[OutVoice] our anti-progress report from Chicago

scott free mrscottfree at lycos.com
Mon Jun 12 10:30:34 EDT 2006

Pridefest organizers here in Chicago posted their performance 
schedule on-line last Thursday. For a festival that runs from 11am 
to 9pm, there are only four performers on the entertainment stage. 
They are dance artists who sing over tracks, which are 
traditionally 20-25 minute sets (cannot confirm that - just 
pointing out the possibility that hours of time will pass with no 
one on stage). NONE are LGBT-identified.

As a side note, Andrea Bunch made repeated attempts to contact the 
festival organizer at North Halsted Merchants  Association to 
assist them in booking the stage with LGBT performers - they 
ignored her requsts. 

http://www.chicagoevents.com (click the scroll down menu on the 
left to FESTIVALS, the click on PRIDEFEST)

I've sent a letter to the editor (in typical sarcastic tone - I'm 
not good with this stuff!!) to Chicago Free Press and Windy City 
Times - I've included a copy below.

Scott Free

Letter to the Editor,

As a concerned local queer musician, I have these questions
for our community, and its upcoming Pridefest (June 24th).

Why is it that Milwaukee's Pridefest has ten Chicago LGBT
artists performing this year (Aerin Tedesco & Andrea Bunch,
Pulsation Band, Jeffrey Altergott, Ellen Rosner, Jinx
Titanic, The Nancys, Flesh Hungry Dog, Stewed Tomatoes,
Cathy Richardson Band, and my band) while Chicago's
Pridefest has none?

Why does Chicago's Pridefest have no LGBT-identified
performers on its live entertainment stage? That's right - zero.

If the North Halsted Merchants Association (Pridefest's
organizers) are unfamiliar with LGBT musicians, why would
they ignore repeated calls from one of our local musicians
who was attempting to assist them in booking the stage?

Why did they only book a total of four artists for a
festival that runs from 11am to 9pm? According to my
calculation, that's at least six hours of absolutely
nothing happening on the stage. Why couldn't they have
filled those spots with talented, local LGBT performers?

Why on earth do they call this festival Pridefest?

Scott Free

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