If you haven’t been to Honey Groove before, it’s “a festival that celebrates LGBTQ performing artists, visual artists, creatives, and entrepreneurs,” says their website. It is an open and inclusive day where people from all over the spectrum are invited to shop, commune, network, dance, listen, and relax to the sights and sounds of queer joy.
“I think [first-time visitors] should come ready to be free,” says Kyrisha Deschamps, co-organizer of Honey Groove. “I think it’s definitely a really safe space to let your hair down, dance as hard as you want to, and explore everything that you can think of.”
According to Deschamps, the vendors and all but one of the performers are queer. “So you’re pretty much walking into a 100 percent queer space where you can feel like you’re supporting small businesses and you’re supporting artists.”
The Queen of Bounce, Big Freedia, will be the festival’s headliner and the organizers are very happy she is coming. Now that Honey Groove has moved to Dock 5, there will be much more room for revelers to watch her perform. This legend’s music has been around for a little while and many fans, some who were there when she started out and others who are more recent, will be out to celebrate her sound. “I think that’s magical, just being able to create that bond that will be intergenerational,” says Deschamps. “I think that there’s a lot of excitement there and I’m really excited to have Big Freedia.”
Local and national artists, including DJs and vendors will be participating all day. “You can kind of move around the space and create the experience that you want to have,” says Deschamps. “In coming to Honey Groove, it’s not just coming to the festival and supporting the team. You’re also supporting this overarching queer community. It’s a space for affirmation.”
In this spirit, Deschamps wants everyone, especially those who love and support the LGBTQ community, to know they are welcome. “We definitely want allies and we want people that might not identify as people of color to also come and feel welcome into the space. It’s really a space of discovery. Come and discover new talent, a new artist, a new vendor and just really have a good time,” she says. “And dance to Big Freedia!”
The Honey Groove LGBTQ Festival takes place September 9 at Dock 5 located at 1309 5th St. NE, Washington, D.C. For more information, visit www.honeygroovedc.com.