Lizzo to headline expanded Sacramento Pride festival commemorating Stonewall Riots

SacPride is back Saturday and Sunday on the Capitol Mall and this year’s festival will be special: For the first time, the festival will be a two-day event and the festival will commemorate the 50th anniversary of New York’s Stonewall Riots. To top it off, self-love powerhouse performer Lizzo will headline the event.

Lizzo, a flute-playing rapper and hip-hop artist, will cap off more than 40 performances. The lineup includes queens from RuPaul’s Drag Race as well as other local artists performing a mix of music, comedy, speakers and more.

Krystal Peak, who does community engagement and marketing for the Sacramento LGBT Community Center, which organizes the festival, said Lizzo was the group’s first choice for a headliner. The performer’s hit single “Truth Hurts” peaked at No. 38 on the Billboard Hot 200 list Tuesday.

“Her message of inclusivity, body positivity and owning your power has just resonated so much in the LGBT community,” Peak said. Lizzo’s show is scheduled for Sunday at 4:05 p.m.

Performances will take place on two stages as well as in a dance pavilion, Peak said. Tickets are available online and in-person. Guests 21 and older can buy a VIP weekend pass online for $150, but regular tickets for all ages are $15 for the weekend and $10 for a one-day pass. The full entertainment lineup is available online.

Organizers were striving to build the most diverse group of people who are connected to the local community as possible for the lineup, Peak said. More than two thirds of performers are people of color, more than half identify as LGBTQ and another two thirds are locals, she said.

SacPride will also be easier on the wallet this year. The Community Center held about 10 focus groups to talk about how to make the event more inclusive, and money was one of the main concerns discussed, Peak said. Now, there will be larger “activity zones,” Peak said, where people can participate in interactive art and games for free.

The festival will memorialize the Stonewall Riots, which were demonstrations in New York that galvanized the LGBT rights movement, with an eye towards reminding people of the importance of continuing activism on behalf of the entire LGBT community.

Ebony Harper, a black transgender woman and Sacramento-based activist, is one of the grand marshals for the Pride parade, which will start at 11 a.m. Sunday at Southside Park and move down 10th Street to the Capitol Mall.

“This Pride in particular is a focus on trans women of color and how we always have been at the forefront (of the movement) and now we need support,” Harper said. “Gay folks got their same-sex marriage and now we’re left behind.”

Harper was in Dallas recently to support the transgender community after the fatal shooting of Muhlaysia Booker, a transgender woman of color. In 2018, at least 26 transgender people died due to fatal violence, according to the Human Rights Campaign. The majority of these people were black transgender women.

A Sacramento bar, Goldfield Trading Post, also booked two rappers with a history of anti-LGBTQ lyrics to perform during Sacramento Pride. Adam Calhoun and Demun Jones’ “Crazy White Boy Tour” had two sold-out shows schedule before Goldfield canceled the performance due to community outcry.

Peak said part of the aim of Pride is to find ways to keep LGBT issues front-of-mind.

“Everything wasn’t solved with marriage equality,” Peak said. “This year we’re putting a lot of focus on community activism, leaders here locally in Sacramento and how they are moving the conversation forward.”

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