The first-annual Queer Music Festival kicks off this Friday and Saturday at ROCKBAR on Christopher Street in Manhattan’s West Village. A two-day smorgasbord featuring the best of what’s happening in the GLBT indie music scene, the event is a partnership between ROCKBAR and Monarch Presents, a gay-owned and operated boutique artist agency.

“The idea for it just happened organically,” says ROCKBAR co-owner Erich Courage. “Eric [Sosa, head of Monarch] kept feeding us amazing acts, and one night my business partner Rick, Eric and I were hanging out after a show in the office and we thought: There needs to be a showcase for all this talent. So, boom, QMF 2012 was born!”

The lineup features 16 acts spread over both days, two sessions each day. It’s a dizzying array of talent that truly showcases the deep, diverse talent pool in the queer music scene nowadays. “We’ve got everything from punk to funk, blues to hip hop, electro to roots rock,” says Sosa. “We’ve worked to get the best acts we could find and have been blown away by the response we got.”

Highlights in the lineup include:

Deluka – Their single “OMFG” was recently featured on VH1 and they’ve opened for Ke$ha and Cyndi Lauper. A badass British power pop quartet, they headline Friday night.

Hunter Valentine – Toronto-based all-girl band that make the Donnas look like good gurls. They share the headline spot on Saturday night with…

Avan Lava – Feel-good funk with a hint of boy band, they are coming off a sold-out show at the Bowery Ballroom.

Scott Matthew – Featured on the soundtrack to “Short Bus,” this sensitive singer-songwriter is huge in Europe and Japan.

Chaney Sims – Second-generation blues diva with a truly heart-melting voice, she is not to be missed.

Jogyo – A male/female Caribbean/African hip-hop duo that has become legendary for its high-octane stage shows.

Corey TuT – A true New York original, he has built a large and loyal following in the NYC bar scene. His music has been featured on numerous TV and movie soundtracks.

This is a rare opportunity to see world-class acts in an up-close and personal setting. Rockbar has been lauded in TimeOut New York and other places for its killer sound system and intimate, fan-friendly stage.

“Many of these acts usually play much bigger venues, but most of them jumped at the chance to part of this,” Courage says. “And we worked hard to keep the ticket price down. It’s $10-$15 per session, three or four acts for less than you would usually have to pay to see most of them as a solo show.”

For the full line-up of artists, times, ticket info and more, go to and click on the QMF page or go to Facebook and look for the Queer Music Festival 2012 event page.

Rockbar NYC
185 Christopher Street
New York, NY 10014