Pacific Pride Celebrates LGBTQ Music at Pride Fest

Rainbow Girls Join Ada Vox, Dev, and More

Ada Vox
Photo Credit: Courtesy Photo
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This Saturday, August 25, the Pacific Pride Foundation will host the Pacific Pride Festival at Chase Palm Park (323 E. Cabrillo Blvd.), noon-7 p.m. This free, family-friendly festival will celebrate all those within the LGBTQ community locally and abroad with a full lineup of exciting entertainment.

Ada Vox, a top-10 American Idol finalist in 2018, is one of the headliners at the festival, with a performance sure to showcase the personality and voice that brought her international fame. She’s a vocalist so emotive, with a spirit so magnetic, that she brought S.B.-raised Idol judge Katy Perry to her knees in reverence. She will continue on to an after-party at Matrix S.B. (409 State St.) at 9 p.m.

Also among the festival’s other top-billed acts? Dev — the LGBTQ-ally performer famed for “Bass Down Low,” “Booty Bounce,” and her collaborative work on Far East Movement’s “Like a G6.” Festivalgoers can also witness RuPaul’s Drag Race contestants, Mayhem Miller and the Emmy-nominated Raven, and it’s a great chance to see some great area acts, including the Rainbow Girls, returning for a homecoming show, and the ever-funky Soul Machine, Borgia Bloom, and the Queen of Pride 2018, among others.

“I was raised and grew up loving regardless of gender or sexual orientation, and I think as I became a performer, the LGBTQ/Pride shows have always been a place of comfort, without judgment regardless of what single was on the radio or not,” Dev said. She looks forward to “celebrating love and freedom, and performing and dancing with everyone! It’s going to be awesome.”

To aspiring LGBTQ musicians and creators in general, she said, “Your unique qualities are what make you you, and no one can ever duplicate that. Work hard, then keep working hard. Never give up!” Dev is deep in the process of making new music of her own, citing the new Nicki Minaj, Tierra Whack, The Internet, and Khalid as just some of her influences.

The Pride Festival marks a significant show for the Rainbow Girls, who have dreamed of a Pacific Pride Festival appearance for years. “We have wanted to do it since the beginning, and supporting the community really is what we’re all looking to the most,” said drummer Savannah Hughes.

In its multiyear career, the Isla Vista–grown act has traveled the world sharing its empowered, thoughtful folk rock. Today, it continues to be one of the area’s brightest musical beacons, even though the lineup has dispersed largely northward to Petaluma. “Our mission remains the same — just bringing original music to people, to bring joy and happiness and really inspire people,” Hughes said. The new set, she says, will mix up their livelier numbers with some of the group’s more pensive recent works, and in all, will be a chance for festivalgoers to “let loose and have a good time.”

When not with the Rainbow Girls, Hughes spends much of her time with Girls Rock S.B., teaching aspiring young musicians how to play music and write lyrics. In her day-to-day, she lives out the spirit the Rainbow Girls have become known for, whether onstage or in the classroom, Hughes encourages “holding a space for young women to play music — music has been male dominated for a long time, and it’s important for young women to voice their opinion, to be creative, and know that their voice matters, too.”

She hopes the band inspires all in the Pride Festival audience to proudly live out their truest self. “Be proud of who you are, and just express yourself; do not feel scared, even if you feel different,” she said. “People want originality nowadays, and it is something really special when people can see that in you. Go up and rock, and be you.”