Roundup: A Guide To Philadelphia’s Gay Festivals, Performances, Events And More For 2014

Throughout 2014, a slew of gay-friendly events of all sort take the stage in Philadelphia. (Photo by G. Widman for Visit Philadelphia)

The City of Brotherly Love truly offers something for everyone.

Every year, the city welcomes an onslaught of gay-friendly events, performances and festivals for all to enjoy.

In 2014, look forward to some of the same well-loved events that bring tons of visitors and residents out for celebrations, along with a number of new events — from OutFest 2014 to a laundry list of gay-centric performances slated for the New Year.

Whether you’re looking to party on a monthly basis or a weekly basis, we’ve got you covered. Look forward to everything from daily events to recurring annual festivities.

Read on for our 2014 gay calendar.

LGBT Annual Events

Pink Pub Crawl: January 1, March 22, June 21 and November 26. The Pink Pub Crawl guides participants to some of the Gayborhood’s favorite watering holes. Those wearing pink can join the sipping for $25 ($30 for non-pink wearers), with free admission to Voyeur Nightclub included.

Dining Out For Life: March TBD. Nosh for a great cause during Dining Out for Life, an annual event in which participating restaurants around the city donate a percentage of each breakfast, lunch and dinner bill to Action AIDS.

Mr. Gay Philadelphia: April 12. Find out who will nab the top prize during Mr. Gay Philadelphia, an all-male pageant in which celebrity judges size up the competition based on a variety of criteria.

Philadelphia Black Gay Pride: April 20-27. The Philadelphia Black Gay Pride event kicks off a week of celebrations to mark its 15th anniversary with everything from a poetry slam and dance party to a health fair and the Miss and Mr. Black Gay Pride Pageant.

Equality Forum: May 1-4. The Equality Forum gets to the heart of LGBT culture with educational panels, parties and special events. Festivities include the International Equality Dinner and Sunday OUT!, a lively festival at the open-air Piazza at Schmidt’s in Northern Liberties.

New Hope Celebrates Pride: May 11-18. New Hope’s 10th annual New Hope Celebrates Pride includes the Pride Parade, athletic events, family activities, performances, dance parties and more. Proceeds benefit national and local charities.

Pride Day LGBT Parade and Festival: June 8. The 24th annual Pride Day LGBT Parade and Festival takes place during International Gay and Lesbian Pride Month and features live music, DJs, food, drinks and a festive parade that runs from the Gayborhood to Penn’s Landing.

Philadelphia Trans-Health Conference: June 12-14. The 13th annual Philadelphia Trans-Health Conference, held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, focuses on educating and empowering Trans, GV (Gender Variant) and GNC (Gender Non-Conforming) individuals and promoting wellness in mind, body, spirit and community.

QFest: July 10-20. QFest welcomes independent LGBT filmmakers to town to screen dozens of movie premieres and attend other celebrity-studded events. Look for several special events as the festival turns 20 this year.

GayFest!: August 5-23. GayFest! puts LGBT lives center stage in Philadelphia’s only LGBT theater festival. Expect four plays, plus music, dance, performance art and spoken word at theaters and other performances spaces all over town.

Gay Day at Citizens Bank Park: August 5. The Philadelphia Phillies welcome thousands of gay and lesbian fans to Citizens Bank Park each August for Gay Day.

The Boys of Summer: August 8-9. The hottest guys in the region descend upon Philadelphia for The Boys of Summer, Philly Gay Calendar’s annual swimsuit party and fundraiser, featuring live performances, a hot body contest and, of course, lifeguards galore.

Gender Reel: October 4-5. Gender Reel takes a look at transgender and non-conforming gender identities during an art and film festival featuring performances and special events.

OutFest: October 12. Philadelphia celebrates National Coming Out Day with OutFest, a block party in the heart of the Gayborhood that’s made up of drag shows, games, bar crawls and shopping. Philadelphia’s celebration is the largest Coming Out Day street festival in the world.

More happenings, below.

Performing Arts

Beautiful Thing: January 15-February 2. The Mauckingbird Theatre Company, Philly’s only LGBT theater company, presents Beautiful Thing, a coming-of-age love story between two young men. The show runs from January 15 to February 2 at the SkyBox at the Adrienne Theatre.

Marlene and the Machine: A German Expressionist Cabaret: February 7-8. The Bearded Ladies, Philly’s gender-bending cabaret, steps out from its home base at the Wilma Theater to perform Marlene and the Machine: A German Expressionist Cabaret at the Annenberg Center.

When I Knew: March 14-15. The Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus performs songs inspired by the moment “when we knew there was something different about us” in their When I Knew concert at the Prince Music Theater.

Don Juan Comes Home from Iraq: March 19-April 20. Lesbian playwright Paula Vogel works with a stellar cast and the Wilma Theater’s amazing artistic director Blanka Ziska to develop Don Juan Comes Home from Iraq, which follows a returning Marine’s search for his girlfriend in a surrealistic tour through the streets of Philadelphia.

Shut Up & Dance: March TBD. Every year, the dancers from the Pennsylvania Ballet produce Shut Up & Dance, a one-night-only benefit performance for local non-profit MANNA.

Cher at the Wells Fargo Center: April 28. On April 28, Megastar and LGBT favorite Cher plays the Wells Fargo Center during her Dressed to Kill Tour.

Let’s Do It — The Music of Cole Porter: May 16-17. Songs from the legend himself comprise The Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus concert Let’s Do It – The Music of Cole Porter at the Prince Music Theater.

A Boy and His Soul: May 23-June 22. The Philadelphia Theatre Company presents A Boy and His Soul, a tale of growing up and coming out to the Sounds of Philadelphia.

Philadelphia Live Arts Festival and Philly Fringe: Dates TBD. Philadelphia Live Arts is now a year-round performance venue, but their highlight is still the two weeks of the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival and Philly Fringe, when avant-garde performance meets street theater throughout the city.

Monthly Events

First Friday in Old City: First Friday of Every Month. Every First Friday of the month, art galleries throughout Old City open their doors from 5 to 9 p.m., debuting new exhibitions and treating visitors to refreshments. Plenty of street entertainment adds to the festival atmosphere.

Stimulus: Third Friday of Every Month. Billed as one of the biggest queer parties on the East Coast, Stimulus packs in the beautiful people every third Friday at rotating venues and features some of the best female DJs in the city.

DJ Robert Drake at Voyeur Nightclub: Varying Fridays. DJ Robert Drake gets the new wave party started on varying Fridays each month in the Ruby Lounge at Voyeur Nightclub during Sex Dwarf. This “New Wave Clubhouse,” which gets underway at 10 p.m., features different themes and a playlist of underground music from the ’70s and ’80s.

Our Night Out: Varying Days. A gathering of LGBT professionals, Our Night Out gives people the chance to network with colleagues and friends at monthly happy hours all over the city.

Gay Bingo: Varying Days. Gamers grab their daubers and head straight to Gay Bingo, a monthly fundraiser hosted by hilarious drag queens known as the BVDs (Bingo Verifying Divas) at The Gershman Y. All proceeds benefit the AIDS Fund.

Weekly Events

Showtune Sundays at Tavern on Camac: Sundays. It’s all about Broadway during Showtune Sundays at Tavern on Camac, where favorite video clips are mixed from stage and movie musicals.

Sinful Sundays at Tabu: Sundays. Every week at Tabu, The Goddess Isis invites special guests for Sinful Sundays, an evening of female illusion and gender-bending hilarity that gets started at 9 p.m.

Sing Your Life Karaoke at Tabu: Mondays and Thursdays. Belt it out at Sing Your Life Karaoke, presided over by well-known karaoke host Sara Sherr, at Tabu on Mondays and Thursdays beginning at 9 p.m.

Karaoke at Bob & Barbara’s: Sundays. Bob & Barbara’s invites the masses in for Sunday evening karaoke in Graduate Hospital. The extensive selection of tunes are fit for any songstress’ preferences. Karaoke begins at 9 p.m.

ICandy: Tuesdays and Saturdays. Join parties like Temptress Tuesdays or Seductive Saturdays at ICandy, with a slew of drink specials from 10 p.m. on.

Texas Hold’em at Stir: Wednesdays. Play Texas Hold’em at Stir each Wednesday starting at 8 p.m., with drink specials and prizes worth betting on.

The Dollhouse Revue at Voyeur Nightclub: Thursdays. Drag star Mimi Imfurst of RuPaul’s Drag Race headlines The Dollhouse Revue with her cast of Dollstars on Thursdays starting at 11 at Voyeur Nightclub.

Drag Show at Bob & Barbara’s: Thursdays. Bob & Barbara’s hosts its legendary drag show every Thursday night with the famous Citywide Special, a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon and a shot of Jim Beam for just $3.

A Sexy Hoedown at Woody’s: Fridays. Boot scoot over to Woody’s for two-stepping, country and line dancing at A Sexy Hoedown, taking place at 7 p.m. every Friday.

Seven Nights A Week

Tabu: Catch the big game on the big screens at Tabu, a popular gay sports bar that’s a popular eatery also. Upstairs in the lounge, guests enjoy karaoke, drag shows, comedy acts and much more at this community-supportive bar.

The Westbury: With a great beer selection — 20 crafts brews on tap—and welcoming atmosphere, The Westbury serves as Philadelphia’s neighborhood gay bar. Happy hour and Tuesday nights are the times to check out the craft selection at reduced prices.

The Bike Stop: Philly’s longtime leather outpost, The Bike Stop is the perfect place for a pick-up pool game or grabbing an extra-large beer. This friendly bar hosts Wednesday’s famous Underwear Night, as well as a variety of happy hour specials on its three floors of fun (The Pit Stop, The Bike Stop, and The Short Stop).

Knock: A lunch, dinner and late-night favorite for the mature crowd, Knock dishes out creative entrees and a lively bar scene. Regulars love the see-and-be-seen outdoor dining area during the warm-weather months.

Woody’s: As one of the longest-standing bar/nightclubs in Philadelphia, Woody’s draws a gay crowd for happy hours and a variety of themed dance parties throughout the week. The upstairs late-night lounge boasts DJs spinning favorite playlists until last call.

Venture Inn: Housed in a historic stable on a tiny byway, Venture Inn offers an amiable staff and special events like Spin It and Win It on Wednesday nights at 10:30 p.m.

U Bar: U Bar, formerly Uncles, boasts a newly updated look and a wall of windows for prime Gayborhood people-watching beginning at 11 a.m.

ICandy: ICandy has three levels of fun starting with the first-floor bar and restaurant. There’s also a dance floor with and a top-floor lounge that opens up to a roof deck come summer.

Voyeur: Voyeur is a gay after-hours nightclub favorite. The scene really heats up in the early-morning hours when popular DJs spin club favorites. Three floors of dancing, a VIP mezzanine level and weekly drag shows and dance parties keep the place hopping.

Tavern on Camac: Tavern on Camac offers three settings under one roof: an intimate fine dining restaurant called The Tavern downstairs, an energetic piano bar on the main floor and a top-floor dance club and cocktail lounge featuring DJ nights, karaoke and community events.

Stir Lounge: Both guys and gals flock to lesbian-owned Stir Lounge for happy hour, dance parties and special events featuring DJs and creative drink specials served up by some of the friendliest bartenders in Rittenhouse Square.


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