SOPHIE and Arca will both perform in Brazil for the first time this weekend, headlining YAGA, a new São Paulo music festival celebrating queer and trans identity. The rest of the lineup mixes talent from Brazil’s underground (like Linn da Quebrada and BADSISTA, who recently made a track together for Kelela’s new remix album) with international artists (Total Freedom, Juliana Huxtable, and more).
The festival takes place just days after recent elections that saw Jair Bolsonaro voted president. Bolsonaro campaigned on a violent, fascist platform, romanticising life under Brazil’s brutal military dictatorship of the 1960s to 80s; he’s also a self-proclaimed “proud homophobe” who claimed to be “incapable of loving a gay son”.
“Partying in Brazil is inherently political, and queer nightlife in São Paulo is at a crossroads,” says YAGA’s co-founder Sophie Secaf in the festival press release. “The party scene is really the first place to have given many LGBTQ+ people in São Paulo a voice and a livelihood. It’s flourished in recent years, but now we’re all fearful of increased crackdowns on how queer people utilise public spaces.”
YAGA is giving away free and discounted tickets depending on income to support LGBTQ+ attendance. The festival takes place on November 3 and 4, and tickets are now for sale here.