With the United States Capitol in the background of the Capitol Stage (presented by Hot 99.5/iHeart Pride Radio and brought to fans by American Airlines and Billboard), a number of LGBTQ performers and allies hit the stage to perform for a crowd full of facepaint, rainbow flags and, you guessed it, pride.
Here are six standouts from the DC Pride Festival.
Kim Petras’ Unstoppable Bops & Puppy Purse
Kim Petras has yet to release a song that isn’t a winner, and when she took the stage early afternoon, it was irresistible bop after bop -- the people in front knew every lyric, and those toward the back were readily giving themselves to the bouncy, summery jams. Just like her songs, her style similarly never lets up, from her immaculate white kicks (which didn’t get in the way of her fancy footwork) to her glittery puppy purse -- which she almost forgot on stage, but quickly ran back to retrieve it. (Hopefully she keeps closer tabs on it at Billboard Hot 100 Music Festival this year).
Max’s Boundless Energy
Rocking a shimmery gold sequin jacket, Max hit the stage at DC Pride with seemingly boundless energy, running around the stage like a marathoner during his funky jams before wrapping with, naturally, “Lights Down Low” -- and one final high-flying jump split that any drag queen would be envious of.
Keri Hilson Won’t Stay Down
Closing her set with “Knock You Down,” Keri Hilson knelt into the crowd to touch the hands of eager fans. From the enthusiastic reaction, it was clear that 2009 hit has served as an enduring anthem of persistence for many in the community.
Troye Sivan Crowd Surfs, Takes It to the Club
“Who’s blooming tonight?” Troye Sivan asked the crowd as he shimmied out on stage while “Bloom” played. A primarily straight audience might’ve answered that question with blank looks, but the sly smirks from the Pride audience made clear everyone knew what he was talking about. During his stellar set, the impossibly sweet Sivan even made technical issues seem charming, opting to crowd surf when stagehands were busy switching his mic. Closing with “My My My,” Sivan packed a bit of a surprise -- toward the end of the song, he kicked the familiar studio version into a rushing, pounding club remix of “My My My” that pumped the crowd into a frenzy.