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Since 1988, Nashville Pride has been a moving force in Nashville. Celebrating 25 years in 2013, its volunteers and board members have been working tirelessly year round to host events which all lead up to the Pride Festival at Riverfront Park on June 15.
The festival and events leading up to it help support Nashville Pride’s mission to educate and maintain a sense of pride, community and awareness of, about and for GLBT people and culture in Middle Tennessee.
With the Pride Month Kick Off Bar Crawl, Pride Pageant, Spirituality Night, Pride Awards and Pride Rocks! Pre-Party coming up before the festival on June 15, it’s a month of celebration, fabulousness and, well—Pride!
As you can probably imagine, the planning, creativity and dedication to make all this happen is a work in progress and without the Pride Board and volunteers, it would be impossible.
For 25 years, Pride has been an integral part of the Nashville community, each year offering education, excitement and happy memories to volunteers and attendees alike.
“I've had the honor of serving as Volunteer Chairman for the last four years,” said Joseph Woodson. Woodson serves double duty as Pride President Elect. “Meeting our volunteers, serving with them, and hearing each of their unique stories is my favorite part of Pride every year.”
“One story I tell over and over is about a mother/son team who visited from Alabama,” Woodson continued. “The mother called me from Alabama before the festival to explain, ‘we are volunteering because my 17-year-old son came out to me this school year. I want to take my son somewhere to see that who he is, and who he loves, is normal. I want him to see that there are many more people just like him, and we don't have a Pride in Birmingham.’ I will absolutely never forget that, and indeed that is why Pride exists. So that the community at large can know that we are parents, doctors, teachers; we're taxpayers, we contribute, and we are proud to be part of the Nashville community.”
“When I met her and her son on the day of the festival, he explained to me, while throwing bags of ice into a cooler, ‘this year has been tough, and I couldn't have done any of it without my mother.’"
This dedication comes when Woodson is not researching and providing policy analysis for the Tennessee General Assembly.
Current President Allan Gonce is a Senior Buyer for Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools and aims to further expand the GLBT exposure in the business and political arena.
“I'm lucky enough to be President this year,” said Gonce. “Last year I was President Elect/Festival Director—a huge job. We are lucky to have Jack Davis as our Festival Director this year. His expertise and involvement is going to make the Festival a huge success. My involvement in Pride is made so much better because of the Board, our Festival vendors and the great GLBT community in which we get to work.”
When asked his memories from the last 25 years of the Pride Festival, Gonce responded, “The most vivid memories over the past 25 years are the growth of the Festival, the growing acceptance by all facets of the community and the great time everyone has. Being President on the 25th year is amazing and could not have been possible without all of those board members that have for years given a lot of hard work.”
MAC, a staple in the GLBT community, has been a Nashville Pride board member for over 20 years. MAC serves as the Pride Pageant Coordinator and the Nashville Pride Tribe and Play Entertainment Stage Coordinator.
MAC’s most vivid Pride memories are the parades and pageants. “I used to walk and have floats in the Parade. We even had friends come from out of town to participate in the Parade. They were so much fun. I was the person who introduced the first Drag King into the Pride Pageant and the Pageants still excite me.”
Joey Leslie, who oversees press as the Nashville Pride PR and Marketing Director was elected to the Pride board in 2010.
“It’s the 25th year of Nashville Pride and we are ready to show this city a good time. I’m so thankful to be a part of this organization and excited about the big things in store,” said the PR guru. Leslie remarked that the success and growth of the Festival wouldn’t have been possible without “many generous sponsors including Coors Light, our presenting sponsor this year, and countless other businesses and supporters from the community.”
“The entertainment this year is going to be amazing, including Beverly McClellan (from NBC's The Voice) on the Bridgestone Main Stage,” Gonce shared. “We have a great line up and are getting a lot of excitement built up. [We are] also very excited about our second annual Equality Walk this year, sponsored by Vanderbilt University. It was twice as big as we had hoped last year and we anticipate it being even bigger this year.”
Woodson says that Pride, and the events that run the festival, go on all year long, “2013 is our 25th Anniversary year, so everything has a silver lining. We have already celebrated diversity with exciting twists on our 2Chefs/2Visions event hosted at the Farmer's Market with four unique chefs (Daisy King, Margot McCormack, Arnold Myint and Laura Wilson) and hosted by former Miss Nashville Pride and all-around-diva, Suzy Wong; and Martinis & Jazz was a huge success at a new location - East-Centric Pavilion - which included a DJ from Nashville's QDP, a sell-out silent auction, and delicious food and drinks. [This year’s] festival will be no different - everything will be on all cylinders for our big 2-5!”
This year promises to be the most exciting and entertaining Pride Festival yet; to volunteer or find out more information about the organization and this year’s events, visit nashvillepride.org.
For those with a thirst to celebrate, Red Bull Unlocked is the key. In city after city, the most exciting bars, clubs, mixologists, performing artists, and more take over a local landmark building to showcase their signature ambiance while also collaborating for a must-see mashup. And now it's Music City’s turn to seize the spotlight, as the event brings 10 bars together in East Nashville’s Five Points neighborhood.
Fueled by the best of Nashville’s thriving music scene, Red Bull Unlocked has curated an eclectic night of show-stopping entertainment performances including a pop-up Whiskey Jam show, DJ sets, musicians, and more. The full lineup is here:
- Whiskey Jam (feat. Dozzi, Willie Shaw, and Johnny Hayes)
- A.B. Eastwood
- Daisha / Rap Girl
- Boom Bap (DJ Collective feat. DJ-Rate, Case Bloom)
- Whiskey Disco (DJ Collective feat. Coach, Jim O'Shea)
- Old Crow Medicine Show’s Jerry Pentercost (DJ Set)
- DJ Stretch
- DJ Griffin Green
- The Play Mates (Drag Show feat. Sasha, Vanity, Deception, Aura Mayari, Corlis Todd, and Carmin Triple C)
Counting down to the epic celebration, Daisha shares, “I never thought I’d have the opportunity to perform in so many of Nashville’s top spots all in the same night. Fans can expect a lot of bops and high energy. I want people to dance and have a good time.”
Ward Guenther, Whiskey Jam Founder, adds, “Red Bull has been enjoyed at Whiskey Jam since the very first night, so it's only fitting Whiskey Jam is enjoyed at Nashville's first Red Bull Unlocked. Looking forward to this!”
Red Bull Unlocked Istanbul
Photo courtesy of Red Bull
Local favorites including Pearl Diver, Tin Roof, Lipstick Lounge, White Limozeen, and more will join forces for one epic night. Full list of bars and partners below:
- The Dive Motel
- Lipstick Lounge
- Pearl Diver
- Play Dance Bar
- Rosemary & Beauty Queen
- The Stage
- Tin Roof
- Whiskey Jam
- White Limozeen
- Woolworth Theatre – Opening Fall 2022!
- Eleven Eleven - Opening 2023!
Date: August 21, 2022
Time: 6 PM – 11PM CT
Location: 1102 Forrest Ave, Nashville, TN 37206
Entrance: Ticked event
Rumble Boxing, the boxing-inspired group fitness studio, opened its doors for the first time in Nashville on June 20 at 609 Overton St, Nashville, TN. The hottest workout on the block is hosting its official grand opening from August 4th-7th with daily classes, membership specials, and prizes from local vendors. The new Rumble Boxing studio is currently offering a buy one class, get one free promotion for the Nashville community.
Rumble Boxing delivers 45-minute, 10-round, strength and conditioning group workouts, crafted around teardrop-style aqua boxing bags and high-intensity strength training circuits. This brings all fitness levels together to experience what Rumble is known for: combining the sweet science of boxing with high energy and positive vibes.
Rumble Boxing Fitness Studio
Photo courtesy of Rumble Boxing Gulch Nashville
This boutique fitness brand offers serious benefits like increased stamina and strength, with cardio that’s actually fun. The seasoned trainers at the new studio are thrilled to serve their local community while offering this fun, new modern approach to boxing and welcome members of all fitness levels to the Rumble family.
The new Rumble Boxing studio is owned and operated by Blake Baskin and Antonio Compton. With their background in the fitness industry, this dynamic duo is excited to bring their passion for boxing and group fitness to Nashville. As business and life partners, Blake and Antonio aim to create a strong community within their new Rumble Boxing studio and share their message of non-apologetic inclusivity.
Black and Gay-Owned Business
Rumble Boxing Store with Dolly Parton Mural
Photo courtesy of Rumble Boxing Gulch Nashville
“We own who we are, and this brand aligns with that perfectly,” said Antonio. “This is what we want to create and bring to this community: a fitness class that is designed for anyone and a place for people to be who they are. As a Black and gay-owned business, we want to help lower the division we see in the world right now. Our goal is to bring people together through Rumble, set everything aside, and have fun.”
To echo their message of acceptance and inclusion, Blake and Antonio commissioned a local Nashville artist to paint an 11 X 6-ft. mural of Nashville icon and philanthropist, Dolly Parton. The massive portrait features the country star in Rumble Boxing gear in the lobby of the studio.
The excitement and buzz around Rumble allowed Blake and Antonio to recruit top-tier trainers to head up the new studio, including Head Trainer Oronde Jones, a well-known celebrity trainer in the Nashville market.
Rumble Boxing Fitness Studio
Photo courtesy of Rumble Boxing Gulch Nashville
“Compared to other fitness classes, Rumble is a class you can truly get lost in for 45 minutes. With the dark room, you don’t have to worry if anyone is paying attention to you. The music is awesome and inspiring, and the beat drops right when you need it the most. Also, with boxing being a sport you can never truly master, you’re always improving and crafting your skill. On the floor, you’re consistently doing something new, which prevents you from ever hitting a plateau.” Said Oronde Jones about his favorite part of Rumble.
Rumble has massive brand loyalty and widespread appeal, partly thanks to attracting top names like Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, Kendall Jenner, Hailey Baldwin, Jason Derulo, David Beckham, and Kevin Hart to its studios.
About Rumble Boxing
Founded in New York City in 2017, Rumble is a group fitness concept delivering a mix (or combination) of boxing-inspired circuits and the transformative power of resistance training. Pro and amateur fighters glove up together, no matter their fitness level or skill, to reveal their inner fighter. The experience is a 45-minute, 10-round, full-body cardio and strength workout crafted around specially designed water-filled, teardrop-style boxing bags. Rumble was founded by Noah Neiman (former Barry’s Bootcamp Master Trainer, and cast member of Bravo’s Work Out New York), Eugene Remm (Co-Founder of Catch Hospitality Group (Catch Restaurants, CATCH STEAK, Lexington Brass), Andy Stenzler (Co-Founder Cosí, Kidville), and Anthony DiMarco (13-time IRONMAN, former Managing Director, Google).
Who would have thought that we would have to get through a pandemic in order to appreciate the small things we have, such as the ability to simply pack our bags and hit the road?
For two years, there’s been nothing left for us travel junkies to do but sit at home and try to find new destinations that we will conquer once we defeat what appears to be the biggest villain of the 21st century. But once that happens, hold your bags tight because we will be up for some of the most interesting travel experiences. Take a look at some ideas for your post-COVID traveling plans:
A Gay Cruise
One of the best options to have in mind when all of this passes is a good, nice and long (pun intended) gay cruise. Or cruise in general, for that matter. Bear in mind, social distancing will still be a thing in the post-COVID world. But COVID-19 likely doesn’t mean that cruises will cease to exist. On the contrary, though cruise ships will probably keep the number of passengers smaller than before, it is believed that they will become an even bigger hit in the following period, especially because they are all going to go a lot more environmentally-friendly. On the bright side, is there any better way of celebrating the end of the pandemic than by cruising around some magnificent seas, stopping by at great cities and having romantic dinner nights at nice restaurants?
A getaway in nature
On the other hand, there is always the option of stepping away from the hustle and bustle of large cities, and spending some time in a place that’s not only healthy, but also beautiful. Some of the destinations that plenty of people will look for are the ones that can cater for both peace of mind and amazing things to see or do. One such destination is New Zealand, one of the greenest countries on Earth right now. Not only will you be visiting the magnificent country that gave us the beautiful Shire from Lord of the Rings; this is also a destination that’s excellent for everyone who prefers relaxing to partying. If you’re up for some partying, you will be able to hit Auckland, while if you’re for something calmer, there’s plenty of amazing places that you can see and visit.
Dancing Around at Pride
Pride parades are also events that you want to have in mind for the post-COVID world. Such events have always been quite important, but it seems that they are now more important than ever. The virus has canceled more than 75 Pride parades all around the world, which is one of the reasons why we must support the ones that will see the light of day once the pandemic stops. Truth be told, the upcoming Prides will perhaps be the best Prides ever organized. Give the gays a couple of weeks of quarantine, then let them outside and see what kind of party they are able to throw!
A road trip
If you’re, as well, waiting for the day to wake up and say “long gone are the days when we were not allowed to go wherever we wanted?”, and if staying at one place gave you a lot to think about, then your first post-COVID travel experience should definitely be a nice road trip. You can practically choose which country you want to tour, and you can either take your own car (you have probably missed it so much), or rent one at your destination. Australia is an amazing country for this, though, as it offers the possibility of seeing the Great Ocean Road, which is an amazing thing to see and experience. On the other hand, if you do not want or cannot leave your country, you can also choose to go on a domestic road trip – there are amazing things to see in your vicinity as well.
Holiday for a single guy
If you’re single, or you’re traveling someplace with another single friend, then you should definitely organize a nice vacation for yourself or for you and your single friend, and hit one of the best European cities. Europe has been greatly affected by the virus, which means that now it’s time to pay it back and get it back on its feet by traveling there and seeing all the amazing things it offers. Any city you choose in Europe – you will not make a mistake. Apart from being able to see great landmarks, you will also have the chance to have a drink at great gay clubs and pubs, and join unforgettable gay parties. And if the gay scenery is not your forte, worry not, as Europe indeed has to offer so many different and magnificent things.