So let me start off with saying that PrideFest in Milwaukee is kind of a big deal. Milwaukee isn’t known as the City of Festivals for no reason. There is a festival every weekend from the beginning of June all the way to September in Milwaukee. They take festivals seriously. Just the sheer amount of people that attended the first festival of the summer season is a dead giveaway.
Over 45K people attended the festivities this year on the Summerfest Grounds from Thursday, June 6 to Sunday, June 9, breaking yet another attendance record for the seventh year in a row. (Now THAT’s the #gayagenda)
One of the reasons I wanted to attend the festival was not only to celebrate Pride, the start of the summer festival season and get music, but also to see the talented Kim Petras live! This was the first time I would attend since I missed it last year because of absolutely gross weather all MKE Pride weekend (and also because I was moving into my apartment during that time. Can you believe it’s already been a whole year?).
The show started at 10:40 P.M. with the instantly recognizable WOO AHH! starting off the set.
Kim Petras was absolutely adorable onstage and she has perfected the Paris Hilton-esque attitude, complete with hair flips while singing her select discography of 13 songs for the set. The German pop singer was alive with energy and was extremely excited to be performing there that night, celebrating Pride with us and the audience was happy to have her. In a gorgeous purple and white romper complete with a huge bow in the middle and a bullfighter-inspired hat in the same pattern, Petras delighted us with her most recent work, debuting hoe anthem “Do Me” and “Sweet Spot” that includes a sampling of Télépopmusik’s “Breathe” at the end of the show.
Kim’s energy was to give to the audience, interacting with us and urging us to sing and dance to every song on her set. She couldn’t have been a better fit for the occasion. Not only was it a great experience because of the bop-tastic music, but because of the company around me, my boyfriend, my close friends, and other LGBTQ+ individuals and allies who were there united to celebrate and enjoy life. You know, what Pride is actually about.
I think that as a member of LGBTQ+ community, events like PrideFest and the presence of other LGBTQ+ musicians not only solidifies our presence and our stories in the world, but amplifies our unique experiences that connect us. As I wrote this, I was reminded of the 3rd anniversary of the horrific Pulse nightclub shooting and the lasting impact that this terrible act had on our community. A safe space such as that of a nightclub or an event like PrideFest, is nothing to be taken for granted with so much violence being directed towards our communities whether through diverse systems like religion, legislation or negligent bureaucracy. When the mechanics of oppression and discrimination become normalized, attending events like PrideFest and being active and visible in our communities is more important than ever for us to fight back. Supporting other LGBTQ+ artists is another way to make sure our voices are heard. Thank you PrideFest.
Setlist (confirmed with Setlist.fm)
Got My Number
I Don’t Want It At All
Blow It All
Close Your Eyes
If U Think About Me
All the Time
1,2,3 dayz up
Unlock It (Charli XCX)
Heart to Break