Glee star Alex Newell tapped as Chicago Pride Fest headliner

Thu. February 20, 2014 3:16 PM by Andy Ambrosius

alex newell

photo credit // facebook

Chicago Pride Fest slated for Saturday, June 21 from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday, June 22 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Chicago, IL - Alex Newell, an actor and singer best known for his role as Wade "Unique" Adams on Glee, is officially slated to take the stage as one of Chicago Pride Fest's headliners, a source confirmed with

The annual festival is returning to Boystown for the 12th year June 21-22, the weekend before the city's annual Pride Parade that draws hundreds-of-thousands to Chicago. Newell is scheduled to perform Sunday, June 22.

The openly gay performer rose to stardom after taking second place on the Oxygen Network's reality TV show The Glee Project. Newell won a two-episode stint on Fox's comedy series Glee playing the somewhat controversial "Unique," a male-to-female transgender teen.

Newell's performance and big vocal skills gained him additional time on the show, and by Glee's fifth season, Unique was promoted to a main character of the ensemble cast.

Musical guests who headlined Pride Fest 2013 included AubreyO'Day, Jessica Sutta and Dev, among many others. It was the first year Pride Fest organizers experimented by hosting the festival the weekend before the Pride Parade. The success of that model, however, has area officials giving the green light to continue to "Pride Week" theme.

"We have approval for Pride Fest to be held the weekend before [the Pride Parade]," Paul Cannella told Cannella sits on the board of the Northalsted Business Alliance and owns popular Boystown bars Scarlet and Taverna 750.

"It's all set for 2014, and it was a great success last year," he continued. "Neighbors and businesses really didn't have anything negative to say about the new setup, so the alderman was in support of doing it again. ... Pride Fest is really becoming a great festival in terms of the talent and the buzz."

Organized by the Northalsted Business Alliance, Chicago Pride Fest is scheduled for Saturday, June 21 from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday, June 22 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. The event is located on North Halsted Street between Addison and Grace. The same group organizes Northalsted Market Days.