The 3rd Annual Harvey Milk Festival (HMF) will take place in Five Points Park, located in the historic downtown district of Sarasota, Florida from May 10th-12th, 2012. The festival’s mission is to promote emerging artists in music, art, and film, raising awareness of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) equality.

Admission is free.

HMF is held in honor of the late Harvey Milk, an American equal rights activist and politician who became the first openly gay man to be elected to a public office.

Founder and HMF Board President Shannon Fortner believes this year’s lineup will continue the tradition of celebrating artists who foster equality, earning the festival a national reputation for discovering new talent.

The 2012 HMF headliner is Breton. Hailing from the UK, Breton is comprised of filmmakers and musicians who create edgy cinematic live performances to compliment its dubstep/electro-house sound. The Guardian tagged Breton as ‘the multimedia Massive Attack.’ In March 2012, the band’s debut album ‘Other People’s Problems’ debuted in the top 5 the Amazon UK charts. The US album release was April 3rd.

Co-headliners include Minneapolis minimal synth-pop trio CLAPS and Sarasota locals MeteorEYES.

Other musicians scheduled to appear include The August Name, The Pauses, The Sexual Side Effects, Cassolette, HenryHenryHenry!, Elysian Sex Drive, The Northwest, The Send Offs, and (the) Umbrella Cult. Artist John Baden of San Francisco, California will add to the festivities by creating a large-scale canvas mural during the event.

The official after party for the music portion of the festival will be held at Throb Nightclub. The special guest performer will be DiDa Ritz from RuPaul’s Drag Race. The five-dollar cover will be donated to the festival for any attendee wearing an official HMF bracelet.

On May 10th, HMF will host a screening of the music documentary Hit So Hard: The Life and Near Death Story of Patty Schemel at the Selby Public Library. The film, which includes never-before-seen footage of Kurt Cobain, depicts the gripping true-life story of Hole drummer Patty Schemel’s battle with drug addiction at the height of the band’s fame. A reception for the film will take place at The Ivory Lounge following the screening.

On May 11th, ‘The Silent T’ Art Opening will be held at The Ivory Lounge, presenting work from local and national artists on the theme of equality. The band Zulu Wave is set to perform. Artists interested in submitting a painting or sculpture should send a hi-res photo of the work to

For artist info or interview requests:

The Festival’s Board of Directors includes President Shannon Fortner, Vice-President Turner Moore, Secretary Elisha Cash, Treasurer Matt Rogers, and Board Director Jen O’Connor.