There was sunshine on the street at the parade last weekend as thousands of LQBTQ+ individuals walked the pavement in pride flags and glitter, all while being cheered on by an estimated 250,000 supporters. San Diego’s Pride Parade is one of the largest in the country and the festivities don’t stop after the parade ends.
On July 13th and 14th, San Diego held its 2019 Pride Festival. Exhibitors, performers, and festival-goers all came out to Balboa Park, where there was plenty of entertainment for everyone. From face painters to psychics to local artists and vendors, San Diego Pride had it all. Not to mention the centerpiece of the Pride Festival: the concert.
With King Princess and Melissa Etheridge headlining the musical lineup, people showed up in droves. San Diego Pride housed three stages spread throughout the festival in addition to the Stonewall main stage. The Movement stage was the best spot to catch Hip-Hop and R&B performers, while Munda Latina exclusively featured Latina musicians and entertainers. The festival’s Euphoria stage had a constant slate of music running with back-to-back DJs all day long. The only downfall to the Pride Festival, as with any festival, is that it’s impossible to see every act.
Of the performers I saw, my personal favorites were Car Astor, PERTA, and King Princess. Car Astor, an emerging artist from New York, sang alternative rock and pop songs, including her new single “Spaces.” Her sultry voice and bass-driven melodies captivated her intimate audience. The band PERTA burst on the stage following an introduction by drag queen Disco Dollie. Their upbeat music and eccentric lead singer brought the energy level to a new peak. The most well-known act was King Princess, a genderqueer pop sensation. They attracted a massive audience with their energetic presence and performances of hit songs, including “1950” and “Talia.” If the enthusiastic screaming and smiling faces over the weekend were any indication, San Diego’s 2019 Pride Festival was a hit in its own right.