DTLA Proud Festival returns, 15,000 guests expected

A festival supporting the LGBTQ+ community is coming back after taking a year off due to the pandemic.
DOWNTOWN LA (KABC) -- DTLA Proud Festival, the three-day celebration in Pershing Square, is coming back in full swing.

The nonprofit, DTLA Proud, expects to see 15,000 people turn out.

"It is truly an organization and a festival built by the community for the community," said Development Manager Dennis Caasi.

The festival caters to the LGBTQ community of downtown L.A.

"We started DTLA Proud when, in one year, three new gay bars opened downtown and we wanted to celebrate that," said DTLA Proud founder Oliver Alpuche.

The pandemic forced the organization to cancel DTLA Proud Festival 2020. But they wanted to do something to highlight the perseverance of the community.

So, the board members came together to create a documentary called "Proud in a Pandemic."

"It really is a time capsule of what the queer community went through," said Alpuche.

Alpuche owns the bar Redline in downtown L.A. It's considered a safe space for the gay community, many of which struggled during the pandemic.

The documentary depicts the resilience of the LGBTQ+ community and why it's important to protect those safe spaces.

"It's not just a safe space, it's the only space. So that's why they're so important to us. Yeah, we're drinking in a bar. But really, what we're doing is we're having community," said DTLA Proud board member Scottie Jeanette Madden.

The festival starts on August 27 and attendees can see a preview of the documentary.

In order to attend you must have proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID test.
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