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Kevin Aviance and Serpentwithfeet Headlining WerQfest 2024

Drag performer and dance music legend Kevin Aviance and singer-songwriter Serpentwithfeet are set to headline WerQfest 2024.

via: Pride

The fifth installment of WerQfest, an arts and culture festival highlighting the Black queer, trans and non-binary community, is returning on July 13th, 2024, at The Big Top in St. Louis, MO.

Founded by duo Tre'von Griffith and Shelton Boyd-Griffith, WerQfest's mission is to use the power of arts & entertainment to create safe spaces & amplify artists, organizations, and voices within the Black queer community.

"It's still surreal that something created during the pandemic to give people a slice of joy is now celebrating its fifth year. My hope is that it still offers folx that same sense of joy," Co-Founder and Creative Producer Shelton Boyd-Griffith tells PRIDE.

WerQfest Co-Founder and CEO Tre’von Griffith added, "A movement has been ignited, transforming the landscape of our St. Louis queer creative ecosystem. This fifth-anniversary milestone is a testament to the transformative power of art and community."

PRIDE has the exclusive on this year's WerQfest, from headliners to festival activations. The dual headliners have a synergy of honoring our queer roots and modern exploration of queer identity. The drag icon who conquered the '90s gay dance scene, Kevin Aviance, will be bringing down the house. Aviance's musical legacy continues to influence mainstream music today, having landed their hit "Cunty” on Beyoncé's PURE/HONEY from her award-winning Renaissance album.

In a statement to PRIDE, Aviance expressed gratitude for being asked to perform at this year's WerQfest and shared what they hope their performance will inspire.

"This is who I am and what I am about. The art that I do is rich with gay Black culture. I want the audience to be ready to receive the love and passion I plan on serving. Hopefully, I will inspire someone like me and give them power so that they, too, can feel the freedom and power of being BLACK and queer," Aviance tells PRIDE. "We need festivals and gatherings and to be with each other. We saw this with Beyonce's last tour. I was so proud of my Family to see them all show up and show out. The impact will be great for us and for them."

The festival's second headliner will be Baltimore genre-bending crooner serpentwithfeet.

"Festivals like this are incredibly significant. It’s a time when we can add more fabric to the quilt and strengthen our connections with each other," serpentwithfeet tells PRIDE. "During my performance, I hope I & the audience are in conversation with each other. One of the goals of my work is to celebrate the richness of being Black and queer."

Additional performances include Tre G + Friends, KVTheWriter, DJ Nico Marie, Wuhryn Dumas, Stazi, Vanessa Frost Experience, Rachel Bouzier, and Daniel Allyn.

Beyond the musical performances, WerQfest will feature various activations and resources for attendees. Keeping the fun going will be Dick Appointment, a NY-born dance party "for medium ghetto queer Blacks + allies." In addition, the festival will be fostering professional development with werQPlace, a curated market featuring Black, brown, and/or LGBTQ+ led businesses and brands, hosted by Spicy Broccoli ft. Golliday and a DJ set by TreHitz.

Lastly, a portion of the festival merch collection proceeds will benefit the Okra Project, a mutual aid collective that supports Black trans, non-binary, and gender-nonconforming people.

You can get your tickets here if you're ready to celebrate community and WerQ.

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