IN THE MARCH TOWARD PRIDE’S FRENZIED WEEK OF CELEBRATIONS AND ULTIMATE PARADE FINALE, A SLEW OF DJS, MUSICIANS AND THEME NIGHTS POP OFF THIS WEEK IN PREPARATION. WHAT’S ALMOST AS GREAT AS A PRIDE PARTY? A PRE-PRIDE PARTY, OF COURSE.
U of T’s Pride Pub
You don’t have to be a University of Toronto student or alum to participate in the annual barbecue hosted by the Sexual & Gender Diversity Office. DJ Cozmic Cat of Cherry Bomb fame and Yes Yes Y’all/Business Women’s Special staple DJ Sammy Rawal spin in the Hart House Quad (7 Hart House, harthouse.ca) tonight ( Thursday, June 20). The al fresco party starts at 4 pm and continues into the wee hours. $5, free before 9 pm.
Yes Yes Y’all
The Annex Wreckroom ( 794 Bathurst) on Friday ( June 21) at 10 pm is your hip-hop, trap and R&B headquarters. The beloved monthly gay bash is going all out for its pre- Pride edition, with DJ Craig Dominic and special guests galore, including dancehall diva Vilify all the way from Montreal. $6. facebook.com/ events/376245295813956.
Cherry Bomb’s 6th birthday
The legendary queer women’s monthly party at Andy Poolhall (489 College, facebook.com/CherryBombToronto) turns six on Saturday ( June 22) starting at 9 pm. “Resident dyke DJ dream team” Cozmic Cat and Denise Benson spin back to back all night. Special to this edition is an hour-long meet-and- greet for those ready to mingle and make new friends as Pride Week kicks off. $7.
Pride at the Gaystone
Amid the myriad DJ nights, check out a good old-fashioned concert (with completely modern and progressive artists). On Saturday ( June 22), 10 pm, the Gladstone (1214 Queen West) changes into its queer alter ego to host transgendered musician and author Rae Spoon as well as local duo LAL and femme rockers Kelly McMichael & the Gloss. All these artists are known for stepping outside their performance circles, so expect the unexpected. $10-$20.
Sunday (June 23) is queer night at the Garrison (1197 Dundas West), famous for tacos and turntables. This week DJ Sissy and Bambitchell lend their DJ chops. 10 pm. Free. 416-519-9439.
On Friday ( June 21), from 9 pm, the Silver Dollar (486 Spadina) turns into Studio 54 when Fitness, Fortuna and Lipstick Junkies celebrate 70s disco. It’s not officially a Pride event, but with this much spandex and camp, it might as well be. $7. facebook.com/ events/258845064257569.