(WB) The sixth annual Tampa Pride will feature an inaugural Pride at Night concert on March 28 from 6 p.m.-midnight at The Cuban Club, welcoming headliner Martha Wash.
“Tampa Pride 2020 will be bigger than ever,” organizers have shared. “Our street festival will feature more room for community participation and our diversity parade will also be bigger, with more room for bands, floats, horses, music and much more. But that’s not all … this year’s star will be Martha Wash, performing ‘It’s Raining Men!’”
Wash rose to fame as one half of the disco duo Two Tons O’Fun, formed in 1976 to sing backup for openly gay singer Sylvester, “the Queen of Disco.” Wash and Izora Armstead changed the band’s name to The Weather Girls in 1982 after releasing their massively successful single “It’s Raining Men,” an instant LGBTQ anthem.
The group disbanded in 1988, launching Wash’s solo career. In recent years, she has appeared on a number of dance albums, including RuPaul’s “Born Naked.” She released her latest solo album “Love & Conflict” on Jan. 6.
“The LGBTQ community first embraced me back in the 70s,” Wash told Billboard Magazine in 2017, “and all these years later, the embrace is still strong.
“It means the world to me when fans tell me they’ve followed me through the Sylvester years, or they came out to my music, or someone decided not to take their life,” she continued. “These are the people I sing for. So to all you beautiful people out there I say: stand strong, don’t give in and carry on.”
“Martha Wash is a big icon in the community,” Tampa Pride President Carrie West says. “It’s going to be a wonderful concert and a lot of fun. We’re looking for over 60,000 people to attend Tampa Pride this year, so we needed larger entertainment for a larger crowd – when the parade’s over, they can come right to Pride at Night.”
To accommodate attendees, Tampa Pride partnered with the Cuban Club in Ybor, which will serve as the new home of the official Tampa Pride stage. Organizers will utilize the venue’s parking lot and first floor, highlighting partner organizations, vendors and sponsors while offering a variety of food options, liquor and beer.
“The Cuban Club has been so accommodating with having the concert and everything we want to do,” West says. “Ybor City is kind of like a little family; we all work together.”
In addition to Wash, Pride at Night will feature local and national performers. Fan favorite Tampa Bay DJs Greg Anderson and Power Infiniti will welcome entertainment including the 2020 Mr. and Miss Tampa Pride, who will be crowned at Southern Nights Tampa on Feb. 9.
“It’s all going to be a lot of fun,” West says, “and it’s why we keep saying that Tampa Pride is the fun Pride. There’s going to be quite the variety and a lot of growth.”
West adds that with Tampa Pride’s growth comes opportunity, noting that the celebration will be accepting sponsorships through the end of February. “A lot of corporations, companies, small businesses and organizations want to get involved with Pride,” West says. “Now is the time to do it.”
“Come out and have fun,” he concludes. “That’s what it’s all about – celebrating our community.”
Pride at Night is 21+ with no cover. It will be held March 28, 2020 at the Cuban Club, located at 2010 Avenida Republica de Cuba in Tampa, from 6 p.m.-midnight. For more information about Tampa Pride, including sponsorship opportunities, visit TampaPride.org.