Houston's 1st Black LGBTQ+ music festival expanding in 2023

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Monday, December 5, 2022
Houston's 1st Black LGBTQ+ musical festival expanding in 2023
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FULL INTERVIEW: Ian Haddock, founder and executive director of The Normal Anomaly Initiative, talks with ABC13 about how the Black Queer Advancement Festival will expand to a five-day event in 2023.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- For organizers of Houston's first Black LGBTQ+ music festival, one day just wasn't enough.

The Black Queer AF Music Festival announced Monday that the "party with a purpose" will now span five days, adding a free two-day advancement summit, an affirming Sunday service and a beach party to the calendar.

Click here for Black Queer AF Music Festival ticket information

Ian Haddock, founder and executive director of The Normal Anomaly Initiative, told ABC13 he hopes the second annual festival will reflect the hearts of Black LGBTQ+ people.

"We are really trying to speak to what makes Black, queer Houstonians themselves," Haddock said. "That is our spirituality and religion. There is, you know, our politics, our arts, and our culture. We really want to speak to that through every facet of the event."

Haddock said the festival aims to address disparities Black members of the LGBTQ+ community have long faced, including lower wages, unemployment, challenges to health care access and other quality of life issues.

The timing of the announcement comes amid a rash of violence nationally against the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and gender non-binary community, especially Black transgender women.

"Here in Texas we're looking at, you know, conversations around trans-identifying people that really just want the ability and the freedom and the hope to live their life. And they're being ridiculed from a very young age," Haddock said. "As a young kid in a small town, if I didn't see Black people moving and shaking, queer people moving and shaking, I would not have the ability to dream this dream, so creating these brave spaces (through the festival) means more to me than I can even express."

Click here for Black Queer AF Music Festival ticket information

2023 Black Queer AF Music Festival Schedule

  • May 3, 2023 - 7 p.m.: Mr./Ms. Black Queer AF Pageant at Hamburger Mary's Houston
  • May 4-5, 2023: Black Queer AF Summit at Doubletree Hilton (IAH), where great thinkers, culture curators and influencers will discuss forward mobility of the Black, queer community
  • May 6, 2023: Black Queer AF Music Festival at Stampede Houston
  • May 7, 2023 - 11 a.m. - Black Queer AF Sunday Service at St. Peter United, featuring guest soloist and an affirming message of faith
  • May 7, 2023 - 5-9 p.m.: Black Queer AF IMPULSEified Beach Party at Balmoral Crystal Clear Lagoon

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