Nashville’s OUTLOUD Music Festival marks a glorious return to live music

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How do we even “festival” anymore? That was my first thought walking into the Main Event Parking Lot in Nashville, Tennessee to cover last weekend’s OUTLOUD Music Festival. As we slowly make our way out of the pandemic, live music (I should add — the pre-COVID live music experience with no social distancing protocols) has been one of the last things to fully return. To my knowledge, OUTLOUD was one of the first, if not THE first festival to take place in the United States. All of this to say, I was pretty nervous walking in for multiple reasons, but ready to bask in the glow of the festival experience’s return.

Serving as a sort of unofficial kickoff for Nashville’s pride month, OUTLOUD’s 2021 edition was a rousing success. There was a palpable feeling of excitement and relief in the air — finally, there was a place to truly relax and take in music as it was meant to be heard. With headliners Japanese Breakfast (performing on the release night of their stunning album Jubilee) and LGBTQ+ icon Todrick Hall, OUTLOUD brought together a remarkable combination of music, drag, and art to put on an incredibly fun two days that kicked off the summer festival season.

Japanese Breakfast:

Todrick Hall:

In addition to Japanese Breakfast, Friday brought performances from Bully (Nashville natives that deftly stepped in after Soccer Mommy had to suddenly cancel due to a family emergency,) Nashville locals The Blam Blams and Kenna, and incredible drag performances from Derrick Barry, Cya Inhale, Alexia Noelle, and others. Saturday’s lineup included Todrick, New Orleans’s Tank and the Bangas (who put on the set of the weekend), RuPaul All Star Coco Montrese, and other local drag queens and musical performers.

Bully:

Tank and The Bangas:

Check out complete details for OUTLOUD Music Festival on their socials:
Website // Instagram // Twitter // Facebook

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