Miami's industrial-district-turned-popular-arts-hub is pulling out the stops for its inaugural Wynwood Pride Music Festival, celebrating the full spectrum of diversity in Miami during National LGBTQ Pride Month. The festival, produced by Swarm in partnership with the Wynwood Business Improvement District (BID), will take place June 21 through 23 at the Wynwood Marketplace and is free and open to the public. But Wynwood Pride events will also take place throughout the month in the arts district.
Festival cofounder and longtime Wigwood collaborator José Atencio explains how the event became a reality: "Wynwood Pride is cofounded by three proud LGBTQ people of color and lovers of our LGBTQ culture." Along with Atencio, those people are Scott Bernardez, who works at the event agency Swarm, and Anna Margarita Albelo, who has organized LGBTQ+ events in Paris and Los Angeles. Together, Atencio says, they "wanted to create a LGBTQ festival that highlights the exploding LGBTQ music scene during Pride Month."
When the three connected in December 2018, Atencio adds, they "immediately clicked, envisioning an event that would focus on bringing together, in an intersectional and intergenerational way, the diverse communities of Miami around music and art, as well as activism and philanthropy, making nonprofit activism a central core of the event."
The festival, which Atencio describes as "Queerchella," is full of heavy-hitters such as Pabllo Vittar, Ivy Queen, Poppy, RuPaul's Drag Race's Aja, Dorian Electra, Miss Toto, Tama Gucci, Queef Latina, DJ Citizen Jane, and many others. Drag Race's Carmen Carrera will be the festival's host. For the full lineup, visit wynwoodpride.com.
"We have two principal goals," Atencio says. "One is to create a respected, internationally recognized festival that puts LGBTQ artists and allies in the spotlight, giving them a platform, press, and publicity to help promote their work to a growing audience of supporters. The other is to create unity and support in Miami and elsewhere around the issues of LGBTQ people and initiate further understanding and connection between our diverse communities."
He adds, "Aside from our three nonprofit partners in youth, health, and justice, we’ve created a nonprofit village offering 15 to 20 booths to help promote and fundraise for their missions. We are proud to join in South Florida's LGBTQI visibility along with Miami Beach Pride, Fort Lauderdale Pride, Gay8, and Hialeah Pride."
The nonprofit community village will offer services such as HIV testing, counseling information, and wardrobe makeovers. A percentage of the festival's proceeds will benefit its three nonprofit partners: Pridelines, Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice, and Survivor's Pathway.
Asked what fueled the decision to bring the festival to Wynwood, Atencio says, "We love Wynwood! It’s become internationally known as a place for freedom of expression thanks to the street-art movement and has evolved into one of Miami’s most artistic and vibrant neighborhoods." He adds, "Wynwood has a big LGBTQ presence [that includes] Wigwood and No. 3 Social, who are all participating with Wynwood Pride. The Wynwood BID has been an incredible partner, collaborating on free pride events throughout the month of June and more. Our production partner, Swarm, has been based in the neighborhood for years, so it was the ideal place."
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The Wynwood Pride experience includes live performances, lip-sync battles, late-night DJs, large-scale fashion and art installations, a daily drag brunch with bottomless mimosas courtesy of R House, Celebrity Deathmatch as part of Miss Toto's Funhouse, a Wigwood invasion, Catwalk: A Night of Vogue, a food hall, family fun, and other diversions.
"Pride is a time to represent and celebrate all the fabulousness that we are," Atencio says.
Wynwood Pride Music Festival. 4 p.m. to 3 a.m. Friday, June 21; noon to 3 a.m. Saturday, June 22; and noon to 10 p.m. Sunday, June 23, at the Wynwood Marketplace, 2250 NW Second Ave., Miami; 305-461-2700; wynwoodpride.com. Admission is free. Additional ticket options cost $25 to $95 plus fees via eventbrite.com.
Correction: A previous version of this story mentioned a Wynwood Pride partnership that no longer exists, and incorrectly described Anna Margarita Albelo's relationship with Wigwood.