This week, the second annual Phreak N’ Queer Festival showcases the vibrant creativity of gay and transgender artists working on the fringes of mainstream culture. The four-day fest takes place in welcoming venues all across the city and features everything from burlesque and spoken word to country crooners and drag divas.
“Ultimately, this festival is about celebrating DIY, underground and marginalized artists who are constantly pushing their medium forward,” says local DJ and LGBTQ adolescence specialist Kate Gormley, an organizer of the event and one of the dozen or so volunteers who’s working to pull this shindig together.
Organizers harnessed the buzz accompanying last summer’s inaugural event as they planned this year’s blowout. Consequently, PnQ 2.0 looks to be more fabulous than the first. “This year’s festival will be bigger, better and gayer than last year,” Gormley promises.
A major improvement from last year is the inclusion of more all-ages programming and alcohol-free events, like Super Phreak, an opening night exhibit of queer artists, and Saturday afternoon’s Family Day at Liberty Lands Park, held in conjunction with Raices Latino Pride.
Leave the kiddies at home for the rest of the fest, though. Friday night’s queer sock hop, Hot Rods and Mustang Sally, features a drag and burlesque extravaganza for girls who are boys who like boys to be girls. Mixtress of Ceremonies, the Notorious OMG, will keep the party going, but the real fun comes courtesy of the performers: curvy cutie Miss Mary Wanna and smooth-talking stud Rough RydeHer, also known as this year’s Mr. Gay Pride.
The phreaks will be out on Saturday for Homo Rama, a mash-up of pop punk and dance grooves. The roster includes the Shondes, who combine the Shangri-Las and the Ramones, and homegrown rappers Sgt. Sass. “We like mixing punk, electro, and hip-hop together for a high-energy night,” says PnQ organizer Sara Sherr, who is also a member of local comedy drag troupe the Dumpsta Players.
Queer electro diva Nicky Click will also bring her eclectic catalog to Homo Rama before embarking on a national tour. Fond of wigs and wedding gowns, Click promises an unforgettable show: “Let me tell you, I am not traveling all day from New Hampshire to not entertain the audience to the maximum. When I hit the stage, I am the No. 1 diva on earth and love myself to the fullest and want to share self-indulgence and command attention and do this in a loving, funny, satirical way.”
Sounds phreak n’ awesome.
Thurs., Aug. 2-Sun., Aug. 5. Various locations. phreaknqueerfestival.wordpress.com
Calendar: July 22-29
Calendar: July 15-22