Cincinnati-based Walk the Moon will perform June 7. The band is best known for its hit single “Shut Up and Dance.” In a 2017 interview with Entertainment Weekly, Walk the Moon vocalist Nicholas Petricca shared how after losing his father, he began to reevaluate his sexuality. That same year, Petricca performed at LoveLoud fest, a festival benefiting LGBTQ youth in Utah.
Gary Van Horn, president of the Delta Foundation, which organizes Pittsburgh Pride, said at a press conference that this would be Walk the Moon’s first performance as a group at a Pride celebration.
Toni Braxton will perform on June 8, and during a video showed at the press conference, she said she “simply cannot wait to perform.” Braxton also said she is a big ally to the LGBTQ community. Opening for Braxton will be Rina Sawayama, a Japanese-British singer/songwriter who has embraced her queer identity as a pansexual.
“We are excited to be the first Pride in the world to be held on a bridge, and believe that Andy Warhol, Pittsburgh’s gay icon, would be thrilled that it will take place on his namesake bridge,” said Van Horn.
This year’s theme is “We Are One,” and Van Horn said the festival will play special respects to the trans women of color who led the Stonewall uprising in 1969, a seminal moment in the fight for LGBTQ equality. An Artistic Intersection dedicated to Stonewall will be installed at Ellsworth and Maryland avenues in Shadyside, which will be unveiled in June.
Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald said at the press conference that he is proud to see Pittsburgh Pride grow into the large celebration it is today.
“It is just a wonderful celebration of diversity, of being welcoming, and of what the region is becoming,” said Fitzgerald.