The 24th annual Nashville Pride Festival will be held Saturday, June 16, at Riverfront Park from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. The annual event is a chance for the GLBT community and its allies to gather in celebration of advances made for GLBT equality.
The excitement of Pride weekend begins on Thursday, June 14, with Curb Records Pride Rocks! Pre-Party at the Hard Rock Café, highlighted by Hydrogen Blonde, an explosive high energy cover band that plays a wide variety of hit songs. The band has become a staple in the East Nashville music scene performing monthly at The Lipstick Lounge.
This year’s festival is expected to be the most highly-attended to date and boasts an eclectic entertainment lineup that includes Hello Kelly, Jen Foster, Ian Harvie, Jermiah Clark, Antigone Rising, Kerli and Kristy Lee on the Bridgestone Main Stage. A variety of popular local acts will also perform throughout the day on the Local Stage and the Tribe & Play Entertainment Stage will be home to DJ’s and drag performances.
“We are so excited about this year’s beefed-up festival, especially with new additions like our Equality Walk presented by Fifth Third bank and an entertainment lineup as diverse as Middle Tennessee's LGBT community” said President Randall Roop.
Feisty, Nashville-based Hello Kelly takes the Main Stage just after noon. Knowing the life on the road is no place for the faint of heart, the alt-rock band has returned to the grind with a transformed sound that is harder, faster and more sincere, making it clear that Hello Kelly is in do-or-die mode with a tenacity never-before seen.
Jen Foster follows singing about the time her lover moved out and took everything she owned in “Taking Bob Dylan” and about the jaded American culture in “Closer to Nowhere. An award-winning singer/songwriter who regularly sells out shows all over the country, Foster often draws a devoted following to her live shows, though her largest fan base resides in the Southeast. Her bond with fans will create a captive audience, eager to hear her stories.
The day’s entertainment will switch gears in the afternoon when the world’s first FTM transgender comic, Ian Harvie, takes the stage. Frontiers Magazine referred to Harvie as “quite possibly the most unique stand up comic in the country” with his eccentric views on love, families, adolescence, substance abuse, and gender identification, as well as his acute dissection on the circus act that is the stunt double for today’s popular culture.
Jeremiah Clark returns the entertainment to music as he masterfully balances poetry with practicality similar to Rufus Wainwright and Tracy Chapman. While his songs usually take on a more serious tone, his performance is sure to be refreshingly lighthearted. He enjoys telling comedic stories about family, friends and traveling between tunes joking that, “If you don’t laugh AND cry at some point during the show, I simply have not done my job.”
The mighty rumble of Kristy Lee, an Alabama alternative artist with a voice like thunder rolling in before the sweet southern rain, as well as the newly-redirected Antigone Rising, a female rock band that has opened for Rob Thomas, Aerosmith and The Rolling Stones, round out the event’s main stage entertainment as they sandwich Estonian recording artist Kerli and her unique electronic/pop/experimental sound.
General admission to the event is $5 and allows access to more than 75 vendors in the Nashville GLBT Chamber Marketplace, mobile food vendors, cold cocktails and frozen drinks, misting fans, karaoke, street performances, an inflatable kids’ zone, prizes and much more. VIP tickets are $50 and include food and drink at the festival. All proceeds from ticket sales benefit Nashville Pride. This event is included in CORE 100 membership which offers discounted tickets to supporters. VIP tickets are available online and include private bar, two drink tickets, food and private restrooms in the Captain Morgan VIP area.