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Almost every year, I have an internal struggle. Actually, this happens way more than once a year. Pride weekend is the most nuts weekend of the year, and OUT FRONT requires all hands on deck to make things happen. But, whenever I can sneak away, instead of resting, I head down to South Broadway and check out as much of the Electric Funeral Fest goodness as I can.

This isn’t the only time of year I have to balance queer events with metal events and run around like a chicken with my head cut off. All year, there are also metal shows, and all year, there are also drag shows, events, and tons of parties.

In addition to wishing I was Hermoine in Harry Potter and could be in two places at one time, I sometimes feel out of place in both settings. Certain metal shows make me feel too queer and femme, while some queer events are so heavy on the pop music and peppiness that my inner goth wants to run screaming.

This is why I’m so grateful for places in Denver that make a space for everyone. Like  Gladys, a bar that welcomes weird drag and an awkward girl with gauged ears and a metal shirt who orders amaretto sours, and Hi-Dive, a known spot for divey metal shows that also hosts drag shows.

And I’m grateful for Electric Funeral Fest. Every year in June, South Broadway is transformed into even more of a metalhead paradise, as the venues Hi-Dive and Three Kings become vessels for some of the heaviest, doomiest sounds out there, and fans trapse back and forth to sip beer, mingle, and see some of their favorite bands.

Not only does the event happen every year around Pride, this year, the two headlining bands both have ties to the queer community. Torche have an openly gay frontman, and Thou, a band who are known to be allies to the community, just welcomed in a queer band member, KC Stafford on bass, vocals, and guitar, who identifies as nonbinary.

“I’m just excited to get out there and play a show,” said Steve Brooks, vocalist and guitarist for Torche. “It’s been a while. I’m looking forward to just getting out there and seeing friends and getting away from my day job for a few days. I don’t know how much time I’ll have to get away, but I’d love to check out [the Pride festivities in Denver] too.”

Usually, there is some crossover, as Pride folks drift down South Broadway, and metalheads make their way up to the Pride festivities.

“Dust Presents does not discriminate fans or bands for race, religion, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation, and we support the LGBTQ community with open arms,” the group who puts on Electric Funeral Fest every year explained. “We are proud to know that Electric Funeral Fest will coincide with Pride Weekend this year. Our events are a welcoming space for lovers of art and music, and we certainly hope that some of the LGBTQ community will join us for some heavy metal on South Broadway!”

“On Pride Weekend, the Hi-Dive has its regularly scheduled programming of acceptance and love for all people that we practice 365 days a year (366 days on leap years),” added Curtis Wallach, co-owner and talent buyer at Hi-Dive. “We will also be hosting a kick-*ss heavy metal fest. Come as you are, and let’s party.”

So, this year, if you’re looking to still support queer artists, but top 40 isn’t always your vibe, stop by South Broadway to crack a cold one and bang your head.

Electric Funeral Fest is happening this year on June 14 and 15 at Hi-Dive and Three Kings in Denver.

Photo by Mike Goodwin