NORTHALSTED — Famous drag queen Alaska will headline Chicago’s Pride Fest this year along with musician Dorian Electra, rapper Cupcakke and Eurovision winner Netta.
The Northalsted Business Alliance, which organizes the annual festival, announced the headliners Tuesday morning. This year’s festival will happen June 18-19 in Northalsted.
Other performers include “Queen of the Universe” winner Grag Queen, singer Inaya Day, musician and transgender activist Mila Jam and musician Madison Rose.
The festival will feature three stages of live music and performers, including a stage produced by nightlife group Peach Presents.
Festival goers can also expect shows from Sixteen Candles, Boy Band Review, KIYOMI, Queen Explosion, an ABBA tribute band and more, according to the announcement.
This year marks the return of Pride Fest to June, which is recognized as Pride Month due to the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, which started June 28, 1969 and are largely seen as a catalyst for the gay liberation movement.
Last year, the festival was postponed until October due to rising coronavirus cases earlier in the summer. And the year before that, it was canceled due to the pandemic.
“I’m excited that our community will gather again this year in June as we have historically, with the heightened appreciation of togetherness and resilience in celebration of the rights we have secured and motivated to ensure that we retain them into the future,” said Mark Liberson, Northalsted vice president and the lead event organizer.
The street festival is expected to attract up to 60,000 visitors to the neighborhood. It happens the weekend before the Chicago Pride Parade, which will be held June 26 for the first time since 2019.
A $15 donation to the Northalsted Business Alliance is suggested for entry into the festival. The money will go toward paying Chicago Pride Fest performers and event workers while also funding community programs.
A full lineup and schedule of the festival will be announced soon.
Jake Wittich is a Report for America corps member covering Lakeview, Lincoln Park and LGBTQ communities across the city for Block Club Chicago.
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