New York City Pride weekend kicked off in Brooklyn at an industrial enclave east of Williamsburg with the inaugural edition of LadyLand, a queer music festival that brought out every iteration of the rainbow coalition, both onstage and off.
Under gathering storm clouds the gym rats, bears, otters, gender fluid, pan, trans and heterosexuals arrived at the Brooklyn Mirage for an eclectic night of performances by DJs, hip-hop, electro and indie pop artists, plus a potential for the title of “America’s next drag superstar.”
And the vibe in the multi-leveled arena was nothing if not inclusive, from the outdoor Mirage stage to the indoor King’s Hall.
The crowd outside was primed to dance, and that’s what they did, whether SSION — in his Pink Floyd Atom Heart Mother-inspired cow makeup — paced the stage to his bouncing electro, or potential winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 10 Aquaria (pictured at top) regaled the hometown crowd alongside beefy backup dancers.
All was not perfect, though.
While Lady Fag, the NYC club impresario who put together this inaugural concept to celebrate the community in style, did everything in her power to make the evening perfect, she doesn’t — yet — control the weather.
Once the skies opened up around 11 p.m. most of the crowd tried to stick it out, finding shelter in King’s Hall and under any open archway. Yet once it became apparent the rain wasn’t stopping, the fabulous and glitter-splattered made their mass exodus through the exits and to their waiting Ubers, missing the fierce Chicago rapper Cupcakke and the trippy performance art of exploding trans electronic star SOPHIE.
Let’s hope LadyLand did well enough to warrant a sophomore version. It’s a long overdue concept, and the outpouring of good-feeling throughout the Brooklyn Mirage was priceless. As we all know by now, love wins, though it’s often no match for some bitter summer rain.
Check out more photos from the inaugural edition of LadyLand:
Did you attend the inaugural edition of LadyLand this past weekend?
All photos by Santiago Felipe