Every June, the Nashville Pride festival pulls together an exemplary lineup of musicians, along with a slew of vendors and nonprofits, food trucks and family activities, and gives Nashvillians a weekend to fully focus on celebrating unity, equality and community.
This year’s festival, set for Friday June 24 and June 25 in Public Square Park downtown, comes during a time that togetherness like that is more than appreciated, and more than needed.
As with past years, there’s a lot to enjoy at Pride in 2016: some of the city’s best-loved food providers, from Edley’s Bar-b-Que to the Grilled Cheeserie, will be on-site serving; edutaining Nashvillians Mr. Bond and the Science Guys will be in the Kids Zone teaching young folks to love science; nearly 200 organizations, artisans and businesses, from the American Cancer Society to global good-focused women’s brand fashionABLE, will be sharing and selling.
One of the biggest draws, though, is always the live music, and the 2016 lineup is a powerful one, with talent that skips around the map — Canadian electronic-pop artist Shawn Hook, Brooklyn gospel-pop singer Parson James, Daphne Willis from right here in Nashville and many others. The tie that binds everything together: big, big hooks. Nowhere is that more true than the top slots.
Saturday’s second-to-last performer: singer/songwriter Bonnie McKee. On the off chance you don’t know her name, you’ve almost definitely heard her work — she’s one of the writers behind massive hits like “California Gurls” and “Teenage Dream” (Katy Perry) and “Dynamite” (Taio Cruz).
Hooks don’t really get bigger than the ones delivered by Saturday’s headliners: trendsetting R&B/pop group En Vogue.
Over the decades, they’ve gone through a bunch of line-up changes; these days, original members Cindy Herron-Braggs and Terry Ellis are joined by newer recruit Rhona Bennett. What hasn’t changed: The power of massive hits like “Hold On,” “Giving Him Something He Can Feel” and “Free Your Mind.” Plan on singing along until your throat’s raw on Saturday.
Nashville PRIDE festival weekend passes are on sale now ($20 general admission, $65-$130 VIP), and things kick off at 4 p.m on Friday, 10 a.m. on Saturday.
Drop by NashvillePride.org for more. Hope we’ll see you there!