By KP Whaley
Asheville’s Pansy Collective is a group of queer and trans visual artists and musicians who started a booking collective to promote shows featuring marginalized musicians and artists. According to member Riley Carter, the group was born out of the first PansyFest musical festival in 2017.
This year’s festival, PansyFest III, will take place at multiple venues in Asheville over the weekend of August 23-25 and feature several touring queer bands.
“A big intention of our fest the first year,” said Carter, “was to highlight queer and trans people from the South and rural areas because folks from rural areas don’t have access to the same resources as people who come from bigger cities, where there is a larger concentration of resources for LGBTQ people.”
Carter said people are marginalized because of many factors, and not just because they are queer. According to the collective, being from the South, race, class, and misogyny all have a lot to do with how a queer or LGBTQ-identified person experiences anything.
“With that intersection [of factors] in mind, that’s where the beneficiaries of our shows and our fest come into play,” said Carter. “Not only is PansyFest a space where marginalized musicians can come together and build community, [but] it’s also a benefit where we raise money for grassroots organizations who are doing the work to provide resources in a hands-on way.”
This year the collective had so many applicants for PansyFest that they decided to create a showcase of just the local performers separate from PansyFest III. The Local Queer Showcase takes place Friday, July 26 at the Mothlight, 701 Haywood Road, in Asheville. Bands performing that night include Secret Shame, JoyBang, Nomadic War Machine, and Dead Name, all of which are local Asheville bands. Doors at 8 pm, show at 9 pm and the suggested donation of $10 will help the collective pay for the bands coming in August. Additionally, Urban Orchard Cider Co. will donate proceeds from the sale of their “Tainted Love” cider at the venue to help support the cause as well.
Listen to the full interview here: