As the dust settles on Atlanta Black Pride weekend, organizers with the Pure Heat Festival already looking forward to next year, but with a few changes, says Vaughn Alvarez with the CR8 Agency.
“I’d like for us to seek out more and that could change the energy of the park.,” said Alvarez. “I think we need to find more diversity in indie artists. We normally get stuck off this rap thing by default.”
Normally, the festival brings in musical talent for performances, but this year, they went with one of POSE’s headliners, Angelica Ross, giving much-needed representation to the trans community. “Having Angelica Ross there meant everything for the trans community,” he said. “She did the whole monologue from the episode where she died.”
Alvarez says other special guests like political democratic powerhouse Stacey Abrams, sent a powerful message to Pure Heat attendees.“She continued her fair fight tour. She’s letting us know that we have to vote, don’t be discouraged,” he said.
But with the clean operation of the weekend festival came the not so clean aftermath. Alvarez tells Georgia Voice the vendor they hired to clean up Piedmont Park after the festival was over, didn’t show up.
According to city permits, the organizers for the festival had until 5pm the next business day to get it cleaned up, but residents were already complaining of piles of trash on Labor Day. Alvarez quickly got to work, hiring a new vendor in which they had to pay $4,000 to get the trash cleaned up right away. “We were still within our timeframe, by 3pm it was cleaned,” said Alvarez.
Overall, he says this was the best year they’ve had in the past five years. Attendance numbers were through the roof according to festival organizers which means an increase in dollars raised for local non-profit organizations that give back to the community.
“All of the proceeds go to the vision community foundation, founded by Bishop Oliver Clyde Allen III,” said Alvarez. “That money raised feeds over 20,000 families a year and helps empowerment and education for HIV testing.”