Houston's 1st Black LGBTQ+ music festival announces performer lineup

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Houston is on the verge of hosting a first-of-its-kind festival in the city, celebrating and empowering the Black LGBTQ+ community.

Thursday, Houston-based nonprofit The Normal Anomaly Initiative announced its lineup for the first Black Queer+ Advancement Festival, happening April 30, from 3-7 p.m. at Stampede Houston.

The all-Black, LGBTQ+ and allied performance list includes headliners Sissy Nobby, SevnDeep, Durand Bernarr, and Dawn Richard from Danity Kane, along with regionally known talents ShaunWes, Tre' Ward and Vockah Redu.

Click here for Black Queer AF Music Festival ticket information

Founder Ian L. Haddock told ABC13 that attendants of BQ+AF will find themselves immersed in an atmosphere he described as a "party with a purpose."

"It is important to celebrate Black gay pride and Black queer excellence through a festival that (brings) people together through music," Haddock said.

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The Normal Anomaly Initiative executive director Ian Haddock looks back on his Texas City upbringing and service to the LGBTQ+ community.



The goal of the festival is to promote advocacy, and offer a space to start conservations about resources and solutions for the LGBTQ+ community.

"Many people will be impacted by this, so buying a ticket is like buying a ticket to liberation. Which is all of our work...so you empower us through your act of liberation," Haddock said.

The event will also spotlight 14 Black and/or queer businesses that will launch at the festival as part of The Normal Anomaly's new initiative Project Liberate, a three-month program with workshops helping diverse entrepreneurs.

"Pride has increasingly become focused on non-queer persons with little to no connection to our community," director Joelle Bayaa-Uzuri Espeut said. "BQ+AF looks to highlight and celebrate Black, queer artists that are often overlooked and overshadowed in the greater pride and festival conversations."

Click here for Black Queer AF Music Festival ticket information

The Normal Anomaly Initiative, which began as a storytelling blog in 2016, also marked its sixth anniversary Thursday. The nonprofit serves Black LGBTQ+ people in overcoming barriers and ending stigmas and problematic narratives. Click here to learn more about The Normal Anomaly Initiative.

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