Tag Archive | "New Orleans"

TomorrowWorld’s Magical Bus Voyage

By Dustin Shrader

Seat-belts, everyone! And all hail TomorrowWorld’s Magical Bus!

TomorrowWorld is happy to announce the Magical Bus Voyage package, which provides transportation from select major cities to and from the September festival. Known as America’s largest electronic music festival, the annual 3-day jam-session and 5-day camping adventure is held in the Chattahoochee Hills forest near Atlanta.

College kids, refugees and traveling music-lovers of all ages will be able to choose from a list of 28 cities including Miami, Orlando, Birmingham, Nashville, New Orleans and even New York City. The busses may make additional pick ups en route; therefore, giving you an opportunity to make some new friends and bond over your love of psychedelic, electro-beats.

These are no down-trodden yellow, school buses, either.The Magical Coach Buses will be equipped with the necessary comforts in order to better enjoy a long journey. Round trip voyages start at $79, while actual festival passes must be purchased separately. Pricing of bus tickets depend on the proximity of your city to TomorrowWorld Festival. The luxury busses depart on Thursday, Sept. 25th and will return you to your home city on Monday, Sept. 29th.

If interested in this opportunity to make your TomorrowWorld experience even more out of this world, further information can be acquired at TomorrowWorld.com/busvoyage.


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[VIDEO] 40th Anniversary of Largest LGBT Massacre in America

By Dwayne Kinney, Digital Editor

40 years ago today 32 people died in a New Orleans gay bar. It was the largest LGBT massacre in American history. The bar was called UpStairs Lounge and had also served as the temporary home of New Orleans’ Metropolitan Community Church (MCC).

It was a sweltering night on June 24, 1973 in New Orleans. Gays throughout the city were celebrating the fourth anniversary of the Stonewall Riots and the end of Pride Weekend in New Orleans. However, their celebration looked very different from what we are accustomed to today. There was no Pride parade in New Orleans that year. There were no gay flags hanging in the streets of the French Quarter. Instead there was widespread homophobia, rampant discrimination, and hateful violence for gays living out and proud.

The French Quarter had nearly two dozen gay bars at the time; however, gay life was almost entirely underground and talked about in hushed tones. The threat of violence was something that followed gays of this era on a daily basis. Metropolitan Community Churches in both Nashville and Los Angeles had been torched by arsonists earlier that year.

The UpStairs Lounge was on the second story of a building located at 141 Chartres Street. Entering the bar from the street meant climbing a flight of stairs that ended at a heavy metal door that remained locked. To get in, gay patrons would ring a buzzer.

On the night of June 24th the buzzer sounded at 7:56 p.m. signalling that a cab had arrived downstairs. According to survivors no one had ordered a cab; however, to see who the cab was waiting on someone opened the door.

Immediately the intense smell of Ronsonol lighter fluid filled the UpStairs Lounge. Someone had saturated the stairwell with the highly flammable liquid. Before anyone had a chance to react a fireball erupted up the stairwell and into the UpStairs Lounge.

There was no such thing as a clearly marked exit back in these days. Patrons were left to scramble for their lives as the heat from the fire and poisonous fumes roared closer. UpStairs Lounge’s bartender, Buddy Rasmussen, helped 15 men escape from the fire. One of the men who made it to safety was George Mitchell, the assistant pastor at MCC. When he realized that his partner, Louis Broussard, had not escaped with him he immediately ran back into the burning flames. Mitchell managed to find Broussard in the chaotic inferno; however, they were unable to escape the building before being consumed by the fire. The two men burned alive as they held each other tightly in their final moments.

Other gay patrons tried to flee through the windows. Several windows were boarded up to maintain privacy and others were covered with iron bars 14’’ apart. A few men were able to squeeze through the bars to safety. MCC’s Reverend Bill Larson tried to escape through the window and got stuck. Helpless and wedged between the bars he was burned to death. His body remained in the window for nearly 24 hours after the fire was extinguished.

The story received very little press coverage. At first, news reports did not mention that the UpStairs Lounge was a gay bar. However, when the newspaper finally reported the sexual orientation of the victims it did so alongside bigoted quotes. In the newspaper a local cab driver said, “I hope the fire burned their dresses off.” A woman was quoted saying, “The Lord had something to do with this.”

However, the most insulting comments came from radio hosts who asked, “What will they bury the queers in.” They responded with, “Fruit jars.”

Three bodies were never identified and were buried in unmarked graves at Potter’s Field. The City of New Orleans denied requests from the MCC who wanted to give the three men a proper burial.

Media coverage of the 1973 UpStairs Lounge Massacre:

A new documentary entitled “The UpStairs Lounge Fire” will air tonight at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. on select Cox Communications channels:

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7 Can’t Miss Pride Festivals in June

June is almost here which means Atlanta’s Stonewall Month and Pride festivals throughout the country are just days away. If you’re staying in town, the Atlanta Pride Committee has a ton of great events planned throughout the entire month of June. You can find a complete list here.

However, if you’re itching to pack a bag and fly away, don’t miss these great Pride festivals taking place across the country:

Hawaii-PrideHonolulu Pride – Honolulu, HI June 1:

The Honolulu Pride Parade starts at 10 a.m. at Magic Island followed by the Pride Celebration from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Kapiolani Park.

Capital Pride – Washington, D.C. June 7 – 9:

The 38th annual Capital Pride Parade starts at 4:30 p.m. from 22nd & P Street NW. The parade will travel 1.5 miles through Dupont Circle and 17th Street. It will end in the Logan Circle neighborhood where more than 100,000 people are expected to come out to watch the parade.

LA-PrideL.A. Pride Festival – Los Angeles, CA June 7 – 9:

Unlike Atlanta, the L.A. Pride Festival costs $20 per day and is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. The festivities take place in the heart of gay L.A.’s West Hollywood district at West Hollywood Park.

NOLA Pride – New Orleans, LA June 21 – 24:

Festivities start at Boomtown Casino on Friday, June 21 with a kick-off hosted by Jaymes and James, the runners-up from season 21 of “The Amazing Race,” while local talents perform alongside them to raise money for New Orleans Pride and the LGBT community. The Dow Pride Parade is at 6 p.m. the following day.

NYC Pride – New York, NY June 28 – 30:

If you think of NYC and big gay dance party then you’re undoubtedly thinking of the Dance at the Pier. The much anticipated party on Pier 26 in TriBeCa starts on Sunday, June 30 at 3 p.m. The annual party will end with the world’s longest-running LGBT fireworks display over the Hudson River.

Chicago-PrideChicago Pride – Chicago, IL June 28 – 30:

The 44th annual Pride Parade will start on Sunday, June 30 at noon. The parade will start on North Broadway and continue to North Sheridan Road. Take the CTA Red Line to Sheridan, Addison, or Belmont for the best viewing areas.

San Francisco Pride – San Francisco, CA June 28 – 30:

Head to Market & Beale for the start of the San Francisco Pride Parade at 10:30 a.m. The parade route continues down Market all of the way until 8th Street. Don’t miss the festival’s main stage where Raquel Rodriquez, Gypsy Love, Fou Fou HA!, Lovesick Radio, Gram Rabbit, DWV, Nina Sky, and Hedwig/Angry Inch will all be performing throughout the weekend.

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