Outloud Music Festival celebrates diversity and Pride history in Los Angeles
Published in Entertainment News
ANAHEIM, Calif. — The Outloud Music Festival at WeHo Pride will take over West Hollywood Park on June 2-4, and according to founder and creator Jeff Consoletti, the three-day LGBTQ+ Pride event feels “bigger and better than ever, including all colors of the rainbow,” this year.
Since 1979, West Hollywood has served as an epicenter of all Los Angeles Pride events, with local business, restaurants and bars taking part in the festivities for the entire month of June.
Since 2020, the Outloud Music Festival, which launched virtually during the COVID-19 pandemic, has made its mark on local Pride history by spotlighting queer talent.
Outloud kicks off with a free show on Friday, June 2, featuring Broadway sensation Idina Menzel, Jessie Ware, Tinashe, Jordy, Tolliver, Venessa Michaels and an appearance from Shangela, a drag superstar from “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”
Saturday’s ticketed event will be led by model, singer and all-around pop culture icon Grace Jones, with support from country singer-songwriter Orville Peck, Santigold, Yung Bae, Jodie Harsh and more. Sunday will feature sets by “Call Me Maybe” pop singer-songwriter Carly Rae Jepsen, pop band Passion Pit, Princess Nokia, Drama and others.
“I’m really proud of what we’ve been able to put together in terms of big names mixed with emerging talent,” Consoletti said during a recent Zoom interview. “We pay particular attention to what I like to describe as ‘all of the colors of the rainbow,’ whatever that means to anyone. Whether it’s the LGBTQIA+ community or wherever people might fall in that spectrum, which I think makes this community so vibrant, that’s what we pay attention to. Yes, we’re diverse. Yes, we have a good mix of things. But at the end of the day, it’s mostly about ensuring authentic queerness and talent.”
Consoletti, who runs JJLA, an event production company based in Los Angeles, has been producing Pride month and LGBTQ+ events for more than two decades, making his eye for talent and representation keen in the West Hollywood community.
However, forming JJLA in 2009 was challenging, he said, noting that the Pride market was only beginning to boom and barely staying afloat with city funding. Yet, it didn’t stop him from making calls around the clock to book LGBTQ+ artists. That same determination led to the company’s more recent boom in growth as it now employs a full-blown team to produce some of the most significant events for the LGBTQ+ community, including landing Madonna as a headliner for New York City’s World Pride in 2019.
Back in 2020, when the inaugural Outloud Music Festival was forced to swiftly pivot to a virtual event, producers created Outloud: Raising Voices, which ran as a 10-part digital concert series. The following year, Outloud partnered with the livestreaming service Twitch and singer Adam Lambert for a three-day Pride concert event held at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum with performances by Lambert, Sofi Tukker, Hayley Kiyoko, Kim Petras and more.
The stakes were higher the following year, Consoletti shared, as the event grew and the 2022 lineup featured Jessie J, LP Giobbi, Marina, Lil’ Kim, CupCakke, Aluna and others. This year, he had his sights set on booking Grace Jones, an act he felt would bring together multiple generations. Winning Jones over, he said, was a big feat. Once Jones was in, the other acts more easily followed.
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