DIVA was proud to partner with the inaugural event championed by the queer queen of rock herself, Melissa Etheridge
BY ELEANOR NOYCE, IMAGE BY SIXTHMAN
This week, swathes of Melissa Etheridge fans from across the world came together in Cancun, Mexico for Etheridge Island. The first festival of its kind, it featured an inspiring line-up with the likes of KT Tunstall, Antigone Rising, Elle King, Delta Rae and, of course, Melissa herself. DIVA was proud to be media partnering with this incredible event.
The first day started off strong with performances from Wendy Moten, Jackie Venson and Larkin Poe. There were pool parties, welcome photos and autograph sessions with the line-up, allowing attendees to connect with their favourite artists, Melissa included. A powerful tribute to LGBTQI visibility and the importance of community, the atmosphere was palpable. One of our favourite signs – visible at Melissa Etheridge’s performance – read: “Fan years: 20. Show: 20. Writer of my life’s soundtrack: 1.”
We enjoyed a delightfully entertaining game of family fued with Melissa Etheridge, Antigone Rising, Sarah Kate Ellis-Henderson and Kristen Ellis-Henderson, and one of our highlights of the weekend was experiencing an interpretive dance performance issued by a BSL interpreter. Interpreting Melissa’s songs point blank is a positive step towards accessibility: music and dance are soulful experiences, and this was truly channelled throughout.
On Friday, DIVA publisher Linda Riley spoke about her work and DIVA’s importance as a publication. The community element of the festival was similarly omnipresent, with the LGBTQI+ Social taking place at Rendezvous Bar at Secrets. Coming out in the 1990s, Melissa Etheridge has provided vital representation for her queer fans across the world. Etheridge Island was a week-long celebration of her legacy and her achievements, alongside an uplift of other LGBTQI women and non-binary people and their allies across the music industry.
“A huge thank you to everyone that joined us on the first-ever Etheridge Island”, the organisation states. “The memories we made and the experiences we had are sure to last a lifetime. Melissa Etheridge and Sixthman will continue to work together to determine the possibilities of future events.”
If you’d like to hear more about future collaborations, join the Sixthman mailing list here. Want to experience the magic? Follow Etheridge Island on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or visit their website.
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