.Bluegrass Pride Plans Month-Long Virtual Festival in June

Bay Area-based nonprofit organization Bluegrass Pride lifts up LGBTQ+ musicians and creators within the bluegrass music community; largely through concerts, jam sessions, showcases, festivals and parades.

In 2020, after the pandemic forced Bluegrass Pride to cancel in-person Pride programming, the organization made the pivot online, hosting a two-day livestream festival that raised more than $23,000 for the LGBTQ+ and allied artists on the lineup.

This year, the Bluegrass Pride Board of Directors has expanded that two-day livestream into a month-long virtual festival and fundraising event, Porch Pride, which will take place online throughout June.

Over the course of Pride month, Porch Pride will feature performances by bands and artists like Lavender Country, Rainbow Girls, Gangstagrass, Po’ Ramblin’ Boys, Jake Blount, Sunny War and others. The festivities will also include a virtual Bluegrass Pride brunch and open house, a beginner-friendly jam, and more.

The virtual Porch Pride event kicks off on Sunday, June 6, with Lavender Country Live, hosted by acclaimed musician, scholar, and Bluegrass Pride board member Jake Blount.

The following weekend, Bluegrass Pride hosts its popular and informal brunch gathering and open house on Saturday, June 12. The next day, virtual participants can join a friendly jam session featuring protest songs and movement music led by queer Nashville-based singer-songwriter Luisa Lopez on June 13. 

The final two weekends of Porch Pride 2021 will feature two virtual festivals. On Saturday, June 19, Bluegrass Pride partners with Brandi Pace and Decolonizing the Music Room for JuneteenthA Rainbow Revival. The three-hour series of performances highlights the trailblazing contributions of Black queer folks and trans folks to the Pride movement as well as to bluegrass and roots music. 

Juneteenth: A Rainbow Revival is a proud recipient of the IBMA Foundation’s inaugural Arnold Schultz Fund grants. The International Bluegrass Music Association created the IBMA Foundation in 2007, and the foundation recently established the Arnold Shultz Fund to support activities increasing participation of people of color in bluegrass music. Arnold Shultz (1886–1931) was an African American musician from western Kentucky who had a profound influence on Bill Monroe and the development of bluegrass.

June’s final weekend will see a return of Porch Pride proper, this time celebrating Bluegrass Pride’s fifth anniversary and once again featuring two days of live music, performances, songs, and more, featuring headlining sets from Gangstagrass on June 26 and Rainbow Girls on June 27.

All of the event’s virtual programs are free to view and attend, and will be available to view online after airing. The nonprofit encourages fans, followers and listeners to donate to support the musicians and the ongoing work of Bluegrass Pride.

Charlie Swanson
Charlie Swanson is a North Bay native and an arts and music writer and editor who has covered the local scene since 2014.
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