Music festival brings communities together

2012-10-11T17:31:00Z 2012-10-11T20:11:29Z Music festival brings communities togetherBy Christine Bryant Times Correspondent
October 11, 2012 5:31 pm  • 

Bringing people together through music – that’s what event organizers hope to accomplish during a first of its kind music festival this weekend in Hobart.

Bridging the Gap Music Fest will be held from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday at Veteran’s Memorial Park, 5899 E. 73rd Ave. The event will include music, food and vendors. Tickets are $15 at the gate.

“This event is designed to bridge the gap between the gay and straight communities of Northwest Indiana,” said Richard Popp, president of N.W. Indiana Pride.

The non-profit organization is partnering with Rainbow Serenity to hold the event, which will feature bands and performers from the Northwest Indiana and Chicago areas. Both N.W. Indiana Pride and Rainbow Serenity are organizations committed to the local gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities in the region.

“Rainbow Serenity and N.W. Indiana Pride separately thought of doing an event like this, but it was N.W. Indiana Pride who came to us and initiated this event,” said Brandon Wagman, chief executive officer of Rainbow Serenity.

By combining their resources, organizers say they hope to reach out to all ethnicities and sexual orientations and bring together people through the universal language of music.

“This is a family-oriented event, and will be fun for all ages,” Popp said.

Scheduled performers include Kyle Peek, Mark Ortega, Natalina, Ray “MusicBear,” and Ecstasy and Nymphatic Pimps Inc, a dance group.

Because it’s the first year for the festival, Wagman said the groups faced some challenges in getting the event organized, from finding bands and vendors, to raising funds and spreading the word.

Bringing various members of the community with different backgrounds together, however, has been the most rewarding aspect of planning the festival so far, he said.

“How helpful the city of Hobart has been, especially the Parks Department,” he said. “We’ve also gained positive exposure for our LGBT community.”

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