His productions changed LGBT nightlife on the east coast.
The gay entertainment industry lost one of its most treasured promoters and producers on Wednesday. Chris Harris died after losing his battle with cancer. He was 51.
Mostly recognized for his presence on the east coast, Harris is known for helping revive a lackluster Boston nightclub scene with his pulse-pounding parties.
Harris' genius caught the eye of Boston Pride back in 2007. They asked him to consider bringing his Military Ball to a local closing nightclub, which he did. The ball was only supposed to last the weekend but ended up taking residency for six months.
Harris and fellow promoter Rafael Sanchez soon dominated Boston's nightclub circuit. The massive attendance at his parties was noticed by the owners at the Roxy who invited him to help reinvigorate their Saturday nights.
Although his parties were known as a local phenomenon, Harris hired both promising east coast talents and global DJs which earned him the respect of international partygoers.
"When Boston Pride hosted its first international Pride conference in 2012, Chris hosted all the delegates at his venues and treating each one as a VIP," Boston Pride said in a statement. "To this day, Interpride members talk fondly about the warm welcome they received in Boston."
His shows quickly became the gold standard for gay nightlife.
He became involved with Boston Pride and Rhode Island Pride, helping them book entertainment. He often gave Pride volunteers free access to his events after they worked the festivals.
The Board of Boston Pride named Harris an Honorary Parade Marshal for this year's Boston Pride taking place on June 8, 2019.
Social media has responded to the news of Harris' passing with memories and condolences
"I’m sitting here with goosebumps amazed by the power of love and how Chris brought so many of us together," wrote Jeremy Palmer. "Scrolling through my news feed and literally seeing THOUSANDS of people’s lives touched by one person. I feel so fortunate to have met and partied with such an extraordinary person. But to Chris, we were all extraordinary to him!"
James Allen writes, "Nightlife will never be the same again. Rest In Peace Chris Harris. Thank You for bringing ProviDANCE into my life. You were the reason for some of my most amazing memories."
Drag performer Nina Flowers remembers Harris fondly, "You always had a smile on your face; you always made a joke out of everything; in times a (sic) chaos you always had the most positive attitude. You were not just a friend, but you was one of my biggest supporters. You took a shot on me when no one even knew who I was. You had a vision, and you put your staple in the nightlife...So many great things to remember you for, and yet I can't bare the feeling of knowing that you're gone. Rest in peace dear friend, until we meet again RIP CHRISTIAN HARRIS."
His business partner Rafael Sanchez took to Facebook to offer these words in remembrance of Harris:
"On the 7th day, of the 7th month, of the 7th year (2007), we started a journey that changed our lives forever. My brother, friend, mentor, partner in crime, confidant, my MARY (as we used to call each other)... I'm grateful to have been able to share this life with you and know one day we will meet again to keep the party going up there. As promised, your legacy will be kept alive and dreams we shared will be fulfilled. Until then, may you finally rest in peace."
Chris Harris: December 23, 1967 - January 9, 2019.