After a weekend chock full of glitter, rainbows, and queer folks celebrating their community, NYC Pride officially came to a close on Sunday night (June 26) with a flashy dance-pop performance from Kim Petras.
The “I Don’t Want It At All” singer took to the stage as headliner at Sunday’s Pride Island, NYC Pride’s annual music festival that returned to an in-person, two-day celebration this year at Governors Island’s Play Lawn. Stepping out onto the stage in a white structured corset and black booty shorts, the trans pop phenomenon immediately launched into her rousing, though surprisingly short, set.
The singer wasted no time once she took to the stage, launching into a full performance of her latest EP Slut Pop. Hitting each of the project’s seven songs in rapid-succession, Petras pulled out her best dance moves as she led a cadre of crop-top-sporting backup dancers through the whole performance. Once she reached project highlight “XXX,” she even pulled out a hot pink whip, snapping up squeals from the audience.
Once she was finished running through her EP, Petras took a seat on the stage’s steps and spoke to the audience. “Happy f—king Pride,” she said with a grin. “I wanna say, I’m a trans girl from Germany, and the first time I felt like I fit in anywhere was in New York. Thank you, I love you b—-hes.”
Pausing in the middle of her set, Petras took a moment to call out the Supreme Court’s recent decision overturning Roe v. Wade, effectively removing federal protections for abortion rights in America. While never calling the decision out specifically, Petras pointedly called out the powers that be over their desire to control women’s bodies. “I don’t think gender should define what you can and can’t do with your f—ing body,” she said to deafening cheers from the crowd. “You know what it is, I just wanna let you know I’m f—king here for you.”
Leaping to her feet, Petras spent the rest of her set giving fans something to dance to, blasting through favorites such as “Future Starts Now” and “Heart to Break,” the latter of which she prefaced with a heartfelt acknowledgement: “This is the song that started it all!”
Reaching her tenth and final song in the roughly 30-minute set, Petras whipped out “Coconuts,” her chest-shaking, tongue-in-cheek single. With a final, strut-filled number, Petras waved goodbye to her fans as a set of fireworks exploded over New York Harbor.
Prior to Petras’s performance, festival goers were treated to ground-shaking sets from DJs including Eddie Martinez, Joe Pacheco and Alex Chapman, who Petras recently collaborated with on their single “Horsey.” The stage was filled with go-go dancers and glittering light shows as the crowd bounced along.
Before Petras took to the stage on Sunday, several other performers brought the party to NYC Pride. Saturday’s event saw headliner Lil’ Kim light up the stage, with performances throughout the day from artists including Shenseea, Netta, Raye and Papi Juice.
2022 marked Pride Island’s first year back entirely in-person after shutting down in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19. This was also the festival’s first year being hosted at Governors Island, while previous years saw headliners such as Madonna, Kylie Minogue, Tove Lo and more performed at Manhattan’s Pier 97.