The shifting personality of the annual Volunteer Park Pride Festival into one of the largest free music parties in Seattle was celebrated Tuesday with an announcement of the fest’s 2019 lineup live on KEXP.
Marco Collins, a longtime Seattle DJ credited for helping fuel the city’s grunge explosion on the national music scene and now part of the lineup of voices at the city’s nonprofit music giant KEXP, took to the airwaves Tuesday morning to announce “Seattle-based band and phenomenon” Thunderpussy as the 2019 headliner. Collins is curator for this year’s Volunteer Park Pride Festival and will help host the June 8th event along with drag queen Betty Wetter.
The KEXP announcement was a contrast with the lineup announcement for this summer’s Capitol Hill Block Party which typically is done live on the station but took a quieter route in 2019.
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Starting in 2010 as a family friendly event to kick off Pride month and move some of the city’s annual LGBTQ celebration back onto the Hill, the event has morphed from a family picnic into a day of information, and action — there were more than 100 booths last year — and music.
Tuesday morning, Collins reminded listeners of the early days of Seattle Pride when the parade marched down Broadway and finished with a celebration in Volunteer Park. Making the lineup announcement, Collins was joined by KEXP morning DJ John Richards in a discussion that touched on Thunderpussy’s too dirty for TV name, Collins’s decision to come out as gay in the radio industry, and the veteran DJ’s current treatment for cancer which he hopes is being wrapped up by the time Pride festivities begin.
Richards’s new bar, Life on Mars, meanwhile, is also slated to open in June on E Pike.
Tuesday, Seattle Pride also announced that Mayor Jenny Durkan and drag performer Jinkx Monsoon will serve as grand marshals for the 45th Annual Seattle Pride Parade on June 30th.
The Volunteer Park Pride Festival takes place to start the month, kicking off at noon on June 8th. The free event will feature a beer garden, food trucks, local crafts fair, sponsor and community nonprofit informational booths, and a day-long lineup of musical acts including Thunderpussy, J GRGRY, and Whitney Mongé. A full announcement of the lineup is below.
The can’t-miss music lineup, which celebrates LGBTQ+ arts, features nationally recognized local artists. The festival will be hosted by popular drag queen Betty Wetter, KEXP’s Marco Collins, and DJ Kirk known for his disco, house R&B, and dance beats – and will be headlined by Seattle-based band and phenomenon, Thunderpussy.
Thunderpussy’s quartet—Molly Sides [vocals], Whitney Petty [guitar], Leah Julius [bass], and Ruby Dunphy [drums]— breaks through all rock ‘n’ roll stereotypes. The band’s highly popular self-titled debut album Thunderpussy [Stardog Records/Republic Records] produced by Sylvia Massy, features their hit single Speed Queen. The track begins with a revving engine and arena-size percussion before snapping into a muscular and majestic riff and vocal proclamation, “Long live the Speed Queen.”Certain to draw audiences to the Festival, Thunderpussy is expected to deliver an unforgettable performance.
The highly anticipated musical lineup also includes:
- Left at London – a trans woman known for her intimate and accessible pop writing sensibility as well as her introspective lyricism focused on subject matter specific to her life.
- SassyBlack – an unexplored galaxy made of fist-pump, funk, and beat-fertility known for her blend of experimental hip-hop, unpredictable syncopation and neon-womanism.
- Whitney Mongé – raised with rhythm and blues in her blood, her powerful smoky voice and guitar playing draws in listeners, coining her own genre, Alternative Soul.
- J GRGRY – a musician that elicits joyous inclusiveness and challenges the status quo, his mighty melodies bring people together.
You can learn more at seattlepride.org.