Oxford Pride Weekend Performers
I do everything by touch, feel, smell, and taste. I will feel the hams, and I will know when they are ready to move onto a second salting. You know how grapevines, they will trim off most all of the blooms and leave only a few so that all the nutrients go to these few? Well, I kind of do the same with the salt.~ Sydney Meers
Sydney Meers was born and raised in Senatobia, Mississippi, where he learned to cook from his grandmother at her restaurant, Johnson Cafe. He never forgot those early lessons, but has continued both classical and less formal training, cooking his way across the South and up the Atlantic coast to expand his repertoire of flavors. His cross-cultural cuisine and care for ingredients has earned Meers a nomination for the James Beard award.
As well as being an incredible chef and the owner of Stove restaurant in Portsmouth, Virginia, Sydney Meers is also known for his artwork. He describes his art as “a little bit folk art, a little political, sometimes even the goofy religious cults get in there but generally irreverent in some ways.”
Big Freedia, known as the Queen of Bounce, is a New Orleans-based rapper and ambassador of Bounce music worldwide. A vibrant twist on hip-hop, Bounce is characterized by call and response lyrics over rapid-fire beats and accelerated—sometimes scandalous—booty-shaking.
After running the New Orleans club scene for over two decades, Big Freedia is now bringing the Bounce movement to a world-wide stage with her hit reality show, “Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce” on Fuse TV. The weekly docu-series, now in its fifth season, follows the life of a young gay choirboy-turned international recognized Bounce performer, TV star, and author.
In 2016, Big Freedia made a splash when she roared ‘I Came To Slay’ on Beyonce’s ‘Formation.’ In 2015, Big Freedia released her debut LP, Just Be Free. Named one of the ‘best electronic releases of 2014′ by Rolling Stone, the album was critically acclaimed in outlets such as Pitchfork, SPIN, USA Today, and Consequence of Sound.
More, Big Freedia penned her first memoir, Big Freedia: God Save the Queen Diva! on Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster. The book was hailed in the press by outlets from Rolling Stone and Pitchfork to OUT and BUST.
Big Freedia maintains a rigorous tour schedule which features her legendary shake team and Bounce dance moves like “the twerk” (popularized by Miley Cyrus in 2013), “the shake” “the wiggle,” “the bend ova,” and the “hands on the ground.” She and her team are festival favorites, known for stealing shows at Outside Lands, Fun Fun Fun Fest, and Bumbershoot.