult to create a show with 50 entertainers who are excited to be a part of the event. Entertainers are big personalities and sometimes it's overwhelming to manage and please everyone but I think I got an amazing bunch of talent so the stress is worth it. I love my code red family; my vision wouldn't be possible If it weren't for the code red team. I am lucky to have Brandon as my co-partner because he has produced many successful shows in the past. He knows what he is doing so it takes a lot of the weight off my shoulder. He deals with all the financial aspects and behind the scenes. I'm more of the visual aspect of the show, putting together the lineup and keeping the energy alive. I think we do well as a team. DJ Carl Michaels gets a lot of credit for handling the music, it's hard. And Ryan Glynn who is behind the stage gathering the entertainers who are about to perform so the show runs smoothly. It may look smooth, but Ryan looks like a farmer rounding up a flock of 50 chickens to go in one direction lol All jokes aside, producing this show has been great. I enjoy doing it. Brandon and I are in chats with Matt Beirshmitt and we have bigger ideas for the future of Code:Red, I look forward to the "growth" of Code:Red and how we can better "reach out" to our community. 



Brandon had this to add




I agree with Mikel! I think the success of the show and the reason why it runs smoothly is because Mikel and I play to our strengths in producing the show. He takes care of the show aspect and I take care of the business side. The same happens the night of the show. Mikel makes sure that the show is running on time, from the music to the acts going on on time and I make sure everything on the floor goes smoothly from the tickets sales to the in house raffles.



 I asked Brandon what it was like getting back into the producing game. 




haha I never really left! In 2014 I made the decision to stop producing shows with the exception of Code Red. I get asked all the time why that's the only show I still produce and my response is always the same. It's too important of a show! Mikel's vision is too important NOT to produce! At last years show there was a point where Cherry is on stage and invites anyone who is HIV Positive to come up on stage in solidarity. It's a very powerful moment in the show. A friend of mine who I hadn't seen in awhile went up on stage. I had no idea he was positive. After the show he approached me with tears in his eyes and simply said "Thank you" and gave me a huge hug. He went on to say that that was the hardest thing he ever did (getting up on stage) but felt like he just lifted the entire world off his shoulders. THAT's why I produce this show with Cherry!


They both wanted to give a HUGE shout out to Matt Beierschmit and Carl Michaels for their amazing suppourt! 

 As if gainging access to this amazing show wasn't enough, your CODE: Red wrist band also gets you entrance to many of the bars and clubs in the city, Tabu, ICandy, Franky Bradley's and Woody's are all allowing Code Red wristband wearers free admission to their dancefloors all night!


Find out more info here –



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