Dearest queer country friends, can you believe that the Gay Ole Opry and Queer Country Quarterly are ten years old?! Come celebrate with me this Thursday, December 9th, at 7:00 pm ET!
The first Gay Ole Opry festival was back on April 7th, 2011 in Brooklyn. After three hundred people showed up to dance and sing and even cry a little bit together, it was clear we needed a more regular event too, and so the first Queer Country Monthly followed at the newly-opened Branded Saloon on July 23, 2011. In 2015, Eli Conley took us to the Bay Area with Queer Country West Coast. The Opry even hit the road, including a big 2016 Southern tour. And since the pandemic we have headed online! All told, more than 100 artists have performed at over 70 festivals and shows.
Our big anniversary party will be streaming this Thursday, December 9th at 7:00 ET as part of the Country Soul Songbook Summit. There will be performances from longtime Opry stars Lindsey Wilson, Juan & the Pines, and Mylo, tons of clips from the archives, and a conversation with special guests Black Opry’s Holly G and Adobe and Teardrop’s Rachel Cholst about building community. Check the facebook invite for more details and to rsvp
You can watch for free at countrysoulsongbook.com, but I really hope you’ll also register for the whole Country Soul Songbook Summit because omg it is going to be so amazing. Three gorgeous days of music, conversations, and community envisioned and led by BIPOC and LGBTQIA artists! I mean, look at this lineup:
Friends, thank you so much for these last ten years. Thank you for all the singing, two stepping, listening, clapping, laughing, drinking, crying. Thank you for sharing your cash to support the artists and to support fundraisers for grassroots groups like the Trans Justice Funding Project and SONG. For helping out in a million different ways from spreading the word to running the door. For volunteering for Country Music Against White Supremacy and committing to asking hard questions about what transforming country music could look like. For showing up again and again, year after year, with so much love for the music and for each other. Thank you for building this space with me. I hope we can keep working together to make it into what we need. And to make it feel like home.