One of the most joyous aspects of public life opening back up is the return of live music. Flyers for concert tours, festivals, and club nights are once again filling our IG feeds, giving us the chance to finally hear the last year-and-a-half of music in its proper setting. It’s a moment we’ve been waiting for since the beginning of this pandemic, and it signals a major turning point for what’s possible in the events industry.

Live music is not only an artform we’ve missed indulging in, it’s a source for community-building that’s left gaps in our lives. For queer people, this void has been immense. So many queer spaces have closed throughout this pandemic, a loss which will take far more time to bounce back from. The prospect of hosting events again means that we can curate these moments of expression and connection, creating spaces that are emotionally meaningful for target audiences. The return of the events industry is about specificity and intention, creating something that feels actually meaningful.

As our world continues to open up, we’re paying attention to how we can support those who’ve been most vulnerable throughout this time. With touring as their main source of income, musicians took one of the hardest financial hits during the pandemic, specifically artists in the low-to-mid range. Queer artists––who time and time again prove themselves as the creative innovators and leaders in the industry––have not received the flowers they deserve. Some have had to take on new careers for income, and some have had to crowd-fund to pay their bills. In the face of all these Pride campaigns, where is the material support for the actual culture?

To celebrate the last week of pride month, we’ve compiled some of our fave new releases by queer musicans in a playlist to celebrate the impact that queer innovation has had on music. From the raw honesty of bedroom pop to the infectious aesthetics of hyperpop, from the icy cold sounds of ballroom to stone cold reads in rap, come hear how queerness has forged the sound of today. Queer artistry, Black culture, and trans worldmaking are the foundation of American culture, and we hope that this acknowledgment can be reflected throughout our society.

Happy Pride everyone!

Until next time,

Douglas (they/them)