Are you ready for the weekend? What are you most excited about?
I am so excited and ready for the weekend. Producing WeHo Pride continues to be a career highlight for me and my team at JJLA. Year after year I am honored and humbled to do such great work in such a vibrant and caring community.
And while we are known for the fun party we deliver through world-class entertainment and production, we continue to strive to create a purposeful PRIDE experience focused on amplifying our LGBTQ community. This year, LGBTQ people are finding themselves under attack. From limiting drag story hours and performances to shutting down gender-affirming care and rights for transgender people, our community once again finds ourselves facing extreme limitations. We’re lucky West Hollywood provides sanctuary and support in consistent and meaningful ways for the LGBTQ+ people and I try to create a Pride experience that demonstrates that.
The City Council committed more resources for this Pride than any other past Pride celebrations. The streets will be closed all day Saturday and Sunday. Do you have estimates of the crowd expected?
This year we are expecting tens of thousands of guests to our City as we continue to grow WeHo Pride. We nearly tripled our event footprint from our inaugural festival last year. We worked in great coordination with City Council, West Hollywood City Staff, public safety officials and agencies, and the greater West Hollywood Business Community to amplify our Pride Footprint along Santa Monica Blvd! The WeHo Pride Street Fair offers two exciting days of FREE programming, across two stages, with exciting activations and photo opps, a marketplace, community advocacy booths, fashionable WeHo Pride Merch, a ferris wheel and more! Saturday features the Women’s Freedom Festival and West Hollywood Dyke March. The WeHo Pride Parade on Sunday showcases over 100 thrilling entries and celebrates our icons making waves for the LGBTQ community including Melissa McCarthy, Laith Ashley, Niecy Nash-Betts & Jessica Betts, and RuPaul’s Drag Race – along with some other surprises!
Now in our fourth year, we continue to grow the Outloud Music Festival. A one-of-it’s-kind event that champions queer artistry and musicianship, we are bringing over 40 queer-identified artists to three days of show-stopping entertainment in West Hollywood Park. While I am so excited to work with artists like Grace Jones, Orville Peck and Carly Rae Jepsen, it’s the ability to be able to showcase rising stars like Kat Cunning, Kylie Sonique Love, Kento, Rayvon Owen and so many others that makes me so proud of the work we produce. Tickets are moving fast in the final hours to the show, so if you are considering coming, I recommend snatching yours up now at weareoutloud.com.
What’s equally incredible is the way the City stepped up as an Outloud partner offering Friday night as a free concert. I can’t wait to see Idina Menzell, Tinashe and Jessie Ware bring down the house!
How many people on your team? Anybody that deserves a special mention?
I have a core team of 20 amazing, smart, kind, and very queer (and a few allied) producers that make up JJLA. It’s truly a team effort that couldn’t be pulled off in the coordinated, seamless way it appears without the many months and long days and nights of effort and care we put in. Additionally, we bring in a team of over 100 site crew, designers, show technicians, and experience coordinators that are all working so hard to make this experience the best it can be for every person coming to West Hollywood.
We know Pride means so many different things to everyone, and we try our best to allow every one to find their moment in the experience we are creating. We’re honored to work in West Hollywood and truly thank the community for their support.