May 19, 2020 at 11:40 am PDT | by John Paul King
Despite cancellations, Pride goes on with ‘OUTLOUD’ digital concert series

With Pride Festivals and Parades across the nation cancelled or postponed indefinitely due to the COVID pandemic, the usual excitement felt by many as June approaches is sadly missing – but just because the community can’t gather in person to share the spirit of the season, that doesn’t mean we can’t still celebrate together with some fierce and fabulous live entertainment.

Award-winning LA-based Event Producers JJ/LA announced last week that the Pride artist showcase OUTLOUD, which was slated to debut at the now-cancelled South by Southwest (SXSW) festival, has been reimagined as a 10-part digital concert series, now titled “OUTLOUD: Raising Voices.”

Helping to kick off Pride festivities worldwide, the 10-episode, 5-week concert series is a celebration of queer and allied artists, highlighting and elevating a diverse lineup of queer talent that is making an impact in the music industry, including Betty Who, Kesha, Candis Cayne, Grayson Chance, and many others. In addition, each episode of “OUTLOUD: Raising Voices” will also provide an opportunity to support local Pride organizations, which are struggling in the wake of festival and event cancellations due to the COVID-19 crisis.

JJ/LA founder Jeff Consoletti originally conceived the live concert concept for “OUTLOUD” with business partner Artie Kenney, Founder of AKT Agency Inc. Following the cancellation of SXSW, he recognized the opportunity to transition to an impactful digital format that would allow everyone to celebrate the 2020 Pride season.

“Now more than ever, it is important to find ways to feel united while still being mindful of current social distancing requirements. OUTLOUD: Raising Voices is a perfect opportunity to bring people together while also giving back to our communities around the country,” says Consoletti. “Pride festivals are often the biggest – if not only – fundraiser many local Pride organizations will have, and the loss of these events is potentially devastating. We hope the community will join us to celebrate Pride together with each other and these amazing artists and donate to some great non-profits.”

JJ/LA, known for its diverse roster of clients, has produced Los Angeles Pride (including its nationally-recognized parade and festival) for the past decade, as well as the two-day Pride Island music festival featuring headliner Madonna at WorldPride NYC.

The first two episodes of “OUTLOUD: Raising Voices,” hosted by “Grey’s Anatomy” star Jake Borelli, will present some of the artists originally scheduled to perform at SXSW, including headliner Betty Who, and featuring Madame Gandhi, Flavia, SWSH, Bang Bang Romeo, pineappleCITI, Pabllo Vittar, Ryan Cassata and Ariel View. Subsequent episodes will feature appearances and performances from Kesha, Candis Cayne, Allie X, Vincint, Greyson Chance, The Aces, and Wrabel, with additional details and performers to be announced weekly.

The digital series will be available exclusively on Facebook, where it will premiere on May 26. Episodes will drop twice weekly, on Tuesdays and Wednesday at 5PM PST/ 8PM EST,  on LGBTQ@Facebook, OUTLOUD’s Facebook page and the JJ|LA Facebook page. Viewers will be able to donate directly using the Facebook “donate” button on the video, in order to lend their direct support to impacted communities including Los Angeles, Houston, Phoenix, and Washington D.C.

Fans are encouraged to join the celebration using #WeAreOUTLOUD.

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