THE DELTA FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES WALK THE MOON & TONI BRAXTON TO HEADLINE PITTSBURGH PRIDE; EVENT TO SHIFT TO ICONIC ANDY WARHOL BRIDGE & FT. DUQUESNE BLVD. April 9, 2019 —Pittsburgh, PA—The Delta Foundation of Pittsburgh is pleased to announce that Walk the Moon and Toni Braxton will headline the Pride Rocks PGH weekend concerts for Pittsburgh Pride 2019.
Walk the Moon will perform the evening of Friday, June 7 and Toni Braxton will perform the evening on Saturday, June 8 on the Pennsylvania Lottery Stage. It will be the first time either act has ever performed at a Pride event. Tickets are on sale today at PittsburghPride.org/Tickets or at 888-45-TICKETS.
It was also announced that the event location will shift to the Andy Warhol Bridge and Ft. Duquesne Blvd. “Several weeks ago the city brought some concerns to us about safety, security, traffic, bus detours, as well as our growing attendance and asked that we consider a new location,” said Gary A. Van Horn, Jr. president of the Delta Foundation. “We quickly went to work and thanks to both our City and County partners, especially County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, Pittsburgh Pride will be held on the Andy Warhol Bridge, pending final approval, and will extend onto Ft. Duquesne Blvd. between 7th & 9th Streets which also includes Ft. Duquesne Park.”
“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. We also believe that building bridges and bringing communities together is what is going to change the conversation about our LGBTQ community,” said Van Horn.
Under this year’s theme “We Are One” which was voted on by the community, Pittsburgh Pride is the largest event that celebrates the diversity of the Pittsburgh region specifically for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community. Pittsburgh’s first Gay and Lesbian Pride Parade occurred on June 17, 1973 and had 150 participants. Last year’s events attracted over 185,000 people, according to City of Pittsburgh’s estimates.
Since 2007, the event has been produced by the Delta Foundation of Pittsburgh, the leading non-profit advocacy organization in Western Pennsylvania. Pittsburgh Pride is the largest LGBTQ Pride event in Pennsylvania and the 4th largest special event in Pittsburgh.
Over the course of her career, Toni Braxton has sold over 67 million records, including 41 million albums worldwide, won seven Grammy Awards, nine Billboard Music Awards, and seven American Music Awards, among numerous other accolades. It’s been her distinctive, sultry vocals and her androgynous look that led her to a huge LGBTQ following. “It’s very easy to emulate Toni Braxton on both sides. Over the years I think that might be one of the reasons my LGBTQ fans have connected with me. I am who I am. I’m an androgynous artist and I’m comfortable in my own skin.”
Opening for Toni Braxton is Rina Sawayama, a Japanese-British singer/songwriter and model who identifies as pansexual. She has quickly become an important figure in the LGBTQ community, unapologetically embracing her queer identity with empowering ferocity. Her 2018 track “Cherry” explores her sexual identity and “features several people of color queer dancers fully embracing their femininity as that’s something you don’t see. The movement is based around the struggle of coming to terms with what society has told you is wrong, but in the end is a justified feeling.”
In 2014, Cincinnati, Ohio alt-rockers Walk the Moon took over the pop world with their single “Shut Up and Dance,” which brought huge success as well as a feeling of being misunderstood that eventually lead to the group taking some time off. Bassist Kevin Ray got married, and frontman Nicholas Petricca struggled with grief from losing his father, as well as an examination of his sexuality. “Coming back together,” Petricca said, “we had to navigate a lot of that stuff.” In January, the band released their new single "Timebomb" and joined Muse as their opening act during their Simulation Theory North American Tour which wraps up this month.
Every June, cities around the world hold Pride events which commemorate the Stonewall uprising that took place in New York in 1969 which is recognized as a landmark event in the history of LGBTQ rights. In conjunction with the 50th anniversary of Stonewall this year, the Delta Foundation has worked with the City of Pittsburgh to create a new Artistic Intersection at Ellsworth & Maryland in Shadyside which will be unveiled in June.
Events for Pittsburgh Pride begin on Memorial Day weekend for the annual Big Gay Picnic on Sunday, May 26 from Noon-6:30 PM at North Park Lodge. The picnic, which began in 1976, is often referred to as the original gay pride and tickets include a food and beverages. Tickets can be purchased at PittsburghPride.org/tickets
Other highlights during Pride weekend include:
PrideFest a free event with continuous entertainment on the Pennsylvania Lottery Stage at Ft. Duquesne Blvd. & 9th Street and on the stage on the North Side end of the Andy Warhol Bridge at Isabella Street. There will be 175 vendor booths, food, a children’s activity area, pet area, and the Mylan Wellness Village. PrideFest takes place Saturday, June 8 from Noon-6 PM and Sunday, June 9 from 1-7 PM.
Confirmed entertainment for PrideFest includes:
o Folk rock artist and trans woman Namoli Brennet whose music was featured in the film “Out in the Silence” which details the struggle of a gay teen growing up in rural Pennsylvania.
o Lena Jackson, a writer, rapper and poet from North Carolina.
o Bridge 19 is a band from Louisville who lends touches of Americana, pop, Nashville, Motown and disco in their music.
o Brave and Crazy, an all-female Melissa Etheridge tribute band.
o Electric pop musician Joey Suarez.
o Melissa Otera, a Latin/pop singer from New York City.
o Princex, a Pittsburgh performer whose music is a mix of pop, R&B, soul, hip hop and grunge.
o Billy Winn, who has been captivating audiences with his energetic shows and music releases, ranging from high energy dance records to emotionally charged EDM.
o Named the “coolest, young rock band from Brooklyn,” The Danbees are a fun, energetic spontaneous rock’ n roll band. the danbees.com
o Bryce is a dance-pop singer-songwriter based in Washington, D.C. who promises a magnetic and provocative live performance with LGBTQ themes.
The Equality March takes place on Sunday, June 9 at 12:30 PM and starts at the Blvd. of the Allies and Grant Street and winds through the streets of downtown Pittsburgh. It features non-profit community partners, businesses, companies, first responders, law enforcement personnel, and politicians who believe in equality and show their support by joining forces with the LGBTQ community as they ask to be treated equally and with dignity and respect.
The Pride Dance Party, a new and free event, will take place on Sunday, June 9 from 7-10 PM. The event will feature top-ranked DJ and Grammy-nominated record producer and remixer Tony Moran. Tony is known for “The Moran Sound”—hard hitting tribal house anthems infused with the latest cutting edge sounds in electronica. With more than 800 titles, dozens of Top 40 pop hits and countless No. 1 dance singles to his credit, Tony has worked with artists such as Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Madonna, Beyoncé, Britney Spears, Rihanna, Mary J Blige, Janet Jackson and Jennifer Lopez.
Confirmed sponsors of Pittsburgh Pride include 84 Lumber, 5801 Video Lounge, Aetna, Allegheny County, Allegheny Health Network, American Eagle, Central Outreach Wellness Center, Chevron, City of Pittsburgh, ConnectiveRX, Covestro, Eaton, EQT, FedEx, First Commonwealth Bank, Giant Eagle, Gilead, Google, Green Mountain Energy, Highmark, Howard Hanna, Humane Animal Rescue, iHeart Radio, Images, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire, Lyft, Mylan, Nemacolin Woodlands, Nissan, Pamela’s, Pennsylvania Lottery, Pitt Ohio, Port Authority of Allegheny County, PPG, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Tito’s Vodka, Thermo Fisher Scientific, UPMC, U.S. Steel, Visit Pittsburgh, and Walmart.