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This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Stone Wall Riots, fifty years since the spirited community of New York City’s Greenwich Village came together to further the fight in LGBTQ+ rights. Today their efforts are honored as we celebrated pride. New York City is host to WorldPride this year, producing the most incredible line-up of events and performances to date.
Events include everything from Pride Island–a two-day music festival with performances from icons like Teyana Taylor and Madonna, as well as a Lady Liberty drag competition and a massive brunch hosted by Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants. Of course, many of your favs will be there including Todrick Hall, some of RuPaul’s Drag Race’s most familiar faces and a slew of others. Showcasing the evolution of Pride here’s the rundown on the top WorldPride events to look forward to.
The festivities kick-off on June 26th with the Opening Ceremony benefit concert at the Barclay’s Center. Hosted by Whoopi Goldberg the celebration will feature performances from Cindy Lauper, Ciara, and Todrick Hall, among many other artists. Proceeds from the ticket sales will support Ali Forney Center, Immigration Equality, and SAGE – three leading organizations in the LGBTQIA+ movement based in New York City.
This year’s culminating Pride entertainment experience is Pride Island. A ticketed two-day music festival, Pier 97’s Hudson River Park will welcome roughly 7,500 attendees per day. Doors open at 2pm on June 29th and 30th with performances, food vendors and sponsored activations in the spirit of Pride. Festivalgoers can expect world-class entertainment from an impressive line-up of acts like Teyana Taylor, Grace Jones, Kim Petras, and Madonna.
Pride Island event producer JJLA CEO Jeff Consoletti, says Pride Island has taken about eight months of planning. Having produced pride events for nearly a decade Consoletti shares that the most notable change he’s noticed is the geography, and level of event production/participation; Pride is spreading and the glow up is real!
“Pride is on everyone’s radar now. Whether you’re fortunate enough to live in a big city like New York, or you’re in a smaller town there are more and more pride events taking place! All over the world … you hear great stories from Pride in Rome and Tel Aviv.” Consoletti admits while the budgets aren’t quite as high as events produced by the likes of Live Nation he says, “The thought and creativity that goes into pulling these events off definitely is on par with what you’d see at big events like Coachella.”
As Pride has grown so have the level of corporate partnerships that come to each event. Over than 70 companies are partnering with WorldPride NYC, including Facebook, T-Mobile and Macy’s. These companies are stepping up to help celebrate and advocate for the LGBTQ+ community “It’s not about billboarding but showing partnership with brands that support love, acceptance, and tolerance” says Consoletti. SKYY Vodka, a sponsor for WorldPride NYC has supported the LGBTQ+ community for a long time. “Support of diversity and inclusiveness stems from our San Francisco roots. We are honored to continue our historic support of this community by serving as the official vodka of NYC WorldPride and LA Pride.” Says Melanie Batchelor, VP of Marketing, Campari America.
SKKY has its hands in multiple pots this year including sponsorship of CFDA X Susanne Bartch Love Ball, and of course showcasing their very own float at this year’s march (June 30th). Parade spectators can expect tens across the board as SKYY partners with some of NYC’s original vogue performers to pay tribute to the history of LGBTQ+ culture. Other floats to look forward to include T-Mobile, Coca Cola, and Delta Airlines. Spinning atop Delta’s float is New York DJ BMAJR who says parade-goers, “Can expect a diverse high energy set from the Delta Airlines Float. We have some special surprises in store and I will be bringing some amazing beats. To be able to uplift my community and do what I love – brings me great joy.”
With this year parade expected to bring out record numbers and Pride Island tickets sold out, there is still a wide range of events free and ticketed to celebrate WorldPride. Below are a few WorldPride NYC events you can still get in on.
For those who want to a bit of last minute glitz and glam to their WorldPride strut, Hilton Hotels will be providing onsite glitter glamour stations for marchers and spectators alike. Located in the lobby of select hotels, from 9am to 12pm on June 30, guests and locals can stop by to have glitter makeup and applique added to their WorldPride look prior to the Parade.
Monday, June 24 – New York’s drag vocal group, Stephanie’s Child, will start a live concert in NYC this year at the Sony Hall. The rainbow bright trio – comprised of Jan Sport, Lagoona Bloo, and Rosé. Expect an electrifying pop-tacular of new numbers and fan favorites from their recent tours. Paired with glamourous cotton candy-colored couture from head to toe of course! Tickets start at just $20 via Ticketmaster at stephanieschild.com. Doors open at 6:30PM, and the show runs from 8-10PM.
Wednesday, June 26 – RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 2 winner Alaska Thunderf**k presents A Star is Born This Way: Pride Edition, an evening of drag, live music and dance inspired by the smash hit film A Star Is Born, at 3 Dollar Bill (260 Meserole Street, Brooklyn). Tickets start at just $30 via Eventbrite at asibtw.eventbrite.com. Doors open at 10PM, and the show runs from 11PM–12:30AM.
Thursday, June 27 – Brita Filter and RuPaul’s Drag Race fan favorite Alyssa Edwards host a special WorldPride edition of Lady Liberty, New York City’s largest drag competition, at the Playboy Club. Past winners and queens from around the globe will compete for a grand prize package. Expect over-the-top production numbers from the world’s rising drag superstars. Tickets available at ladyliberty.eventbrite.com show runs from 9-11PM.
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#PridePartner Stonewall Forever is a Living Monument to 50 Years of Pride. Anyone, anywhere can step inside the monument online or in #AR to add their own piece of history to an ever-evolving legacy. Created by @LGBTCenterNYC with support from @Google, #StonewallForever aims to lift up the untold stories of the #StonewallRiots and the #LGBTQ community. Visit stonewallforever.org and become a part of living history. @LGBTCenterNYC @Google
Thursday, June 27 – Hosted on behalf of the Tourism Authority of Thailand from 6:30pm – 8:30pm at the Ritz Bar & Lounge. This will be an exclusive event in which RuPaul’s Drag Race Thailand’s queens Kandy Zyanide, Kana Warrior, and Drag Race’s first-ever transgender winner, Angele Anang will debut their first American performance.
Thursday, June 27 – 2(X)IST will be hosting pride mix and mingle at Bloomingdales Soho with Carson Kressley to celebrate Pride Month. 2(X)IST will be personalizing apparel for attendees. Special performances by drag queen Gina Tonic.
Saturday, June 29th – Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants will be hosting a Brunch Out with Trevor event on June 29th from 12-3PM at Kimpton Hotel Event. The event will be hosted by RuPaul’s Drag Race superstar Willam Belli! Expect performances from NYC’s top drag queens, an open bar, brunch bites, a silent auction, a “Glam and Gram” photo booth by Morphe Cosmetics and customized takeaways from Abercrombie & Fitch. 100% of the ticket sales and funds from the silent auction will be donated to support The Trevor Project. Tickets are available here.
Sunday, June30th visitors can stop by The Beach at Dream Downtown to get their glow on! Famed drag phenom, Lagoona Bloo, will provide guests/visitors alike with sparkle and shine, such as colorful mermaid scales, to add some fun to their festive looks, whether their heading to the March or looking to sit pretty poolside. Product giveaways will also be available courtesy of Maybelline.