The Wynwood Pride Festival, June 21-23, organized by Wynwood Pride Inc, a Florida 501(c) and created in March, promised to unite Miami’s diverse communities since its inception.
The organization endeavored to achieve this, by providing an exceptional program of LGBTQ artists and allies, with a strong commitment to raise awareness and funds for non-profits and activism.
The festival’s founders — Anna Margarita Albelo, Jose Atencio, and Scott Bernardez — partnered with most local LGBTQ artists and promoters, attracted high profile national and international talent, and provided a neighborhood block party experience, emblematic of the free-spirited neighborhood of Wynwood.
By promoting organizations, local restaurants and businesses, and including all communities, Wynwood Pride successfully created a new, diverse addition to Miami’s LGBTQIA landscape and an emblematic institution that will last for years to come.
The inaugural event, which took place during National Pride Month in June and the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, drew more than 50,000 attendees, which included youth, adults, families and supporters from all walks of life.
The first ever Wynwood Pride chose to raise awareness and funds for three non-profit partners based on their excellence and achievement in the themes of YOUTH — Pridelines, HEALTH — Survivors’ Pathway, and JUSTICE — Astraea Foundation by assuring each a minimum donation of $2,500, and creating an innovative SMS/CashApp campaign directly benefitting each organization. Additional community activations included: HIV testing, counseling information, wardrobe donations, and a safe space.
The festival program encompassed music, art, and performances, including Electro pop, Salsa, Reggaeton, House Music, Disco, Drag, Vogueing, Rock, and featured the queens of Wigwood, and a full-fledged fashion show by Khasamarina, was a carefully curated array of emerging, established and renowned performers reflecting one of the most diverse line-ups to hit the South Florida festival scene.
Wynwood Pride boasted three levels of programming: The Main Stage with headliners Pabllo Vittar, Ivy Queen, Albita and Poppy; Miss Toto’s Fun House hosting Miami’s fiercest drag performers going head to head, and The Deck featuring local promoters SheLife, DJ Hottpants, Shelley Novak, LezChic, and Pandora Events to name a few.
In addition, festival-goers explored local vendors, food trucks, and the Community Village where 17 non-profits were provided with free booths to inform and connect with the community. Wynwood Pride also introduced Milly’s Food Bazaar, a curated dining experience located in the heart of the festival with some of Miami’s best eats.
On Friday night, International headliner and Brazilian sensation Pabllo Vittar wowed an ocean of festival goers with an explosive hour-long concert that kicked off the weekend. On Saturday, headliner and LGBTQ ally Ivy Queen, the “Queen of Reggaeton,” ignited the stage in front of thousands of fans, breaking into tears as radio personality Enrique Santos announced Ivy as the first, “Queen of Wynwood Pride.” Queen overcome with emotion; thanked all her fans and the LGBTQ community for the recognition as she tossed 24 red roses into a cheering crowd.
The love, energy and positivity permeated through the non-stop performances of 150-plus artists which also featured International singer, composer, and performer Albita on Sunday. The Cuban singer and Latin Grammy award winner performed to a crowd that sang and danced along to every hit.
Closing the festival was viral sensation “Poppy” whose enigmatic performance thrilled die-hard fans, providing a perfect ending to a three-day journey of art, music, food, and more importantly, community.
“I am so pleased as a non-profit partner to be involved,” said Mary-Joe Castells, development director of Pridelines. “Not only were they great to work with and very supportive of our vision and mission, they gave us free space and facilitated ways for us to gain new supporters and funds to help with our programs. They were transparent since Day One and I am very happy for the success of the first festival.”
Francesco Duberli, executive director of Survivors’ Pathway, added, “We are thrilled to be part of such a dynamic festival that is an example of what we want as a community. We are grateful to have been chosen as one of the three partnered organizations and are equally thrilled with the success of their first go at it.”
With an incredible production by sponsor SWARM, as well as the support of the Wynwood Business Improvement District (BID) and the City of Miami with Mayor Francis Suarez issuing a proclamation and attending the ribbon cutting on opening day, Wynwood Pride drew over 50,000 visitors to the area, bringing positive impact to the Wynwood neighborhood and its local businesses.
Restaurant R House (known for its Drag Brunch) hosted the first-ever “Miss Wynwood Pride Pageant.” The newly crowned winner, Malaysia Foxxx, escorted by the inimitable Athena Dion, was presented on the main stage right before headliner Ivy Queen on Saturday.
The Wynwood Pride Music Festival took place at The Wynwood Marketplace, 2250 NW Second Ave., and was 100 percent free and open to the public.