June 10th was a gorgeous day for the 35th annual Indianapolis Pride Festival. Held at Military Park on the second Saturday of June every year, it’s not unusual to have crowds upwards of 35,000 in attendance.
There is truly something for everyone at Pride. There is a smorgasbord of entertainment, vendors, and food available for festival goers to choose from. Pride even had hydration stations set up for festival goers that offered free water, sunglasses, and sunscreen. To say there is a lot to do at Pride would be an understatement. So for this article, we will be focusing on the local electronic performers, the general vibe, and some of my key takeaways from the festival.
While tensions in the nation are undeniably high, on the grounds of the Indy Pride Festival it was nothing but love. On my way into the festival I could hear the distinctive sounds DJ Fate echoing throughout Canal Walk. With her eclectic sound and top notch curation skills, it’s easy to see why DJ Fate has been a staple at Indy Pride for the last eleven years. In the last three years she has performed on the Main Stage as the opener and DJ for the live acts on stage.
Long before it was on trend to be an ally, the fine folks at Indy Mojo have been bringing in local electronic artists to Indy Pride and sponsors the aptly named “Indy Mojo stage” for the last twelve years. This year’s lineup included DJ Axipitor, Micromachine, DJ Mary Jane, Jackola, DJ B. A. E., Annie D, Deanne, Hector Fonseca, and Wreckno. Wreckno closed out the festival over at the Indy Mojo stage beautifully.
Wreckno is an artist who knows how to ride a harder edge while still maintaining respect for the listener’s ear. Shout out to Indy Mojo for continuing to be an ally and consistently supporting queer artists.
If you’ve been to Pride before, (and if you haven’t, what are you waiting for?) then you know that this whole thing doesn’t run on its own. Planning for this event starts almost a year out and takes major commitment and organization. Enter Jack Shepler (DJ Jackola, On track Entertainment, and A-OK Digital Marketing). Jack has been on the entertainment committee for the last twelve years and the Entertainment Director for Indy Pride for the last five years. A quick look at his LinkedIn profile will show you the depth of his commitment to both the LGBTQ+ community as well the electronic/rave community.
Of course, none of this would go down without the army of volunteers who help to pull this off every year. These amazing folks are the backbone of Indy Pride and work their tails off and do it all with a smile. Pride is a lot more than a “gay festival”. It’s a celebration of individuality, freedom, and the right to live and be who you are. We are all different and like different things. Imagine how boring the world would be if we were all the same?
I will leave you with this quote from the author Oscar Wilde from The Soul of Man & Prison Writings: “Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live. And unselfishness is letting other people’s lives alone, not interfering with them. Selfishness always aims at creating around it an absolute uniformity of type. Unselfishness recognizes infinite variety of type as a delightful thing, accepts it, acquiesces in it, enjoys it. It is not selfish to think for oneself. A man who does not think for himself does not think at all. It is grossly selfish to require of one’s neighbor that he should think in the same way, and hold the same opinions. Why should he? If he can think, he will probably think differently. If he cannot think, it is monstrous to require thought of any kind from him. A red rose is not selfish because it wants to be a red rose. It would be horribly selfish if it wanted all the other flowers in the garden to be both red and roses.”