Loud & Proud Music Festival offers a queer-run Pride event highlighting Pittsburgh music | Music | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Loud & Proud Music Festival offers a queer-run Pride event highlighting Pittsburgh music

click to enlarge Loud & Proud Music Festival offers a queer-run Pride event highlighting Pittsburgh music
Photo: Courtesy of J. Trafford
Loud & Proud organizers J. Trafford and Candrika Rice

Pride Month events in Pittsburgh focus on bringing in big-name music acts, and this year is no exception — the Pride on the Shore lineup, for example, runs the gamut from progressive pop favorite Chappell Roan to Dance Moms kid-turned-wannabe goth baddie JoJo Siwa.

Those looking for a music event that features local acts, creators, and vendors, and supports local LGBTQ organizations now have Loud & Proud Music Festival, a new celebration organized and run by a queer-identifying Pittsburgh couple. 

The inaugural Loud & Proud kicks off on Sun., June 2 at Ormsby Avenue Cafe’s outdoor space in Mt. Oliver. The event was created by J. Trafford and Candrika Rice, who play in respective bands (Rice in Lylyth and Trafford in Sommelier.)

Trafford tells Pittsburgh City Paper that, while other big Pride events like those taking place Downtown are “a fun and awesome time,” Loud & Proud offers “different experiences.” 

click to enlarge Loud & Proud Music Festival offers a queer-run Pride event highlighting Pittsburgh music
Photo: J. Trafford
Lylyth

“[Loud & Proud] has an extremely local focus,” Trafford says. “All of the performers are Greater Pittsburgh area, LGBTQ performers. All of the vendors are area vendors and craft creators as well. It’s very, very grassroots, very locally focused. That's the experience that we're aiming for.”

The Loud & Proud website touts a “diversity of LGBTQ+ talent from the Greater Pittsburgh area and surrounding regions” — besides Lylyth and Sommelier, the roster also includes Bryce Bowyn, Odd Atrocity, Sherry CD-ROM, King Blue Heron, K9Diet, Rhythm of the Night Fusion Band, V.V.itch, Casey Catone, Kumanji Johnson, and a DJ set by Pwuppy.

“Gumlock Records, a local DIY indie label, are actually putting together a compilation of all the artists who are performing and some of the ones who submitted, but we weren't able to fit[everything],” Rice tells City Paper. “We're going to have physical CDs. And it'll probably be on Bandcamp, too.”

All proceeds from Loud & Proud will benefit the Hugh Lane Wellness Foundation. Founded in 2017, the nonprofit — named after the founder’s uncle, Hugh “Huey” Lane, who passed away from HIV-related complications in the 1990s — aims to improve the health of LGBTQ+ and HIV-positive Western Pennsylvania communities by offering an array of resources and services, like wellness programs, gender and sexuality training services, support groups, and beyond. 

Proceeds from the compilation album and from Catatouille, a nonprofit food truck that will be on-site selling plant-based, international street cuisine, will also go to the Hugh Lane Wellness Foundation. 

In the past two years, Trafford and Rice claim to have collectively raised around $6,000 for local nonprofits such as Crisis Center North, WPA Fund For Choice, SisTers PGH, Trans YOUniting PGH, and the Greater Pittsburgh Area Food Bank through organized events like An Earful of Care 2023, a concert that benefited Northside Food Pantry, and Sound Out!, a benefit concert and book drive for Literacy Pittsburgh.

click to enlarge Loud & Proud Music Festival offers a queer-run Pride event highlighting Pittsburgh music
Photo: Paul Kotlinski
Sommelier

“When I have the capacity to put together an event like this, I take a look outside of my own focus and the things that I know about and try to do a little bit more research on things I'm unfamiliar with that are happening in Pittsburgh,” Trafford says. “I was unfamiliar with the Hugh Lane Wellness Foundation, and having done a little bit of research on it, I'm thinking to myself, what can we do to share this with our community who may or may not be familiar with the foundation? I think anything that we can do to boost a signal to more people who might not be familiar with their work is a really positive thing.”

Trafford explains that the concert represents a group effort focused on showcasing local music and helping the area's LGBTQ community. 

“All of the talent are [performing at Loud & Proud] free of charge, donating their time,” Trafford says. “As are all of the staff. We have photographers who are part of this and various event staff who are really doing this because they believe in the foundation and what they do … The biggest thing we're still trying to hammer home at this point is that we’re working with the Hugh Lane Wellness Foundation, and everything is going to them. It's all on behalf of them.”
Loud & Proud Music Festival. 1-9 p.m. Sun., June 2. Ormsby Avenue Cafe. 402 Ormsby Ave., Mt. Oliver. $12 in advance, $15 day of show. sommelierband.com/shows

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