ASHEVILLE — After losing the original location for their Asheville PrideFest, organizers have announced they’ve found a new home for the annual event.
This year’s Asheville PrideFest is still slated to take place Oct. 11, Noon to 6 p.m. The event will now be held at Grove House (Scandals Nightclub), at 11 Grove St.
As reported by Q-Notes on Sept. 20, Asheville PrideFest had lost its home at the Western North Carolina Community Health Services (WNCCHS) after officials there complained of lack of communication and planning on the part of PrideFest organizer Kali Brewer.
By the time WNCCHS officials heard from Brewer, another event had already been slated for the same day.
Brewer told Q-Notes that she felt WNCCHS officials were too busy to be actively involved in the planning.
“[WNCCHS officials] made a commitment to me that we’d be able to use these facilities and services,” she said. “I went ahead with my planning based on the fact that I had everything planned. Last year when we were planning [WNCCHS officials] were too busy to help us in planning.”
She added, “I’m so sorry I didn’t speak to [them] a hundred times over the past year. If I had known this would happen I would have done it.”
Brewer maintains that WNCCHS officials “set the precedent” for their lack of involvement.
Brewer also responded to community criticisms that the annual festival lacks involvement and representation from the transgender and gay male communities.
“Most of the transgender organizations that have been involved with PrideFest have been involved since the first festival. Last year my volunteer coordinator was transgender,” she noted. “The gay male community is extremely underrepresented and the reason is because they’ve chosen not to be involved. I’ve encouraged them to become involved and that call has gone unanswered.”
Brewer, who founded the annual festival, also told Q-Notes those in the community issuing complaints have no right to do so.
“When they chose not to become involved, that took away their right to complain,” she said. “If they want their complaint to be taken seriously and have any validity, they need to be involved.”
Openly gay singer-songwriter Josh Zuckerman will headline the event. He has proven a successful and popular performer at other Carolina LGBT events, including Pride Charlotte and Queen City Stomp.
Other performers at the event will include She Haw!, “A Cavalcade of Country Classics;” Wild Bodema; Ginny Wilder; Someone’s Sister; and Natalie Productions.