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Weekend of Pride – Queer Pride Festival kicks off with a bang

Megan Blackadar, Reporter

Bebe Deluxe is known for wearing many hats. The singer, songwriter, producer, and drag queen is now an organizer for the Duval County Queer Pride Festival.

The first annual Duval County Queer Pride Festival will be held on Saturday, June 26 at the Brick and Beam in historic Springfield from noon to 6 p.m. Aimed to help the community and diverge from what Deluxe calls “traditional pride programming,” the event boasts live entertainment including performances by local drag queens, vendors, and speakers that highlight the queer community of Jacksonville. 

Photo courtesy of Duval County Queer Pride / Givebutter

Deluxe explained how Duval County Queer Pride is different than many other pride events. 

“Traditional pride programming is often funded by national banks and corporations, leaving local businesses unable to participate in making profit,” Deluxe said. “In addition, traditional pride programming frequently features a heavy police presence despite community request.” 

Duval County Queer Pride is completely grassroots funded and the event features a “pay what you can” ticket system, with tickets ranging from free to thirty dollars. 

“Local entertainers (drag entertainers) are often made to perform and organize for free during traditional pride programming,” Deluxe explained. “Duval County Queer Pride seeks to adequately pay local entertainers for their performances while committing to sliding scale admission for attendees and vendors.”

Organizing a festival like this has been far from perfect, but Deluxe is hopeful for the impact it will have on the queer community. 

“Organizing the event has been full of challenges…but seeing the community contribute and become excited about the oncoming festival is very encouraging,” Deluxe said. “My personal hope as organizer is that this will lead to other members of the community to organize themselves.”

Continuing the events, there will be an afterparty at Archetype Jacksonville on Roosevelt Boulevard from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m., featuring local entertainers BeBe Deluxe & The Extras, Jessica Pounds, and Good Pluck Trio. Tickets are set on a similar sliding scale, ranging from five to twenty dollars.

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For more information or news tips, or if you see an error in this story or have any compliments or concerns, contact [email protected].

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