Nashville Pride: The 2-day festival you’ve been waiting for

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After celebrating 25 years of being proud in 2013, this year’s Nashville Pride Festival reaches for new heights as it debuts its two-day format and new downtown location on Friday, June 13 and Saturday, June 14.

With construction planned for Pride’s previous home later this year, organizers say that Public Square Park provides more shade, more communal space, more music and fun activities throughout the day.

“We think people are going to love Pride at Public Square Park once they experience the festival-friendly layout,” said Pride President Joseph Woodson. “Beyond that, we’re excited to be celebrating our city’s diversity and our community’s accomplishments at the doorstep of our local government while raising awareness about the battles for equality still ahead of us all. That’s something the entire Nashville community can be very proud of.”

Festivalgoers will kick Nashville Pride off on Thursday, June 12 with the Curb Records Pride Pre-Party at Pour House Burgers. The event will include a silent auction, entertainment and Nashville Pride’s annual awards for business and community leaders integral to Pride’s success. Tickets for the event are $20.

On Friday, June 13, Pride will start to rock with Pride in Concert presented by Coors Light. The concert will feature a DJ set from QDP, followed by Mary Lambert and an energetic set from Swedish EDM-pop trio NONONO before finishing up with gender outlaw, activist and DJ JD Samson.

Tickets for the Friday night Pride in Concert are part of the Nashville Pride Weekend Pass that allows entry to both the concert and Saturday’s festival for $25.

"We are thrilled to be able to add a second day to the Pride Festival,” said Pride’s President-elect Claudia Huskey. “The momentum generated from past years has allowed us to make this year's Pride a weekend experience that will attract folks from across the region to celebrate with us.”

The 26th annual Nashville Pride Festival will take place on Saturday, June 14. With gates opening at 10 a.m., the festival’s new location also means a new route for the ever-increasingly popular Equality Walk sponsored by Vanderbilt University. Now in its third year and with more than 2,000 walkers already registered, the 1-mile march will kick off at 2nd and Union and will reach as far as 5th Ave N and Commerce before looping back to its start.

The festival will also feature more than 100 vendors and food trucks along Deaderick and 3rd Avenue, an inflatable Kids Zone and games for adults on the lawn including a high-heel race, life-size Jenga, Twister and more.

This year’s Bridgestone Main Stage will host a mix of local and nationally acclaimed recording artists including Ponychase, Steff Mahan, The Harmaleighs, Kylie Rothfield, Lisa Loeb and Betty Who, as well as sets from DJ Ron, DJ Remedy and DJ Lady B.

The Tribe & Play Entertainment stage, which will feature entertainment from local drag performers as well as a headlining performance from Michael Jackson tribute artist Rasean Montrese, is uniquely positioned at the corner of 3rd and Deaderick to provide plenty of room for onlookers throughout the day’s drag performances.

The festival will have several entry gates and ample parking nearby including $3 parking in the Courthouse garage directly below the festival and $5 parking only blocks away at L.P. Field.

“Nashville Pride Fest is a community-driven event and that’s what makes it so unique” Huskey said. “The festival is as fun and diverse as the LGBT community itself. It truly is what you make of it and we’re thrilled to see more people celebrating Nashville’s diversity each year.”

The Pride Festival is empowered by Coors Light and sponsored in part by Nissan, Bridgestone, Dollar General, Nationwide Insurance, VGT, Curb Records, Hard Rock Café, Classic Party Rentals and Tribe/Play Dance Bar.

Nashville Pride Weekend passes ($25) and VIP tickets are available now. Entrance into the Festival on Saturday June 14, is $5 cash at the door without a weekend pass.