BY NATASIA LANGFELDER
Are you looking to rock out for a good cause this August? Look no further than Luscious Queer Music Festival coming up at the Saratoga Springs Retreat Center, Friday, August 22-24,2014. A portion of the proceeds of the festival will go to various LGBT charities, including ORAM the Organization for Refuge Asylum and Migration.
The headliner this year is Mary Lambert, who is one of the music industry’s fastest growing stars due to her duet on “Same Love” with rapper Macklemore. The full artist line-up is replete with talented queer artists who will cover a rainbow of musical tastes.
I spoke with DJ Justin Justime, an associate producer of the festival as well as a performer, to discuss the how “Luscious” came to be as well as what concert goers can expect at the event.
How did you come up with the idea for “Luscious” a queer music festival that raises funds for LGBTQ people seeking asylum?
We wanted to create a music event that catered to the entire LGBTQ community. All of the organizers are politically active and involved with community building. When we had to decide what to do with our proceeds from this event, it seemed to be an easy decision to give the money to organizations who support Queer Asylum seekers. Saratoga Springs is also hosting a week long LGBTQ Global Gathering, called Generate, that starts on Monday, August 25. This gathering is also supporting Queer Asylum Seekers. We are not only creating/hosting amazing events at Saratoga Springs, we are taking action to help solve global problems.
Saratoga Springs does a lot of good work to support community. The name LUSCIOUS represents what we are as Queer people, but it also represents our idealism around global peace, love and blessings for all people.
How did you turn it from an idea into a reality?
Page Hodel and myself were contacted by the owners and director of Saratoga Springs. They asked us to help produce a queer music festival and, of course, we both said, yes, please. Page has been working with LGBT event production for three decades.
I, on the other hand, am pretty new to the scene and have a lot of fresh perspective. Page and I are both DJs and we have both produced a lot of events. We started to reach out to our community of performance artists, musicians, comedians, and drag queens; we were really excited to see how many people were interested in participating. We have run into a lot of challenges in the production of this event, but I am overwhelmingly surprised at how much work we have done with such a small team of people.
You have some A-list talent in the line-up this year. How do you decide which bands participate?
This is a challenging question to answer. I think it is important to value that Page is a lesbian in her 50s and I am a queer-gay man in my 20s. Page and I both took totally different approaches to booking talent and we met somewhere in the middle. She and I both had to make sacrifices and we are fortunate to have such a stellar line-up. There are some A list performers showing up to Luscious, but ever single person on our bill is going to produce a memorable performance.
Page is more connected with popular culture, while I am a bit more connected to queer underground culture. Our connections and diplomacy had a lot to do with our success in building the line-up
What is the mood or tone like at “Luscious?”
The mood at the event will range from chill to epic. The event space is very relaxing and beautiful and most of our performers will blend right into the atmosphere. We have some performers and DJs who like to get a little bit darker, deeper and heavier. We will have one all-night dance party hosted by the LGBTQ Burning man group ‘Comfort&Joy’. There will be multiple live electronic performances and there will even be some amazing drag. The event will be relaxing and fun. Festival attendees can participate in everything from a picnic by the main stage, a swim in the pool or dancing until their feet hurt.
What feeling do you want attendees of “Luscious” to walk away with?
I want the festival attendees to walk away with a feeling of gratitude and satisfaction. A lot of hard work has gone into the production of this event and we really want people to enjoy themselves. We also want people to leave feeling empowered to participate more in social movements. This festival is a vessel for important global change. The performers, producers and festival attendees all have a responsibility to carry this vision. We are all participating in something much larger than ourselves, and that is a big part of the magic in Queer culture.
Want to attend? Buy tickets here!