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Los Angeles’ Out Of Mind music and arts fest celebrates diversity

Out Of Mind Fest, a music and arts festival that welcomes artists of all races and sexual orientations, is returning to The Echo in Los Angeles on Saturday, Feb. 25.

Presented by Gay Asstrology, Half Moon and Errant Ent in association with Live Nation, the single-day event will host an array of artists performing pop, R&B and dance music. Artists include Grouptherapy., Rituals of Mine, Gay Hollywood, Jackie Lipson with Vavá, Storyboards and special guests Blush and Mae Martin. The night will be capped by DJ sets from Bri Giger and Gay Asstrology.

Founded music industry veteran Dani Oliva, a trans music executive and attorney who uses he/him pronouns, Out of Mind Fest aims to create a community where rising LGBTQ+ and disabled artists can be seen, heard and paid.

Jackie Lipson will perform at the Out Of Mind Festival in Los Angeles on Saturday, Feb. 25.
(Photo by Mallory Turner, for Out Of Mind Festival)

Rituals Of Mine will perform at the Out Of Mind Festival in Los Angeles on Saturday, Feb. 25.
(Photo by Jeffrey Latour, for Out Of Mind Festival)

STORYBOARDS will perform at the Out Of Mind Festival in Los Angeles on Saturday, Feb. 25.
(Photo by Asher Phoenix, for Out Of Mind Festival)

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“We started [Out Of Mind] in 2019 because we noticed that many independent artists don’t necessarily have a place to perform or the places that are available require minimum ticket sales, or no pay or low pay,” Oliva said during a recent phone interview. “And so we wanted to create a space for LGBTQ+ and BIPOC artists to perform in front of an audience while getting paid fairly.”

Oliva’s credentials include doing legal work for artists, co-founding the Indigenous and LGBTQ+ owned record label Alt Eden and managing his music company Muk-Posh. Yet, Oliva makes the time to ensure that the Out Of Mind Fest is something memorable for the community.

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The first installment of the event took place in September 2019, originally under the moniker of HomoBOP!, but the name was changed to be even more inclusive. The concept worked and the fest sold out.

It’s now an annual event in Los Angeles and Oliva’s team is even working on a few installments elsewhere including New York City and possibly even heading into Toronto, Canada sometime in 2024.

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Partnering with the monthly LGBTQ+ dance party company Gay Asstrology was an easy decision for Oliva, as he said the two share a similar ethos of creating an inclusive space. Likewise, Half Moon, an independent media and music company that reinforces emerging artists worldwide, also naturally fell into the Out Of Mind family.

“My friends at [Gay Asstrology] have also been in the music industry for quite some time, so they understand what it takes to make something like Out Of Mind,” Oliva shares. “They’ve always wanted to do a live music festival that was inclusive of the queer community, and so we just thought, ‘Let’s give it a go.’ So now we’re here, and it’s been great so far. And Half Moon has a good ear on the pulse of who’s coming up in the music industry. They are also very plugged into the independent music scene and pride themselves on creating a community for folks interested in being a part of it, whether in New York or Los Angeles, they get what we’re about.”

A unique aspect of the Out Of Mind Fest is that artists have the ability to send in music submissions for the chance to play the event. The festival will also host local vendors, who can fill out an application to pop up a booth with no vendor fees or merchandise cuts. Vendors on the list this year include Little Moon x So Cute, The Rooted Zodiac and Megan Boykoff.

There will also be several interactive elements including Hidden Hearts, a concept that allows attendees to show off if they are single, ready to mingle or simply enjoying the night by putting a heart on someone’s shirt. Out Of Mind merchandise will also be available, with proceeds going to the non-profit American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), an organization committed to fighting against anti-trans legislation in the United States.

“There’s not many events that truly feature up-and-coming artists, especially ones that don’t have label support,” Oliva shares. “Out Of Mind Fest really comes out of a genuine desire to uplift creators. It all comes down to supporting our community and I believe we do a good job of doing just that.”

Out Of Mind Fest

When: 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25

Where: The Echo, 1822 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles

Tickets: $20 at LiveNation.com

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