Pride | Be Fabulous Arts & Music Festival: Thursday (May 12)-Saturday; various places in the Rosemary district; prices vary; fabaf.org
After launching a new name in 2021, an annual Sarasota LGBTQ festival, culminating in a free one-day concert, is making a full comeback this year.
The 12th Annual Pride | Be Fabulous Arts & Music Festival, formerly known as the Harvey Milk Festival, takes place Thursday through Saturday in the Rosemary neighborhood of Sarasota. The event is organized by the non-profit Fabulous Arts Foundation, also formerly called the Harvey Milk Festival in honor of the politician, who was one of the first openly gay Americans to hold elected public office.
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The festival was held last year as a two-week hybrid event due to the pandemic, also incorporating the annual LGBTQ Fabulous Independent Film Festival with in-car and virtual screenings. Fabulous Arts Foundation founder and executive director Shannon Fortner said the film festival would again take place as a separate event in September, along with the launch of a drag culture festival in November and December. .
Last year the festival also moved to the Rosemary District after years of being held at Five Points Park and JD Hamel Park in downtown Sarasota, with this year’s concert set to take place at Rosemary Park. . The festival actually started in the Rosemary neighborhood in 2010 and is making a comeback as the neighborhood’s arts and culture scene continues to grow.
“We’re literally a block away from where we started now,” Fortner said. “Twelve years ago, we were another block away on sandy ground, so it’s pretty good that the park has popped up and it’s kind of a return to where it all started.
Saturday’s concert will be hosted by Detroit alt-pop musician Jax Anderson and New York queer-pop artist SuperKnova, whose music has appeared on the Showtime series “Work in Progress.” It will also feature many Florida artists, as well as vendors including local food trucks and a full bar.
The festival kicks off Thursday with a “Just Say Gay & Trans” art exhibit at DreamLarge, followed by a dance and performance event Friday at Players Studio. There will also be an official afterparty on Saturday evening at the Oasis Restaurant & Bar in the Rosemary District.
Here is the complete schedule of events for this year (subject to change):
6pm-10pm; DreamLarge, 600 Central Ave, Sarasota; free, $75 VIP
The opening night of the ‘Just Say Gay & Trans’ art exhibit will feature photographs and other works in response to recently enacted Florida legislation that critics have dubbed the ‘Don’t Say Bill. Gay,” with new restrictions on discussing sexual orientation or gender identity at school.
7pm-9pm; The Players Studio, 1400 Arts Boulevard #200, Sarasota; $15, $10 students with ID, $40 VIP
The dance and performance art event will feature Jess Pope and Amber McNew performing “Pagan Babies,” adopted from 1960s queer culture in Lexington, Kentucky, with poet Gabriele Keusch.
2.15pm-11pm; Rosemary Park, 531 Central Ave., Sarasota; free, $75 VIP
2:15 p.m.: Opening ceremony with Shannon Fortner and City Proclamation
2:30 p.m.: Grace Cespedes
The Sarasota-born singer-songwriter kicks off this year’s music lineup.
3:15 p.m.: Tuesday again
The performance of the fusion quartet Orlando whose influences include Radiohead, Can and Frank Zappa is co-presented by Modern Marimba.
4:20 p.m.: DJ Don Rock
The St. Pete-based DJ also recently performed at the Lost in St. Pete Festival, along with Torche and Trash Talk.
5 p.m.: Lalo
The former Sarasota resident who now lives in Los Angeles will also DJ the official festival afterparty beginning at 9 p.m. at Oasis, 1525 Fourth St., Sarasota ($10 cover).
5:45 p.m.: Keynote speaker Yordanos Molla of Equality Florida
6 p.m.: Hovercar
The group St. Pete, whose sound is heavily influenced by early 90s grunge, released their self-titled debut album in December.
7 p.m.: MeteorEYES
The three-piece electro-rock and synth-pop band from Sarasota, whose members include Fortner, will also digitally release their new EP “Oneironaut” the same weekend as the festival.
8 p.m.: Super Knova
The New York-based musician whose music “integrates electronic drums, driving synths and virtuoso solos” released the feature film “American Queers” in 2019, with the track “Glitter and Blood” appearing on the Showtime series “Work in Progress”. “
9 p.m.: Jax Anderson
The Detroit alt-pop artist, formerly known as Flint Eastwood, recently released last year’s album “Songs for Every Condition”, joined by guests including MisterWives and PVRIS. His previous releases include 2018’s LGBTQ-themed track “Real Love.”
10 p.m.: Dad
Jacksonville musician Alexander Eli, who played in the electro-pop group Tomboi before coming out and performing music under that name, will close the evening with a DJ set.
Email entertainment reporter Jimmy Geurts at firstname.lastname@example.org. Support local journalism by subscribing.