GENESIS: The Deconstruction & Reconstruction Of A Pride Festival

Opening Scene: Miami, The afternoon of Friday June 21st, The Wynwood Marketplace. The first attendees of our inaugural Wynwood Pride Festival are starting to trickle in. Over the next three days we will be part of opening an exciting new chapter in the herstory of Miami’s LGBTQ community. A movement that has up until now been mostly relegated to Miami Beach and downtown is now spreading its colorful arms even further into the mainland. We have one central mission: unite all of Miami’s LGBTQ people in one place to celebrate the talent, diversity, and progress we have made that make the city such a vibrant place to live and visit for queer people and their allies.

There are a lot of preconceived notions one gets when the term “Pride Festival” is thrown around. A parade, blaring dance music, lots of half-naked shirtless men, drag queens, rainbow flags, lots of sponsorship logos, and non-profit booths are among the elements that come to mind. So, we ask ourselves: what would make Wynwood Pride unique? How can we take this idea of Pride and push it to the next level for Miami in 2019? How can we give a platform to the blossoming queer talent locally and beyond? We made these questions our guiding light in our mission. We had to tear down and rebuild the standard concepts of Pride and re-invent them to provide an exceptional experience for all who would join us in this movement.

TALENT: Whereas many pride events tend to focus on a parade element, we decided to focus on talent. It is no secret that one of the many gifts bestowed upon LGBTQ people is creativity. What better way than to focus on talent than to make our Pride a music festival? Music unites us all; it is the saving grace that keeps us hopeful and dancing even in the darkest of times. Singers, DJs, drag queens, and dancers all use this medium to keep us constantly inspired. We want Wynwood Pride to be an inclusive platform for local, national, and international queer talent and its allies.

Our lineup is as diverse as our audience. International headliners like Pabllo Vittar, Poppy, Aja, and Dorian Electra will leave you gagging. Legendary Latin superstars such as Ivy Queen and Albita will turn up the heat. Incredible DJs like DJ Citizen Jane, Occupy the Disco, Internet Friends, The Love Below Party, Bonnie Beats, DJ Zehno, The Standard’s Tunes from the Team DJs, DJ Hottpants and more!

FOOD: But why stop at just the talent component of a Pride Festival? People need to eat too, and hot dogs/street food just won’t cut it. Enter Milly’s Food Bazar: a highly curated culinary experience for all festivalgoers sponsored by Milly’s Empanada Factory. We reached out to some of the best restaurants in Miami to bring the most desirable, tastiest, and unique options on board. In order to be worthy of showcasing these amazing eateries we needed to create a vibe worthy of the quality they are known for. Bistro lighting, community style seating, beautiful custom façades, and a slew of food category options will keep everyone’s bellies full and happy.

NON-PROFITS: No Pride festival has fully served its purpose until it gives back to the community. With that being said, most pride festivals let important non-profit organizations set up a booth and then leave them to their own devices for fundraising and spreading awareness. Instead of taking this route which often falls flat we decided to activate our non-profit community village to attract more foot traffic, increase donations, and bring our partner organizations into the fold of the full vision.

Instead of offering only rapid HIV testing on-site, we will be providing a full panel of STD/STI testing. We will have special interactive performances in the non-profit village to make it interactive. Our partners will be allowed to fundraise on-site. We chose fifteen local organizations and gave them free booths. Our three main beneficiaries (Pridelines, Astrea, and Survivor’s Pathway) will have a text to donate campaign daily throughout the festival where they get 100% of the proceeds. In addition, there will be a bar which will have proceeds going to Pridelines. Our goal was to do as much as we could to promote these vital and important organizations that are the lifeline of our community and offer so many important services to those in need.

For three full days, this massive undertaking will put Miami on the international Pride map and usher in a new era of what it means to be queer and proud in Miami. Join us for this ride and be a part of something revolutionary. See you in a few weeks!