Although visibility for the LGBTQ community is at an alltime high, the number of queer-focused events, concerts, and community spaces are few and far between– especially in cities like Indianapolis.
So, how can smaller cities keep these social events going after Pride Month ends? Carrie Keel is one of the community members dedicated to changing the scene. Keel founded Low Pone, a monthly queer dance party, as well as Minor Sweat, a monthly open-mic style event for all ages. Her latest creation is BUZZ/Cut, a music festival that’s bringing queer musical artists from all over the country to takeover Fountain Square on September 7, starting at 2pm.
The lineup includes fifteen internationally acclaimed queer musical artists of all different musical genres, like CupcaKKe, Shamir, Sateen, Muxxxe, and more. Tickets are $20, and proceeds will go towards programming for LGBTQ teens through Minor Sweat.
Keel wanted to make BUZZ/Cut as diverse as possible– including men, women, non binary people, and many kinds of music from rock and roll, to hip hop, to electronic music.
“There’s not a single artist, musician or group that I don’t think is really exciting,” Keel says about Saturday’s performers. She thinks there’s something for everyone, from household names like CupcaKKe, to an anonymous artist from Mexico called Muxxxe. “They rap in Spanish and they’re sort of a drag persona- but not really. They always wear a mask and their identity is top secret,” Keel explains.
BUZZ/Cut secured artists simply by researching on social media and sending Instagram and Twitter DM’s, Keel says. All the work involved in building BUZZ/Cut was done in addition to Keel’s full time job. “I’d like to make something bigger, but this has all been so organically grown, you know? This isn’t a profitable thing we’re doing. I’m just thinking: ‘we’ll see.’”
Keel plans on using the funds from BUZZ/Cut’s ticket sales to expand Minor Sweat’s programming for LGBTQ teens. Currently Minor Sweat has just one event a month geared towards queer teens who aren’t old enough for 21+ events like Low Pone.
With more funding, Minor Sweat would expand to offer different kinds of educational programming, like music and art workshops in partnership with Big Car, as well as wellness and tech-focused programs.
Keel hopes that Minor Sweat can help give queer teens a place to be at ease, have fun, and learn.
“Queer visibility is at an all time high. Now, instead of just trying to have a normal life, we want to have a better life,” she says. “The basics are being handled by groups like Indiana Youth Group and Indianapolis Pride, but we want to branch out as far as quality of life goes. We want to get kids involved in things they care about.”
Minor Sweat’s growth starts with BUZZ/Cut’s success. To buy tickets, be a volunteer, or learn more about BUZZ/Cut, check out their website.