PrideFest Milwaukee in the Home Stretch

Organizers Tidy up Details in Final Month before Gates Open – even launch a New Stage


Milwaukee – With just over one month to go, the production team at PrideFest Milwaukee is making their final push to the opening of the gates. (June 7-8-9) Contracts are still being worked out, menus planned, speakers booked, and volunteers contacted for available openings.

“We always find ourselves in between this feeling over being overwhelmed, and of being totally energized and ready to bring it home!” says Festival Director Pete Minns about the final weeks leading up to the  festivals start.  “We do have an incredible team. Every year, these folks come back and dedicate hours and hours of volunteer time to organize, and run this three day festival. And every year, it’s a great time.”

Last year, organizers set some pretty high personal festival bests, even after publically acknowledging that things have been difficult at times. Board President Scott Gunkel has praised the Board and the team this year for making “smart and responsible cost reductions.” Having done so has allowed the organizers to not only bring in top entertainment, but also launch a new stage.

Pop icon Andy Bell of Erasure will be the Miller Lite Main stage headliner on Friday, June 7, in an opening night show that also stars Sophie B. Hawkins and ABBA Salute. Saturday, June 8, the legendary Indigo Girls hit the stage, and Sunday June 9, outspoken supporter of LGBT and women’s rights, Amanda Palmer closes out the festival after Dangerous Muse opens with electro-pop dance sounds and sexy stage theatrics never before seen on the Miller Lite Main stage. Other artists performing over the weekend include God-Des & She, Beverly McCellan, Big Bad Gina, DJ Grind, Bag Romance show, Something to Do, and Wisconsin’s own first lady of Rock – Ronnie Nyles and Tallulah Who, among others. A full lineup can be found on

RIVIERA MAYAbachata414Following last year’s success with the new stage area Wom!nz Spot Lounge and Café, organizers are again branching out and this year will launch The Riviera Maya Stage. Sponsored by La Nueva Ritmo, the stage focus will be to highlight the multicultural dimension of the LGBT and Straight community. “This multicultural stage is dedicated to presenting musical groups from diverse backgrounds,” says Board Member Francisco Araiza. “We wanted a place to showcase different nationalities, ethnicities, languages, and religions, and by showcasing our diversity, we hope to find the commonalities that make the fabric that forms one worldwide LGBT and Straight community.” The stage will be open each night and will feature Latin and hip hop artists, as well as DJs.

Festival tickets are already on sale, and for an extra close up experience, headliner shows are also available for reserved seating. The reserved ticket price also includes the gate ticket fee. Festivalgoers also will have the option of adding $1 to their ticket purchases to support the Milwaukee LGBT Community Center’s greatest needs fund. “We may not always have the best budgets to work with from year to year,” says Gunkel, but we do have a great opportunity here to reach out to as many people as possible.” The Milwaukee LGBT Community Center has battled back from financial woes over the last year with a strong and dedicated board and staff, and the option to add a $1 charge to tickets purchased on was a way for PrideFest to help raise funds for the center. “The Festival itself is always in need of donors, and sponsors to help open the gates, but we also want to support our community while we have the chance.”

You can support them both by logging onto and purchasing your tickets to this year’s festival. By doing so in advance, you save $3 off the admission price at the gate ($13 online/$16 gate) or you can purchase a three day weekend pass and save big at only $30. Single-day VIP passes, which includes access to the exclusive Potawatomi Bingo Casino VIP Deck, will be $100 advance, or $225 or the three-day weekend. Opportunities also exist for both individuals to sponsor, as well as business who wish to sponsor. Sponsor levels include anything from VIP tickets to business logo placements online.

For up-to-the-minute PrideFest news throughout the year, follow them onFacebook and Twitter. To become a volunteer, donor, sponsor or vendor, please visit, or call 1-414-272-3378.

About PrideFest

The mission of PrideFest is to celebrate the diversity of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) culture and community. PrideFest, Inc. is a 501c4 nonprofit organization, compliant with all State of Wisconsin and IRS rules. PrideFest is accomplished through the work of the Board of Directors, which oversees business operations year-round, and the Production Team, which develops and carries out the day-to-day planning of the weekend festival. Each year, this unpaid volunteer team is committed to raising the funding necessary to produce our annual event. PrideFest would not be possible without the generous sponsorships, donations and paid ticket purchases of our community.