Singer-songwriter Meghan Trainor and the British electronic pop trio Years & Years will headline this year’s LA Pride festival on June 8-9.
An announcement from Christopher Street West, the non-profit that puts on the annual event, says they will be joined by performers Ashanti, Amara La Negra, Dej Loaf, Greyson Chance, MNEK, Pabllo Vittar and Ah-Mer-Ah-Su, with more to be announced.
This year, performers in all genres will be on the festival’s two main stages, symbolizing its #JustUnite slogan.
Years & Years lead singer Olly Alexander, who is gay, is an English musician, singer, songwriter and actor. The New York Times has reported that he wrote his first song on his father’s Casio keyboard at the age of 10.
Alexander has advocated for more use of the male pronoun in music. “It is kind of sad to me that we don’t have gay popstars singing about men using a male pronoun,” he told Digital Spy, “but that could change hopefully.” Alexander is open about his sexuality in his performances with Years & Years. However, he has said he “can’t speak for all gay people, because there are so many different issues, and experiences, and different shapes and sizes. But I can speak for myself, and that is what I’m doing if I’m going to be writing songs and giving interviews…”[
Meghan Trainor, a Grammy award winner, has been listed on Billboard’s “Hot 100” list with six hits, including her single “All About That Bass.” In 2018, through a letter published in Billboard, Trainor said, “To the entire LGBTQ+ community, I love you with all of my heart, I appreciate you endlessly, and I support you with all that I have and believe in. I am there for you as you have been for me.”
An announcement of the lineup states that “the #JustUnite theme makes a simple, yet powerful statement: that the work the LGBTQ+ community does together is ultimately what will make it stronger and more resilient than ever before. The theme is not only a nod to the Pride movement’s storied history of pioneers and activists who paved the way for the rights LGBTQ+ people have today, but it also is a reminder that the fight for equality is still far from over.”
“LA Pride stands humbly on the shoulders of those that have come before us who worked tirelessly for nearly 50 years to create a movement,” said Estevan Montemayor, president of the CSW Board of Directors. “Our new generation of leadership looks to honor that past and build on the many hard-fought LGBTQ+ civil rights victories.”
Our multi-generational community is, indeed, stronger together, and this year’s LA Pride celebration draws upon our diverse experiences to ensure that our collective voice is more powerful than ever,”.
The LA Pride Festival hopes to expand onto Santa Monica Boulevard with Pride on the Boulevard, a free block party that will allow guests to gather and watch local performers on both Saturday, June 8 and Sunday, June 9. The block party will be located on Santa Monica Boulevard between San Vicente and Robertson Boulevards.
A new Friday night program has been added to the festival on June 7 at West Hollywood Park. The free evening will feature:
• An official opening ceremony including a diverse mix of community and spiritual leaders and advocates for the LGBTQ+ community
• A combination of entertainment, including a WeHo Vogue Ball & Drag Show, a night of dancing, music from local DJs and special surprise guests.
CSW plans to relocate ticketing and guest to Santa Monica Boulevard, between Palm and Hancock avenues to expedite entrance into the festival grounds and reduce wait times.
Those looking to volunteer can donate four hours of their time to the celebration and will, in turn, be able to receive complimentary tickets to the festival.
Festival-goers are encouraged to buy tickets in advance online at lapride.org. Ticket sales and proceeds from the LA Pride Festival support and fund the LA Pride Parade, LGBTQ+ community grant programs and scholarships and CSW’s ongoing programming at Casa del Sol. CSW provides free festival tickets to LGBTQ+ non-profits and service organizations to distribute to their members.
Information about tickets and event updates can be found online at lapride.org.
The expansion of the festival onto Santa Monica Boulevard must be approved by the West Hollywood City Council, which will consider the matter at its meeting on Monday.