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Ladies Take On Andersonville: Back Lot Bash Grows

backlot_bashThe 4-day annual Back Lot Bash is coming up soon, and this will be its 11th year celebrating Chicago’s LGBTQ community. Back Lot Bash is the outdoor women’s festival in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood and is a top destination for women during Chicago’s Pride Weekend celebrations. The event is sponsored by women, for women, but celebrates and invites all LGBTQ people and families during Pride weekend.

Since 2004, Back Lot Bash has grown from a single-day event to a 4-day weekend celebration, drawing  thousands of people from all over the Midwest. Co-founders and producers Amie Klujian and Christina Wiesmore strive to bring the community together, to showcase new bands, performers, programming, and to be active citizens by helping to raise money for community organizations. This year the bash will be raising funds for “A Sister’s Hope” which was started locally and raises money for breast cancer research.

Aime and Christina try to bring something new and different to the bash every year and believe part of their success has been because they showcase new artists and celebrities. Aime states, “There is so much to celebrate this year with the passing of gay marriage and all of the progress the country has made on LGBTQ issues. We just want everyone to come together, celebrate, be safe and have a good time. We will have our second annual family day on Saturday, which we are very excited about. Last year was the first time we put it on and it was so much fun for us as well as all of the families that came.”

Last year there were 5,000 in attendance throughout the weekend. The bash began as a way to bring post-pride activities up north. Aime explains the original intention behind Back Lot Bash,”There is a lot of pride north of Halsted, Boys Town isn’t the only place celebrating. We want to reach a different base and outreach to all aspects of the community. Every year we realize we reach more and more people that attend from all over the Mmidwest. It’s important for us to be able to provide a safe space for them to celebrate and be themselves. It means so much to Christina and I when people come up to us during the weekend to tell us how much fun they had in Chicago and at the bash.”

This year’s lineup includes…

Thursday, June 26, 6 p.m., Comedy Kickoff : Thursday’s Comedy Kickoff headlines the hilarious comedian Lea DeLaria (‘Big Boo’ on ‘Orange is the New Black’) as well as Caitlin Bergh. Hosted by comedian Sapna Kumar. The evening is presented by tellofilms.com. Mayne Stage Theater (1328 Morse Ave.) $20 limited advance online tickets/$25 door/$35VIP.

Friday, June 27, 5 p.m., Acoustic Evening: Back Lot Bash’s sunset acoustic concert headlines acclaimed singer/songwriter Crystal Bowersox. Opening performances by Erin McKeown, Sandra Antongiorgi and The Hybrids. Hosted by Kat Fitzgerald.

Saturday, June 28, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., Family Fun Day : A day of fun activities and entertainment for LGBTQ families and friends. Face painting, arts/crafts, family photos, bubbles and more! Award-winning, children’s musician Laura Doherty & The Heartbeats perform at 1:00 p.m. with Jaclyn Rada & Alli Lynn performing songs from Disney’s “Frozen” at 11:30 a.m. The Andersonville Puppet Bike will make a special appearance as well!

Saturday, June 28, 4 p.m. – All Day Bash : Back Lot Bash’s rockin’ flagship event headlining Chicago’s Your Villain My Hero with opening performances by Hunter Valentine, rising star Xoe Wise and Heart tribute band, Little Queens. Hosted by The Real L Word’s Lauren Russell with beats by DJ Little Lisa. Fashion show by WakeUp Call Tees.

Sunday, June 29, 3 p.m. – Post-parade Bash: Post parade in Andersonville for an outdoor party unlike any other. Featuring special celebrity appearances by Kate Moennig (Showtime’s Original Series ‘The L Word’), Leisha Hailey & Camila Grey (Uh Huh Her). GirlBand will also perform with beats by DJ Press Play.

 


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