AGearing up for what’s on track to become one of the biggest NYC Pride celebrations to date, Pride Island has secured a star-powered lineup for its third-annual concert.
The two-day festival at Manhattan’s Pier 97 will mark the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots with help from LGBTQ icons Grace Jones and Madonna. They’ll be joined by some international drag queens, ballroom stars and pop performers who are sure to bring the realness.
“We’re planning an action-packed weekend of live performances that will build upon the excitement of what Pride attendees know as Pride Island, for our biggest and most inclusive year yet,” Pride Island director Jose Ramos said in a statement.
The first Pride Island hit Pride Week in 2017 and marked a change from the traditional “Dance on the Pier” party that was held during the Pride March for nearly three decades. A spike in popularity and attendance helped transform it into an annual LGBTQ festival. The festival, previously held at Pier 26, moved to Pier 97 at Hudson River Park in 2018 to prep for the larger-than-average crowd expected for the historic 2019 Pride March.
“I couldn’t be more excited to perform in front of my LGBTQIA+ friends and the community that’s supported me for so many years during WorldPride 2019,” 70-year-old Grace Jones said in a statement. Jones, who’s been an LGBTQ icon for decades, headlines the festival on Saturday, while “Vogue” star Madonna is set for Sunday, after the march.
Get to know the performers before they hit Pride Island.
The supermodel, actress and singer is considered one of today’s greatest gay icons.
The Harlem-born R&B artist is behind the popular “WTP” track featuring ballroom house queens that’s racked up nearly 3 million views on YouTube since its 2018 release.
One of the most famous queens in Brazil, Pabllo Vittar became the first Grammy-nominated drag queen at the 2018 Latin Grammy Awards. She received a nod for “Sua Cara,” a track released that same year with Major Lazer.
The pop singer that topped Spotify playlists in 2018 with her breakout song “Heart to Break” has garnered a solid LGBTQ fan base. In a 2018 interview with HuffPost, the singer said she hopes her music attracts fans, rather than her transgender identity. “I just hate the idea of using my identity as a tool,” she said. A Pride Island release describes her style as somewhere between ‘90s American pop and ‘80s European disco.
Amara La Negra
Afro-Latina performer Amara La Negra broke into the spotlight last year with a little help from “Love & Hip Hop: Miami.” She appeared on the series and opened up about her struggle to find a place in the music industry where she could celebrate her culture.
The New York City DJ has played residencies at some of the most notable local clubs, from The Pyramid Club to BoyBar and the shuttered Limelight.
The DJ is set to spin “classic dance floor hits,” according to a release.
The NYC DJ released a sampling of her Pride Island set on SoundCloud.
The singer who helped the city’s underground ballroom culture find its place in the mainstream spotlight in the ‘80s with the release of “Vogue” will “perform a couple of songs” to close out Pride Island following the Pride March. She most recently performed a surprise set at the Stonewall Inn on New Year’s Eve, during which she spoke out about spreading love. “If we truly look and we truly take the time to get to know one another, we would find that we all bleed the same color and we all need to love and be loved,” Madonna told the crowd.
Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly identified DJ Morabito.
IF YOU GO: Pride Island hits Hudson River Park’s Pier 97 Saturday (2 to 10 p.m.) and Sunday (2 to 10:30 p.m.). Tickets are sold out on Pride Island’s website, but still available on resale sites.