Edgeville Buzz

Back Lot Bash Women’s Fest Celebrates 15 Years As It Looks To Its Future

Photo: Back Lot Bash

Creating a safe and inclusive space for women in the LGBT community has been the goal of the duo who founded Andersonville’s Back Lot Bash festival back in 2004. Now celebrating its 15th anniversary this weekend, the organizers are proud of their success as they look towards the future of the event.

Held in the open parking lot behind Cheetah Gym at 5238 N.Clark, the event has grown in the years from a single day celebration held after the Chicago Pride Parade to an orchestrated weekend festival.  Founders Amie Klujian and Christina Wiesmore-Roberts created the event not only to bring the community together, but also to raise money for local organizations.

“Christina and I feel proud to have created a unique and inclusive space for women in the LGBTQ community that is welcoming, allows for self expression and fosters a sense of connection to the community,” said Klujian. “We are inspired when the energy harnessed by all who attend is used to ignite momentum, engagement and advocacy of issues that matter to the LGBT Community.”

With a long list of entertainers appearing at the event such as The L Word’s Sarah Shahi, KITTENS, Brooke Candy, Jade The Ivy, Catfight, Bridget Lyons, Whitney Mixter, Rose Garcia, Sami Grisafe and several DJs, Back Lot Bash continues to keep the festival vibrant for 2018. On Friday they will be offering a new option called the Whiskey, Wine and Women Tasting Event where attendees can mingle while they taste an array of fine whiskeys, wines and craft beer.

Another staple event of the festival is the 6th annual Pride Kids and Family event held early Saturday from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. This popular free event which is sponsored by BMO Harris Bank allows LGBTQ families and friends a fun experience as well. The family event includes face painting, balloon artists, arts/crafts, family photos, a petting zoo and live performances.

With all the popularity the festival has earned, co-founders Klujian and Wiesmore-Roberts are already looking towards their 20th anniversary and where that road may lead. When asked about the Back Lot Bash’s future, Klujian said, “On Monday morning we’ll start to plan for that. Seriously, we do have ideas but it’s too early to share until we know it can be pulled off!”

However, with many regular attendees of the event who are inspired and invigorated by the festival every year, they know anything is possible when the community works together.

For a full list of Back Lot Bash events or to buy tickets, click here.



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