Overheard in the all-gender restroom at Los Angeles’ first annual @GOWEST_FEST, hosted by Charli XCX and Troye Sivan was this chant:
“Don’t play stupid, don’t play dumb, tell ‘em where you really from!”
The girl chuckled in the stall to her friend as she quoted Pussy Riot, just one of the bands playing, while I listened to her zipping up her pants. Aside from the Russian revolutionaries, Dorian Electra, Allie X, Carlie Hanson, Chika, DJ Alima Lee, Dj Baby Uniq, Dj Ko aka Koala, Gia Gunn, Leland, and Quay Dash all graced the stage.
Zippers abounded last night at the Wiltern, along with hair bleach and juul smoke. The answer to where we’re all really from, according to the artists, is vagina. I continued playing with the Glossier gift set that everyone got at the door, a swag bag promoting Troye Sivan’s new collection with the makeup brand.
A lot of cool brands were represented at the concert. After stepping out of the bathroom, I made my way to the balcony, where the artist’s circle was represented. These were groups who were selling swag, but also making sure that the queer artists present at the show were being paid for the fun.
“I have so many LGBT+ artists that I adore who are making such great work in music but also in visual art, design, photography… that I wanted to throw a party to celebrate.” Troye Sivan said of his mission statement for Go West Fest in an interview with i-D.
I spoke with Faye Orlove, the founder of Junior High, a non-profit organization in Los Angeles. She worked with Clear as Day, the production company who put together the event to curate a selection of special vendors for Go West Fest. She told me that she was in charge of selecting local and emerging queer artists to vend, and then Troye picked some of his favorites.
“Everyone here has been vetted and is loved by the community, and we verified that they were paid!”
Review by Tulip Texas
Photography by Mars Arayza @mars.arayza