Kick off the new decade at Gay8 (Gay Ocho) Festival, Miami’s multi-platform celebration, this President’s Day weekend. The yearly event is hosted by 4Ward Miami, a non-profit organization connecting many of South Florida’s diverse communities and providing inclusion for the LGBTQI community. The weekend festivities begin with the 4Ward Americas LGBTQI Human Rights, Business Expo and Life Symposium on Friday, February 14 and Saturday, February 15, and the Gay8 Festival, a celebration of diversity, inclusion, dance, music, art and culture on Sunday, February 16 in Little Havana. The three-day scintillating event will combine top notch, live entertainment with diverse cultural programming and community engagement as individuals and organizations with unique backgrounds and experiences gather to create positive action towards a better South Florida future.

The free festival will feature live entertainment by Grammy and Emmy award-winning artist, Albita, along with Lucy Grau, Pepper Mashay, Son Lokos, Robbie Elias, and internationally acclaimed DJ Abel, of the Rosabel duo. Gay8 Festival attendees will enjoy music, dancing, art, film and tasty food, highlighting the best of South Florida. The family-friendly celebration will also feature Miami’s Best Sandwich competition hosted by local food blogger Sef Gonzalez, aka Burger Beast, along with a variety of fashion shows, drag performances and a Comparsa sponsored by CubaOcho to close out the night. There will be special parties and after parties hosted by Ball & Chain, Cuba Ocho and El Diablo. The festival is set to attract Tens of thousands of guests and 70 vendors, making it the largest Hispanic/Latino/Latinx LGBTQ hosted festival in the nation. People from all over South Florida and the world  will gather to celebrate diversity and inclusion in one of Miami’s historic Latin neighborhoods facing widespread gentrification. 

“The Gay8 Festival is a safe space where place where people bathe in authenticity and are enthralled to celebrate each other’s differences. People are encouraged to #LiveYourStoryHere,” says Damian Pardo, Co-Founder of 4Ward Miami. “With the 4Ward Americas Symposium, we are creating an educational and inspirational avenue moving our South Florida community forward by accomplishing our goal to promote LGBTQI diversity and inclusivity, economic status and civil rights on a local, state-wide and international platform.”

The 4Ward Americas LGBTQI Human Rights, Business Expo and Life Symposium will be hosted at the Miami Beach Convention Center this year. The second annual symposium is a forum for promoting awareness, connectivity, and regional community building making strides toward a better future for all. The two-day event will bring six different tracks focused on human rights, business, financial literacy, civic and cultural engagement, spirituality, and healthcare. 

Some of this year’s panel topics include:

Climate Gentrification (Nadege Green of the CLEO Institute)

LGBTQ Tourism and the Pink Dollar (GMCVB) 

Staying Fresh (Dr. Daniel Careaga)

Transgender Health Care (Dr. Diane Bruessow)

Living Intentional Relationships (Christian de la Huerta)

Decolonizing Human Rights Workshop (South Florida People of Color)

How to Run for Office? Get involved in local politics (SAVE)

To learn more about the Gay8 Festival and the 4Ward Americas LGBTQI Human Rights, Business Expo and Life Symposium, please visit: and