Over eight years, the Harvey Milk Festival has grown from a fun local celebration of LGBT rights into a multifaceted event with films, visual and performing artists, speakers and more. It’s also become a major draw for bands on the cusp of the cusp of breaking through to the mainstream.
Consider Pwr Bttm, the gender-bending indie-glam duo that headlined last year’s festival. Since the two appeared in Sarasota last May, the buzz around the band has become a roar, with enthusiastic write-ups on national blogs like Pitchfork and Stereogum. The group’s new album, Pageant, which comes out May 12, is already being heralded as a big deal.
So who’s on tap for this year? Magic Sword, a mysterious glowstick-disco duo, headlines the music portion of the festival, which takes place Saturday, May 13, in downtown’s Five Points Park. Ki:Theory’s ambient-leaning electronic rock sets the stage for them, and Vita and the Woolf’s singalong synth tracks round out the main slate, with seven other acts—some local, some touring—in support. I haven’t heard of them, and I’m guessing you haven’t either. But we—and many others—will soon enough.
Harvey Milk Festival, May 11-13, Five Points Park, Sarasota.