As the cold, gray winter months set in, LGBTQ+ roots music non-profit Bluegrass Pride is gearing up to stoke the fire and warm the cider with Fireside Pride, an online, winter- and holiday-themed celebration. Hosted by emcee Marlene Twitty-Fargo and featuring performances by Ani DiFranco & Zoe Boekbinder, Leyla McCalla, Mary Gauthier, AJ Lee & Blue Summit, Stephanie Anne Johnson, and a non-religious holiday sing-along led by Nate Lee, Fireside Pride will bring all parts of the BGP community together on December 5th, beginning at 3pm PST and running until 6:30pm PST. A full schedule can be found below.
The event can be streamed via the Bluegrass Pride Website, their Facebook page, or their YouTube channel. Admission to the party can be accessed in the form of a suggested donation of $10, but a statement from BGP reads: “If you’re a part of the Bluegrass Pride family, or if you’re just here to enjoy the show, we’re suggesting a $10 donation. But, if you’re able, please give generously – and consider giving to Bluegrass Pride monthly as we continue to support artists and our community all year round!”
Earlier this year, in the fresh wake of the pandemic, Bluegrass Pride found itself in the same position as many of the talented musicians with whom they work; facing the cancellation of an entire season of events. They said goodbye to their San Francisco Pride float and marching armada, the annual Bluegrass Pride Concert that follows the parade each year, their annual Portland events, and their inaugural Nashville celebration, too. But BGP wasn’t satisfied with an empty calendar and a clean slate, without events, gatherings, and music. Furthermore, they understood that LGBTQ+ and Black, Brown, Indigenous, and Asian musicians and creators have been disproportionately impacted by the economic devastation of the pandemic, so BGP knew they had to adapt their mission to meet folks wherever they’re at during this time.
In June, Bluegrass Pride carried off their first-ever Porch Pride: A Bluegrass Pride Queer-antine Festival, a digital program featuring more than 10 hours of live music over what would have been Pride weekend, and raised over $22,000 for their artists. BGP also pivoted their annual LGBTQ+ Musicians Showcase online during IBMA’s Virtual World of Bluegrass, featuring five acts of bluegrass, folk, and old-time from around the world during the conference. And, in October, they began a monthly livestream series that features creators and artists from the Bluegrass Pride family.
“Time and again, our audience has shown up for Bluegrass Pride and our mission, despite all of the barriers thrown our way by 2020!” say Executive Director Kara Kundert. “We’re asking you to show up again for our musicians and our community. Musicians know how hard the winter months can be, when opportunities dry up seasonally, as the weather changes -- and this year, flu season and returning indoors will inevitably increase COVID transmission and close off more gig and work opportunities for artists. Now is such an important time to give!!”
All profits from Fireside Pride will be shared evenly between the artists playing the festival and Bluegrass Pride. BGP is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization; these funds will go towards supporting their ongoing, year-round operations, allowing BGP to continue hosting paid performance opportunities for artists during these uncertain times, while also investing in long-term resources that will benefit both musicians and fans beyond the pandemic (such as the forthcoming Safe Venue Directory), helping to create a safer, more inclusive bluegrass community for all.
“Thank you for your continued support!” the organization adds. “Whether you’re a Bluegrass Pride veteran, a chance passerby, a longtime donor, or a curious newbie, we’re so pleased to have you as part of Bluegrass Pride. We hope you enjoy Fireside Pride (safely!) with your friends, loved ones, and families and we cannot thank you enough for helping to spread the word about Bluegrass Pride, Fireside Pride, and the important work of making bluegrass a place for everyone.”
What: Fireside Pride
When: December 5, 3:00pm - 6:30pm PST
Who: Ani DiFranco & Zoe Boekbinder, Leyla McCalla, Mary Gauthier & Jaimee Harris, AJ Lee & Blue Summit, Stephanie Anne Johnson, and a Holiday Sing-Along with Nate Lee. Presented by Bluegrass Pride, hosted by Marlene Twitty-Fargo.
Full schedule (in PST):
3:00 PM Holiday Sing-Along with Nate Lee
3:30 PM Stephanie Anne Johnson
4:00 PM AJ Lee & Blue Summit
4:30 PM Mary Gauthier & Jaimee Harris
5:00 PM Leyla McCalla
5:30 PM Ani DiFranco & Zoe Boekbinder