PrideFest Milwaukee 2019 kicks off the summer festival season with a four-day weekend celebration of LGBTQ history and heritage from June 6 to 9 at Henry W. Maier Festival Park.
This year’s line-up includes Kim Petras, Greyson Chance, Dragapalooza! featuring Trixie Mattel, and over 100 LGBTQ artists on eight stages. To eliminate economic barriers for LGBTQ youth, the festival is donating 1,000 tickets to Wisconsin Gay-Straight Alliances.
“Our 2019 schedule allows for increased tourism to Milwaukee, while supporting the work and growth that’s happening year-round outside our festival gates,” said Wes Shaver, president of Milwaukee Pride, Inc.
The 2019 festival theme, “RISE!” honors the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots of 1969, where LGBTQ liberation and pride were born. The event celebrates the pioneers who rose up against violence, discrimination and exclusion despite impossible odds. The Wisconsin LGBTQ History Project, an education program of Milwaukee Pride, will showcase Stonewall’s impact at the History Building.
“We recognize that today’s pride movement was born from the resilience and resistance of yesterday’s queer, trans and gender non-conforming people of color,” said Michail Takach, vice president of communications. “PrideFest 2019 needs to be both a celebration of our past and a call to action for our future. Our national landscape is darkening. This is a time for local LGBTQ heroes to rise.”
A free QTPOC Pride Social will be hosted on June 8, and memorial moments are scheduled throughout the weekend. PrideFest’s Plus One Campaign supports the UWM LGBT Resource Center. By adding $1 or any dollar amount to ticket purchases, festival visitors can support the next generation of local LGBTQ leadership. The award-winning Resource Center, producers of the Annual UWM Drag Show, provides comprehensive support to UWM students that drive inclusion, empowerment and community activism.
“Our festival has evolved and grown the past few years,” said Shaver. “Although we successfully introduced Thursday programming last year, we’ve seen an ongoing decline in Sunday attendance. We chose to reduce Sunday hours to put our resources where they’re most needed.”
In partnership with the Milwaukee Pride Parade, PrideFest has also introduced new hours for 2019. For nearly 20 years, guests and volunteers had to choose between attending the Milwaukee Pride Parade or attending PrideFest. This year, the festival will open at 4 p.m. on Sunday, June 9 to allow the entire community to come together as one in Walker’s Point.
“I believe it’s important that we understand and support our community as it changes. The Milwaukee Pride Parade organizers and businesses of Walker’s Point have created a wonderful Sunday experience – from brunches to bar crawls, from fantastic entertainment to family reunions,” added Shaver. “We need to embrace unity during PrideFest weekend — not compete or create hard choices for each other.”
PrideFest Milwaukee is the nation’s largest LGBTQ festival with permanent festival grounds, operated entirely by volunteers since 1987. The festival does not have a single paid employee, simply the dedication and devotion to bring together an exciting community experience each and every year.
- PrideFest 2018 attendance tops previous record set last year
- LGBT dignity celebrated at Milwaukee’s PrideFest 2018
- Danica Roem opens PrideFest with keynote about speaking truth to power
- PrideFest rejects Big Tobacco sponsorship in support of LGBT Health
- Diverse & Resilient selected for PrideFest’s Plus One charity campaign
- PrideFest 2017 makes history with attendance record
- Jim Obergefell opens PrideFest with keynote about equal justice
- From protest to celebration: PrideFest comes of age at 30
- PrideFest 2017 to celebrate 30 years of LGBTQ heritage
- PrideFest creates tobacco-free spaces as first step to full smoking ban
- Senator Baldwin opens PrideFest with nod to Harvey Milk
- Rainbow crosswalks installed downtown to honor Milwaukee’s LGBT community
- Milwaukee Pride joins history project to preserve LGBT heritage across Wisconsin
- Civic project proposes rainbow crosswalks to honor LGBT heritage of Cathedral Square
- Milwaukee Pride increases 2018 community donations to mission-critical causes by 48%
- Annual drag show to fundraise for Milwaukee LGBT charities
- Female musicians spin it at Milwaukee Pride’s DJ Battle
- Milwaukee Pride details its investment in LGBTQ community
- Photo Essay: The colors of equality in all shapes and sizes
- Statements from the Rally for Unity and Pride
- Michail Takach: The forgotten LGBT history of Milwaukee
- Photo Essay: Three decades of Pride
- Transgender awareness month puts spotlight on inequality in Wisconsin
- Transgender Wisconsin women awarded $780k by court after being denied health insurance
- Photo Essay: Transgender Art
- Efforts to deny the trans identity will rollback years of equality progress