Featuring local, regional and national talent across diverse and popular genres, the Charlotte Pride Stage has entertainment scheduled both days of the Charlotte Pride Festival and Parade, Aug. 15-16, 2015. We’re just now beginning to announce our entertainment line-up, complete with local acts from a variety of genres and national entertainers. Be sure to come back regularly for future updates!
Wells Fargo Stage Schedule
Saturday, August 15
12:20 PM • Opening Ceremony
12:45 PM • The Reason You Stayed
1:30 PM • Star Willson and Friends
2:00 PM • Christy Snow
2:15 PM • Lovesucker
3:00 PM • Henry River Honey
3:30 PM • Miss & Mr. Charlotte Pride
3:45 PM • The Scorpio Revue
4:15 PM • Dust & Ashes
5:00 PM • Big Mamma D’s House of Burlesque
5:45 PM • Messenger Down
6:30 PM • The Prancing Elites
7:15 PM • Shadina 8:15 PM • Estelle
9:00 PM • SHIPROCKED! with Special Guest
Sunday, August 16
3:15 PM • Community Drag Showcase
4:00 PM • Champions of Pride & Parade Awards 4:30 PM • Billy Gilman
5:30 PM • The Scorpio presents: RuPaul’s Drag Race’s Trinity K Bonet and Yara Sofia
Headlining the Wells Fargo Stage Saturday, Aug. 15 Presented by Charlotte Pride
Grammy Award-winning British songstress Estelle released her fourth studio album, , on Feb. 17, 2015 via her own imprint, Established 1980 Inc./BMG, featuring the inspirational Top 20 radio hit “Conqueror.” The album, anchored by four themes — passion, courage, true romance and the BS — has garnered her praise from the likes of Elle, Oprah Magazine, Cosmo, InStyle, Entertainment Weekly, VH1 and Billboard. Estelle had a cameo on the hit FOX show “Empire” in March, has landed TV appearances on “The View,” “Live with Kelly & Michael,” “The Real,” “Hell’s Kitchen,” was profiled on NPR’s “All Things Considered,” and was invited to perform with her idol Gladys Knight and country superstar Martina McBride during the first-ever “Skyville Live” webcast in Nashville. In addition to her music, Estelle also runs her foundation All of Me, which focuses on educating and expanding the horizons of young people through college scholarships and volunteer opportunities abroad. She has also ventured into the world of animation, voicing a lead character, Garnet, on Cartoon Network’s hit show, “Steven Universe.” In the world of fashion, her Scarves by Swaray line is yet another outlet for Estelle’s endless creativity. Made from the finest quality silk and inspired by Estelle’s heritage and global travels, these versatile pieces can be worn in many ways. Estelle truly conquers it all. She first burst onto the scene in 2008 with her double-platinum, international chart-toping hit song “American Boy,” featuring Kanye West, transforming her into a pop and R&B sweetheart and earning her a Grammy for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration.
Headlining the Wells Fargo Stage Sunday, Aug. 16 Presented by Charlotte Pride
Gilman burst onto the national stage in 2000 releasing the hit single “One Voice.” His debut album was certified double platinum in the United States, and he was included in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the youngest singer to ever reach #1 on the Billboard Top Country Album charts. He has sold five million albums worldwide and garnered awards and nods from the Academy of Country Music, the Country Music Association, Billboard Magazine, and the American Music Association.
Now 27, Gilman is eager to come back and share his new music and his new sound with his fans. “It took me a good while to figure out exactly who I was, musically speaking. As a little kid, sometimes I was just told what to sing. But now I have enjoyed coming into my own and discovering what it really is that I want to sing. And I think that my fans will be pleasantly surprised with what they hear.” Gilman is also mindful of the need to be patient with his career.
“Music is my life, and it is always what I will be doing with my life. But I understand, given my unusual history, that the road back is not going to be short and easy. I will have to earn my way back into this business—one fan at a time. And that’s exactly how it should be.” Say You Will is the first solo single that Gilman has released since 2008.
“Having had a lot of success in this business at a really young age was truly a blessing. But it also puts me in a unique and challenging situation as a young adult—trying to re-introduce myself to country fans now that I look and sound a lot different than I did just 7 or 8 years ago.”
In 2012, Gilman made waves by recruiting 18 fellow country superstars to collaborate on a charity single called The Choice to benefit the Soles4Souls charity. Proceeds from the song, which included Keith Urban, Alan Jackson, Reba McEntire, Josh Turner, and Rodney Atkins, placed shoes on tens of thousands of barefoot children around the world.
The Prancing Elites
Read more about The Prancing Elites
Currently the stars of an Oxygen Media hit TV show, “The Prancing Elites Project,” the members of this African-American, gay and gender non-conforming team dance to the beat of their own drum with the uplifting, inspiring and humorous experiences and life stories. The dance team, comprised of Adrian Clemons, Kentrell Collins, Kareem Davis, Jerel Maddox and Timothy Smith, is challenging societal norms while overcoming several obstacles with passion and wit on their journey to be their authentic selves. Their Oxygen series delves into the personal lives of these five best friends in Mobile, Alabama as they fight to be accepted in the female-dominated dance culture of J-Setting.
Currently excluded from competitions and banned from participating in several hometown and national parades, The Prancing Elites seek other ways to showcase their talent from dancing in the stands at college football games to performing on a boat cruise. Despite professional rejections, family disapproval and tensions, personal health crises and heartbreak, the group won’t let anything stand in their way as they continue to lift one another up and band together in the face of adversity. Hoping to build a name for themselves outside the walls of Mobile, this dream team is determined to see their name in lights and go wherever the music takes them.
Trinity K Bonet
Presented by The Scorpio
Read more about Trinity K Bonet
Trinity K Bonet, who also goes by Joshua Jones, was born January 31, 1991, in Jacksonville, Fla., the oldest of two kids by both persons. Trinity knew early on that she would be a star. Moving to Atlanta at 16, she started her drag career in bars all over the Atlanta area without them knowing her real age! By 18 ,she had captured up to 10 newcomer titles. By 19, she was top five at her first national pageant. At 20, she won Miss Dumarr International in Tampa, Fla., and Miss Models Inc in Norfolk, Va., At 22, she was chosen to compete for RuPaul’s Drag Race. Trinity is a rising star and a survivor.
Presented by The Scorpio
Read more about Yara Sofia
Born Gabriel Burgos, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, this queen is better known as Yara Sofia. She is 31 years old and has, since birth, always shown interest in theatrical arts, dancing, and design. Yara holds a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre as well as an Associate of Arts in Fashion Design/Haute Couture. While designing and creating costumes for musicals and plays at Universidad del Sagrado Corazón (Sacred Heart University) in Puerto Rico, Yara decided to continue developing herself as an actor/performer. With that desire and a Halloween dare, Yara dived into the art of drag. In 2005, she won her first title as “Miss Road to Diva” at Krash Nightclub in Puerto Rico. Five years later, in 2010, Yara hoped to take her drag career to the next level and decided to audition for RuPaul’s Drag Race, which was then transmitted on Logo and VH1. After being invited to participate in the competition, placing in the Top 4, she was voted for people’s choice as Miss Congeniality of Season 3 of RuPaul’s Drag Race. From there, Yara began traveling all over the world, showcasing her amazing and unique talent as a drag queen, performer, and designer. She was invited back to RuPaul’s Drag Race for the All Stars edition and was paired with Alexis Mateo. Since the show aired, Yara moved to Los Angeles to become better known in the world of fashion and to continue growing as a performer. In February of 2013, she toured a few cities in North Carolina and met her now fiancé, Rubin. The two currently reside in Las Vegas.
Read more about Shadina
Shadina is the God Daughter of the Legend Otis Williams of The Temptations! She has been burning down the stage at Prides across the country: Cleveland Pride, LA Pride, Palm Springs, Fort Lauderdale, Baltimore, Delaware, Tucson, Brooklyn, Harlem, Boston, Toronto Canada pride, Long Island and Rhode Island, as well as Capital Pride in Washington, D.C. Shadina also performed on BET’s “106 & Park,” and at Madison Square Garden, The House of Blues, The Apollo, BB Kings at Time Square, Capitol Mall, Macy’s national department store tour, Six Flags America, Ohio State University, Towson University, Radio One Stone Soul Picnic, Staples Center, Verizon Center and many more. She has shared the stage with Jennifer Hudson, Cher Lloyd, Emeli’ Sande, Icona Pop, Alicia Keys, Danity Kane, Mary J Blige, the Pussy Cat Dolls, Keisha Cole, Brandy, Ludacris, Kelly Rowland, old school hip hop legends and more, just to name a few.
Read more about Messenger Down
Driven by a passion for their sound, a mission to bring something fresh to the current music scene, and the occasional smoothie, Messenger Down is turning the industry on its head. After three years of successful history and debut release, “The Gentleman’s Guide to Keeping Away From People Like You,” and sophomore effort, “What Should Have Been Said,” the Charlotte, N.C.-based band still has more in store than the world is ready for. Consisting of Garrett Foster, Connor Vogt, and Arun Bose, Messenger Down is pulling all the stops with songs that hit harder and infectious hooks aimed to leave any listener on the edge of their seat.
The Scorpio Revue
Read more about The Scorpio
The Scorpio is Charlotte’s longest running nightclub complex (46 years) catering to the LGBTQ community. The doors are open to all. The Scorpio is home of the legendary Miss Gay NC America Pageant, one of the most prestigious state preliminaries of the Miss Gay America pageant system. The club is rich in history and has been supporting many local LGBTQ organizations through it’s long standing, proud existence. Immensely proud of it’s many awards and commendations throughout the years, which can be seen on display in the fabulous, shining, lobby trophy case.
The Scorpio continues to offer a great high energy dance experience as well as the best shows for the gay community around. You can see the best in national titleholders and reality TV show entertainers as well as the best in local female impersonation. The club features four bars and two dance floors with the best up to date light system on the main dance floor, in the Southeast!
It is with this success and high standards that the Scorpio is proud to present some of the finest entertainers from RuPaul’s Drag Race which airs on the Logo Channel.
On the Wells Fargo Stage this year, host Tiffany Storm and DJ Ghost will review the best of the best of The Scorpio, featuring entertainers from RuPaul’s Drag Race.
The Reason You Stayed
Read more about The Reason You Stayed
The Reason You Stayed is an all-female band from Charlotte with an energetic sound that always leaves the crowd wanting more. The band brings to the stage a broad array of music including originals that showcase their own style, some old classic rock favorites, and familiar pop with a twist. With a sound like Paramore intersects with old school Metallica, TRYS shows are high energy and always keep the crowd, of all ages, coming back for more. TRYS is working on their first EP, gearing up for more studio work and continuing to write originals that reflect a piece of us all. TRYS started in the summer of 2013 out of Ballantyne School of Music and has been on an incredible ride since. The members of the band are Paolina Massaro, Lead Vocals/Guitar; Savannah Ruff, Lead Guitar/Vocals; Shelby McVicker, Rhythm Guitar; Caitlin Cassell, Bass/vocals; and Sydney McVicker, Drums.
Dust & Ashes
Read more about Dust & Ashes
Dust & Ashes is an Americana/Folk quartet hailing from Charlotte, North Carolina. Their dynamic range combines the intensity of wall-of-sound-barn-burners with the sincere intimacy of heartfelt ballads. This all female group exploded onto the local music scene in 2014 with their fresh take on folk music, a genre which their fans affectionately nicknamed “Swamp Stomp.” Lush vocal harmonies, heavy rhythms, and unique instrumentation (including cajón, musical saw, banjo, flute, viola, and myriad auxiliary percussion) support the traditional acoustic guitar played by Heather Himes, the band’s gender queer lead. Himes’ songwriting is inspired by Neil Young, Willie Nelson, Ryan Bingham, Brandi Carlile, Scott Avett, Dallas Green and James Vincent McMorrow, among others. The band has been gaining popularity in the Plaza Midwood and NoDa neighborhoods, performing frequently at Hattie’s Taproom, Snug Harbor, Evening Muse, Double Door Inn, Thomas Street Tavern and more.
Read more about SHIPROCKED!
The wildest weekly event in underground Charlotte is also the longest running! Every Thursday night at Snug Harbor for over eight years, D.J. and host Scott Weaver spins a killer variety of rock and dance music while a cast of hot go-go pirates gyrate the night away to one of the Queen City’s most diverse crowds! Our resident punk-drag artist, Bethann Phetamine brings the rockin’ show with a healthy dose of camp and Shirley Sweet adds the burlesque glamour! Special guest performers, national cutting-edge live music acts, monthly theme parties and the occasional contest add to the fun, all while having a social conscience by promoting safe sex and hosting a variety of benefits throughout the year and annually adding diversity, unique entertainment and excitement by being a part of Charlotte Pride!
Big Mamma D’s House of Burlesque
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Big Mamma’s House of Burlesque is the Largest, Longest Running, Award Winning Burlesque and Variety Show in the Southeast. Founded in 2006 by Deana Pendragon, the cast has performed a brand new show every 60 days for the last nine years and was voted Charlotte’s Best Performing Arts Group multiple times! Big Mamma D was Charlotte’s Best Female Vocalist five years in a row and Charlotte’s Sexiest Woman 2008 per Creative Loafing. Our shows are the critically acclaimed epitome of classic Vaudeville, Variety and Burlesque updated to encompass sideshow, comedy, girls, music, dance, girls, magic, humor, and did we mention all the pretty girls? We are honored, proud, and excited to perform at Charlotte Pride this year!
Local Entertainment Showcase
Charlotte Pride’s entertainment this year expands to offer the spotlight to an amazing diversity of local talent, from individual singer-songwriters, performance artists and bands performing on both the Wells Fargo Stage and Time Warner Cable VIP Lounge. Solicited through two open community auditions, we are pleased to announce the following community entertainers this year.
Wells Fargo Stage
Dust & Ashes
Henry River Honey
Time Warner Cable VIP Lounge
Stay tuned for more entertainment announcements.
Last updated: July 31, 2015
2015 Charlotte Pride Emcees
Big Mamma D Read more about Big Mamma D
Burlesque Matriarch & Award Winning Vocalist Big Mamma D, "The Naked Chanteuse" and the Biggest Showgirl in the South! Deana Pendragon has been performing in some capacity all of her life (although she went to college to be a doctor!!). She is the producer and creatrix of the shows, the school, and personally trains all of the girls. An established costume designer and seamstress, she has worked with The Children’s Theatre of Charlotte and others around the Carolinas. She is the founder of The Great Southern Exposure Burlesque and Variety Pageant. She can also be found the the book "It's All That Glitters" and the burlesque documentary "Tease in the Tar Heel State". She's politically active and has been an annual emcee for Charlotte Pride since 2008. Class, Costuming, and Charisma make her a Quaintrelle Juggernaut covered in rhinestones.
Joanne Spataro Read more about Joanne
Joanne Spataro is a humorist and essayist. Her work has appeared in The Advocate, The Huffington Post, and The Charlotte Observer. She is a regular panelist on WCCB Edge, where she talks pop culture, politics and news from her irreverent, LGBT-centric perspective. She was recently selected as one of the winning entrants in this year's Wildacres Writing Residency Program.
Malachi Read more about Malachi
"There is no truth. There is only perception. — Gustave Flaubert. While long having been a staple of the LGBT community, Malachi redefines drag by pushing the boundaries of gender-illusion and what one comes to expect in gay performance art. Eschewing the traditional trappings of tall wigs, elaborate makeup, and kitschy lip synch routines, Malachi blends provocative outfits and dance moves with innovative remixes of popular songs — tailoring each of them to resonate emphatically with the crowd. His performances are high-energy and addictively captivating. In fact, it is not uncommon to walk away from such events and subconsciously replaced they song’s original lyrics with those of his latest track. From “Ratchets” to “Power Top,” you will never be more entertained than when watching Malachi give you life.
Jamie Monroe Read more about Jamie
Jamie Monroe, a 30 year veteran in the art of female illusion, has traveled throughout the United States. She is best known for her illusions of Marilyn Monroe, Madonna, Charo, Janis Joplin and Stevie Nicks. She has held the prestigious titles of Miss NC America, Miss Georgia USA, and Miss NC USofA. She was featured as Marilyn Monroe and Charo in the Las Vegas production of "Boylesque" staged at the Hula Hut Showroom and Beachcomber Hotel in Waikiki, Hawaii. She has been highlighted in publications such as Creative Loafing, Drag Queen Magazine and Relish. She is one of the hostesses of Salisbury Pride, held in her hometown. She has become actively involved in the fight for equal rights for transgender people. Jamie believes in living life to its fullest, taking chances to stay relevant, and always fighting for what you believe in.
Stay tuned for announcements on more guest emcees and hosts.
Charlotte Pride presents the annual lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning and queer (LGBTQ) Pride festival and other events in the Queen City. The annual festival is the largest LGBTQ Pride event in the Carolinas and the largest between Atlanta and Washington, D.C.