For Nightbreed founder Bryant Acosta, promoting Hollywood’s inaugural Future Lovers Block Party is an opportunity to bring together the community and promote inclusion, while course-correcting the neighborhood’s history of police raids and harassment of the LGBTQ+ population. As Acosta says, “We’re bringing sparkle back to Hollywood.”
Future Lovers is taking place June 12 at 1749 Vine Street, between Hollywood Boulevard & Yucca, from noon to 10 p.m., following the LA Pride Parade that starts at 10:30 a.m. The event features three stages in the Capitol Records and Avalon parking lot, with the Avalon hosting an homage to Ballroom Culture with “Ballroom 1 On 1” including a special performance from Kornbread “The Snack” Jetè (from Season 14 of “RuPaul’s Drag Race”). The lineup includes Kiesza; Eurovision winner Netta Barzi; Bryan Kent, Calypso Jet; Elliot with 2ts, Garbitch, Jack Faulkner and more. A portion of every ticket sold will benefit the Los Angeles LGBT Center.
In addition to his work as a promoter, Acosta performs as Noir D Costas, but he’s not on the bill at this event. He explains, “I would prefer to give a slot to somebody that I found or am nurturing and see them shine … Yes, it’s exciting to be an artist and yes, I love doing it, but it’s more exciting to me to be able to [help] other people be successful.”
Pollstar: Can you share an overview of Nightbreed and your mission with the company?
Bryant Acosta: I started the brand seven years ago. We essentially were just doing a Pride pool party with the W hotel in Hollywood, and it just ballooned. The last one we did, it was close to 3,000 people through the doors. And so we were like, “Wow, we’re going to need a bigger boat.” We’ve partnered with Marriott and activated various W’s across the country. We’re doing Austin Pride this year with W [as well as] Pride with W in Hollywood.
It’s been an awesome opportunity to build not just the brand, but also be able to give [artists], specifically LGBTQ+, women, people of color and just everybody that’s an underserved community, a platform … really it’s just all about building community, essentially.
Can you talk about how Future Lovers is helping course-correct LA’s history with the LGBTQ+ community?
Specifically more in the Hollywood community because, you know, LA Pride started on Hollywood Boulevard. I feel that over the decades, the LGBTQ+ community got pushed out of Hollywood. And so that’s where we ended up in West Hollywood. I feel like it’s always been one of those things where, you know, it’s like a wild zoo safari where people just come to WeHo … It’s more notable, like on Halloween, because everybody’s like, “Oh, let’s go see what the gays are doing.”
To me, this is sort of that rebirth … to not just be sort of siloed off to one part of the city, but actually expanding. … Being able to look at it holistically as a city as opposed to just West Hollywood is exciting to me. It’s like, let’s really show the inclusion that West Hollywood has done for decades – but let’s do it throughout the city now.
How important was it to have LGBTQ+ acts on the lineup?
We love our straight allies, but I think at the end of the day, this is that moment for the queer community to shine and not be an afterthought, but be the focal point.
How are ticket sales?
Ticket sales have been good. I mean, we just crossed our 1,200 mark. For the size of what we’re doing, we’re well over 10%. And most of these events go pretty quickly during the week of – that’s when you see the most sales.
WeHo and LA Pride are split into two weekends. And so,I feel like it’s the perfect time to kind of come in and say, hey, we’re an alternate, grassroots sort of organization. We don’t have all these ties to big donors and brands that are expecting a certain commercialization of Pride. … We’re authentic, we’re your neighbors, we’re your brothers and sisters – it’s literally built up by the community that lives in the community.