Metro Weekly

Alessia Cara, Troye Sivan and MAX to headline Capital Pride

Annual concert, held in conjunction with Capital Pride Festival, draws about 425,000 spectators

Alessia Cara

Grammy Award-winning artist Alessia Cara will headline this year’s Capital Pride Concert on Sunday, June 10.

The Capital Pride Alliance, which organizes the annual Capital Pride Festivities, announced that Cara would headline the concert along with Troye Sivan and MAX.

The concert, presented by HOT 99.5 and PRIDE Radio, will take place from 1 p.m. to about 8 p.m. near the intersection of Pennsylvania Avenue and 3rd Street NW.

Cara, a 21-year-old singer from Ontario, Canada, is best known for her hits “Scars to Your Beautiful,” “Wild Things,” “Here,” and “Stay.” In addition to her Grammy for Best New Artist, she was a 2018 nominee for Song of the Year and Best Music Video for “1-800-273-8255” with Logic and Khalid.

She has also partnered with the nonprofit organization I Am That Girl, an initiative that seeks to empower young women, which has adopted “Scars to Your Beautiful” as its anthem.

Troye Sivan is an Australian singer who first rose to fame as a YouTube personality and came out publicly on the platform in 2013.

He was named one of the “25 Most Influential Teens of 2014” by Time magazine and is best known for his 2015 album Blue Neighbourhood, including singles “Heaven,” “Youth,” “Talk Me Down,” and “Wild” — which was subsequently remixed and released as a single by Cara.

In January 2018, Sivan released the single “My, My, My” and performed on Saturday Night Live. He has also gained attention for featuring LGBTQ characters and their relationships in his music videos.

MAX, the name of New York City-based singer Max Schneider, is also known for his YouTube channel, his 2015 debut album NWL, and various acting roles, including as a main cast member on the Nickelodeon series How to Rock. He recently released a new album, Hell’s Kitchen Angel.

Ryan Bos, executive director of Capital Pride, says the Capital Pride Alliance is fortunate to have enticed the headliners to perform at the concert and festival, which typically draws about 425,000 attendees.

“I think the big thing we highlight is we are the nation’s capital, and we have the ability to engage a large audience,” says Bos. “Both our concert and festival are free of charge, and we are one of the few remaining concerts and festivals that are free to the public. It makes the event more accessible, and provides opportunities for the many visitors who come to D.C. to meet some new people and engage with our community.”

In addition to the headliners, other performers who will grace the Capital Concert Stage include Michi, the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, D.C., Kristina Kelly and the Cobalt Cast drag troupe, legendary drag star Ella Fitzgerald, Freddie’s Follies, the Ladies of Town, Mykul Jay Valentine, Damarcko Price presents EnKore, and The Boy Band Project. DJ TWiN will spin in between performances, and Jerry Houston and Destiny B. Childs will emcee.

The festival will also feature performances or music on its Monument Stage and Dupont Stage. Performers at the Monument Stage, located at 6th Street and Constitution Avenue NW, will generally consist of musical acts by jazz, hip-hop, Latin, and pop artists. Performers include Brody Ray, the Maryland-based a cappella group Pitches Be Crazy, the South African group Umlilo & Stash Crew, and Niva the Soul Diva.

The Dupont Stage, located at 6th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW, will consist of area DJs spinning throughout the day until around 7 p.m.

“Each year, we get a good range of diverse acts and artists who want to come to D.C. and perform,” says Bos. “These are local, regional, and even national artists who enjoy performing at Pride events. Many of them are part of the LGBTQ+ family. We bring about an array of different types of music, different types of artists, that our community can enjoy, and hopefully, we can give them a platform to be seen and be heard.

“This year’s theme, ‘Elements of Us,’ acknowledges that we are all multi-layered individuals who have many facets to our lives and identities that impact who we area,” he adds. “From the artists we have, it’s a variety of musical stylings, groups, artists, dancers. There’s just a variety of different opportunities for people to experience a lot of different types of talent.”

Following the end of Cara’s performance, around 8 p.m., the Capital Concert Stage will be taken over by DJ Tracy Young, who emcees and spins at Capital Pride’s annual Sunset Dance Party, which runs until 10 p.m.

“The Sunset Dance Party is a way for people to close out the night while the sun sets and the Capitol Dome lights up,” says Bos. “Hopefully, they’ll look back at the weekend and be inspired to go back home and be more proud of who they are, and speak out on behalf of the many voices in our community.”

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John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at jriley@metroweekly.com