In the weeks leading up to the Gay8 Festival in Little Havana on Feb. 18, Gay8 and MACHO USA are invading LGBT and LGBT-friendly venues like Molto Bar and Restaurant, Score, Azucar, Double Stubble and Kill Your Idol.
The invasion began Friday, Dec. 29, at Molto, 1237 Lincoln Road, for their Freaky Friday event. Attendees enjoyed music mixes by special guest DJ Alex Ferbeyre and drag performances by hostess Fantasia Royale Gaga and Noel Leon. Next the tour landed at the Lab Friday at Score Jan. 5.
Upcoming appearances include the Mr. and Mrs. Gay8 Pageant at Azucar Nightclub, 2301 SW 32nd Ave. on Wednesday, Jan. 24; and Double Stubble at Gramps, 176 NW 24th St., at 9 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 25.
“Come join the entire Gay8 street team and committee and have some fabulous entertainment, Miami style," Ferbeyre said.
The invasion moves on to Kill Your Idol, 222 Española Way, on Sunday, Feb. 4.
Gay8 and MACHO USA have even gone global in their outreach events. Ferbeyre and Gay8 head organizer Damian Pardo recently attended the MadBear circuit party in Madrid, Spain. Ferbeyre said he was "extremely excited" to represent Miami and the U.S. at the MadBear gathering in Madrid.
"Being that it was my first European event and my first time in Spain, I wanted to make sure to represent myself not only as an American but a third-generation Cuban American representing the Gay8 Festival and Little Havana," Ferbeyre said. "We were extremely well-received and many of the Madrilenios were curious what we were all about. Between my DJ set and our blanket coverage, we forged a very solid partnership with MadBear and have initiated other international partnership opportunities, all in the works."
The third annual Gay8 Festival will take place 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 18 on Southwest Eighth Street between 14th and 17th avenues. The closed-off block party for LGBT Latinos is meant to draw gay and gay-friendly members of all cultures from across Miami, not just from the Latino community.
The festival launched in 2016 with 17,000 attendees. That number grew to more than 30,000 in 2017. A kickoff event for the music, food and arts fest took place Nov. 8 at Casa Juancho in Little Havana, attracting many movers and shakers of the LGBT community.
Pardo said people at February’s festival can expect to enjoy “free films, walking tours and great food. It’s a good time,” he said.
There will be a Pa’lante (Move Forward) Awards show Friday, Feb. 16, that will serve as a fundraiser for the Gay8 Festival. The community is encouraged to purchase VIP tickets that include open bar drinks at $100 to $150 apiece to help fund costs related to organizing the street festival.