It was hot. Let's not play.
But it was the end of June and, in Nashville, it's supposed to be hot. For Nashville Pride past president Phil Cobucci and all the volunteers of the organization, this year's Pride festival was yet another one for the record books.
"It is safe to say that this year was our most successful festival to date," he said. "Our attendance was over 35,000 for the two day event."
"Our lineup this year was a spectacular one with a great mix of artists from a variety of genres," he added. "From JoJo to Wilson Phillips, we had a great turnout throughout the entire festival. Ultimately, the turnout was greater than we expected and we couldn’t be more thrilled that thousands of people turned out for this celebration of LGBTQ Pride in Nashville."
At the dawn of the two-day festival, Cobucci reports that nearly 8,000 people showed up for the Equality Walk. It makes it easily the biggest LGBT pride march in all of Nashville history.
"As you can imagine," he added, "with the approximate 20% increase in attendance, there were surprises at every turn. However, we have an amazing hard working team on the Nashville Pride Board that addressed these surprises with ease so our festival attendees hardly know."
"Every year, we have the opportunity to review things that went well and things that didn’t really go well. This is a process that is done every year as the festival and month-long celebration of LGBTQ pride in Nashville continues to grow. An example of this would be made changes at the bars and food vendors to speed up service times, based on feedback we received during and after the festival in 2017. We always love hearing from our community and the best way to do that is show up to a board meeting and meet with the volunteers that put this event on year over year."
With such an enormous surge in attendance across the two days, the volunteers are still in the process of reviewing the events of the weekend, and the entire Pride month, and welcome feedback from the community as they plan for next year.
"As always, we are always exploring the opportunity to make the celebration of Pride in Nashville even better!" he said. "The all-volunteer Board will be meeting in the coming weeks to review all of the aspects of the festival and start to implement changes to make the event the most successful. We always love to have input from the community. The best way to share feedback is by attending one of our board meetings. These meetings are always open to the public and details can be found on our website."
"We’ve already got some big changes in the work for next year as we move into our 31st anniversary and remember the 50th anniversary of Stonewall. Stay tuned, we will be announcing some exciting news later this year!"
PHOTO: Wilson Phillips at Nashville Pride, via grumpy.77 on Instagram