Seven years ago, Angela Lombardi of Phase 1 had a vision: to create a space where local and national queer musicians and artists could unite with an entire community to share their passion and love for the music.
“We were looking for a way to support queer artists and music,” says Lombardi, Manager of Phase 1 located in southeast D.C. “So we came up with the idea for a three day festival, and the community really supported it.”
Phasefest has attracted local and national bands since its inception, and within a relatively short amount of time, has become a staple in the lesbian music calendar. Brooklyn based band The Shondes will once again take the stage as they headline the Friday night show.
“We love playing there,” says Fureigh, lead guitarist for The Shondes. “It’s awesome that it’s the oldest lesbian bar in the country. We think it’s really cool to be able to support that.”
For musicians like The Shondes, the intimate venue is one of the most important aspects of Phasefest.
“One of the things that I like about the space is it’s a really intimate venue,” says Fureigh. “It’s lovely to see the community come together. To look up and see this wonderful ebb and flow in the room of different kinds of folks in the community.”
Attendees of the festival will also capitalize on the venue’s close-knit atmosphere, as many of the bands performing will be engaging with audience members both on and off stage.
“I don’t know where you can interact with headliners like Kaki King in such an intimate space,” says Lombardi. “Our artists are hanging out at the bar, having a beer, interacting with the crowd and you just don’t get that anywhere else.”
For a $15 cover on Friday night, audience members will experience and interact with headlining artist like The Shondes in a way that just doesn’t happen at other shows. Headliner Kaki King will grace the Phase stage Saturday night as the headliner.
Local favorites like Glitterlust, Frankie and Betty, and The Coolots will also be there to entertain audience members throughout the weekend.
“Phase 1 will always be home base for us,” says Mikey Torres, lead singer of Glitterlust. “Phasefest 2011 is really where we got our start. Angela took a chance on us and I think after that show, it was the first time we all really felt like a band.”
For local artists and queer music enthusiasts, Phasefest is a highly anticipated event that fills a much-needed gap in the queer music community.
“We are really fortunate to be so supported,” says Lombardi. “It’s what makes me want to do the event again year after year.”