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2019’s LGBT Arts & Culture Music Fest, more popularly known as the LGBT Music Fest, became a huge hit in its new territory in Cancun, Mexico over Memorial Day Weekend. Hosted by Atlanta entrepreneur and event producer Gregory Douglas, the annual event that brings many same-gender-loving couples of color, single revelers, traveling friends and celebrity allies together hosted round-the-clock events that included an all-white attire awards gala, a rockin’ poolside fashion show, beach-front music shows, brunch panel discussions, an author’s expo, film screenings, city excursions and so much more. In its fourth year, after enjoying Memorial Day weekends in Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic, the sold-out event created so many wonderful memories that immediately encouraged attendees to book their 2020 trip for the Fest’s return to Cancun, in a different resort.
For those who missed out on the great fun, I summed up 10, of several more, reasons, you missed out on a great trip and better get on board for the 2020 trip by booking your ocean-view room at www.lgbtmusicfest.com before the Music Fest sells out again.
Before I get to the list, I must say how awesome it was to see our celebrity icons Jody Watley, Shanice and Keke Palmer, as a long-time fan of each, mingling with the revelers and even showcasing their recent business endeavors including Palmer’s film Pimp and Shanice’s I Like Your Smile lipstick line. One standout event was the Sunday brunch panel on Mental Health and Wellness featuring national community advocates Cherisse Scott, Xavier Leonard, Spencer Collins and Rev. Kevin E. Taylor.
1. We celebrated LGBTQ and ally icons including Keke Palmer, Jody Watley, Shanice, Frenchie Davis, Ty Hunter, Michael Smith, Frank Gatson and TS Madison Hinton as 2019’s Vanguard Award honorees for their long-favored public platforms that engaged, entertained and inspired us.
Since the annual LGBT Music Fest began in 2016 in Puerto Rico and has traveled to the Dominican Republic and Mexico, the Fest’s signature and main event, the Vanguard Awards, pays homage to LGBT trailblazers and rising icons and our celebrity allies for their professional and artistic achievements while being inspiring notables to LGBT people of color. The Vanguard Awards, one of the few produced award events for and by LGBT people of color, honored celebrity ally entertainers including Angie Stone, Brandy, Tamar Braxton, Sheryl Lee Ralph and Cynthia Bailey and LGBT icons including Shaun T, Big Freedia, Monifah, Sampson McCormick and Shangela.
2. Our hosts – Monifah, Terez, Patrick L. Riley, Ivan Daniels, Lioba, Azmarie, James Chanel Wright, Parnell Damone Marcano, TS Madison (and I) fronted round-the-clock events that brought fun, camaraderie and celebration.
So many events created great memories upon memories throughout the LGBT Music Fest including Monifah’s & Terez’s Spades Tournament, Ivan Daniels’ fashion show, AzMarie’s and DJ Tryfe’s after parties, Cliff Boyce’s morning workouts and Patrick L. Riley’s All-Star Karaoke. Yours truly had the privilege to emcee and moderate the Meet The Authors panel and the Sunday Brunch panel on Mental Wellness.
3. We were treated to outstanding live music shows beachside by songstress Frenchie Davis and R&B group June’s Diary.
Baaaaaaaaaaabyyyyy!!! Let me tell y’all how you missed out on great live music performances by Frenchie Davis and June’s Diary. June’s Diary’s high-energy choreography and outstanding harmonies proved the vision of their founder Frank Gatson to have a great ear and eye for exceptional talent in this generation of talents. Frenchie Davis’ one-woman show putting her remixed touches of well-known pop and hip-hop songs will make you appreciate her live versions over the originals.
4. Dozens of couples came out to this trip looking good and brought out that loving energy to everyone at the LGBT Music Fest.
Couples coming to the LGBT Music Fest is nothing new, but when we touched down in our very exclusive beachfront hotel, photos that will last a lifetime, especially the ones that make our hearts melt, had to be captured by the couples who enjoyed this Fest.