Just GO! 21 of our Faves…

We put together a list of the hottest queer happenings so you don’t have to lift a finger (unless you want to).

Across the country, queer-women-centered festivals, events, and parties are attracting larger crowds than ever. You won’t want to miss a thing, and with GO’s ‘Happenings’ section, you don’t have to! Whether you want to lounge poolside with a fruity drink in hand, do some high-camp camping, or quench your thirst at the newest queer bar, there’s something for everyone. We put together a list of the hottest queer happenings so you don’t have to lift a finger (unless you want to).

Let’s Start with NYC

NYC Pride: Teaze

New York, NY, June 22

NYC Pride kicks off their massive celebrations on June 22 with TEAZE: a 21+ event “teazing” some of the best partying NYC has to offer. Get ready to dance the day away to music from beloved DJs and performers at one of Brooklyn’s best party venues, Club Lambda, from 2-10pm. NYC Pride promises a night of “electrifying beats, mesmerizing performances, and a celebration of love and liberation.”

VIP admission gets you admission into TEAZE (along with multiple other bars), open bar from 2-4pm, fast lane access, and exclusive giveaway items. The VIP Table Experience includes six tickets with bottle and hookah options. Tickets start at $47.78.

Queerpalooza

New York, NY, June 27-30

Photo by @official_kaikai

Raw Honey, everyone’s favorite QTBIPOC party planners, have released their marathon of sexy and exciting events this Pride Season. Since it was founded in 2022 by Gabrielle Hitchens, Raw Honey has garnered over 13,000 followers on Instagram and was chosen to be the official host of NYC Pride’s PrideFest in 2022. This year, Raw Honey is throwing the days-long Queerpalooza, and a portion of all proceeds will go to QTBIPOC community aid. Organizers reiterate that Raw Honey parties are designed specifically to be a safe space for Black and brown queer people.

Raw Honey’s Pride weekend kicks off on the dance floor. Head over to Lovejoys in East Williamsburg on Thursday, June 27th from 7pm-12am for Queerpalooza’s Kick-Off Party. You can snag an early bird discounted ticket for $23, but only if you act fast.

On Friday, June 28th from 10:30pm-4am, Silo in Williamsburg will turn into a hypnotizing Strip Club Experience, complete with a dance competition. Tickets start at $45.

If you’re feeling hungover on Saturday, June 29th from the nights before (remember, Pride is a marathon, not a sprint!), head over to The Day Party at The Bogart House for some hair of the dog. Starting at 4pm and going till 10pm, it’s the place to recharge yourself for the wild weekend to come. Tickets start at $33.

But don’t go home yet! Creep on over to Putnam Pub to take The Day Party late into the night, from 10:30pm-4am. This two-floor dance party is sure to get wild. Make sure to grab some energy drinks because the celebration is going all night! Ticket prices start at $23.

If you are 28 or over, don’t miss The Day Party at Jolene’s Sound Room on Sunday, June 30th from 3pm-7pm. Enjoy a mixer made just for mature folx who know how to have a good time. Tickets are $28.

Queerpalooza is going out with a bang with their Grand Finale at The Sultan Room on Sunday, June 30th. The karaoke and dance party is sure to be the biggest and baddest event of the week. From 7pm-2am, the bar’s rooftop and two main floors will be packed with QTBIPOC hotties from all over NYC and beyond, celebrating Pride. Tickets start at $25.

Hungry? Head next door to The Sultan Room’s sister venue, The Turk’s Inn, to grab a bite, open from 6pm-11pm. You’ll need fuel if you want to party all night long.

A limited number of free community tickets for all events will be dropped on June 21 at noon on a first-come first-serve basis.

NYC Pride: Bliss Days

New York NY, June 30

Photo by NYCPride.org

NYC Pride is celebrating LGBTQIA+ women, non-binary and gender non-conforming people at The DL on June 30. Between 2-10pm, rotating DJs, dancers, pop-up performances, and special guests will keep the dance floor popping and party rocking.

Formerly known as Femme Fatale, Bliss Days has been reintroduced to show light, love, and appreciation for all of the womxn in our community.

Tickets start at $35. General admission grants you access to all floors, DJ sets, indoor/outdoor spaces, and drink specials, while VIP tickets include an open bar from 2-4pm, fast lane access, and an exclusive VIP room. This is one of NYC Pride’s most popular parties of the year, so be sure to grab your tickets quickly.

Tribeca Film Festival

New York, NY, June 5-16

For all of our gay film nerds, the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City will feature over 100 films this year, shining a big spotlight on queer filmmakers. My Best Friend, written and directed by Emmy-award winner Elina Street and executive produced by GO Magazine, is a short film portraying two best friends who sleep together and what happens after. The dramatic and, at times, heartbreaking flick accurately depicts the confusing nature of intimacy – all within its 18 minute duration.

My Best Friend is a moment in time when two humans are in total synchronicity, and the next day it’s a different story. It’s something that happened to me and many people around me, I wanted to tell the story of that particular moment,” Street says.

My Best Friend Film Still for Tribeca Film Festival

Behind the scenes, the crew was made up of 95% women, most of whom identify as queer. “Creating a film about queer female intimacy with a queer female-led team was a dream come true,” Street says. “My goal as a director is to create a space where my actors can feel vulnerable in a safe environment. I also wanted to cultivate a healthy set in order to elevate their performances in the most organic way.”

There are at least 15 other LGBTQ+ films to catch at the festival this year. 1-800-ON-HER-OWN is a documentary examining the life of bisexual musician Ani DiFranco, who rose to popularity in the ‘90s. I’m Your Venus dives into the unsolved murder of Venus Xtravaganza, one of the stars of the legendary documentary Paris is Burning. Sabbath Queen is about Rabbi Amichai Lau-Lavie, a former Orthodox Rabbi and current drag queen. If you’re looking for a laugh, Outstanding: A Comedy Revolution is a queer stand- up documentary featuring archival footage and interviews with legends like Rosie O’Donnell, Lily Tomlin, and Fortune Feimster. Griffin in the Summer tells the coming-of-age story of 14-year-old Griffin, who is crushing on a local handyman over summer break. Crossing follows Lia, who travels to Istanbul to find her long-lost niece, but meets a lawyer dedicated to trans rights and subsequently becomes integrated in the trans community. Rent Free explores the queer friendship between two teens, Ben and Jordan, who attempt to live rent free for a year by couch-surfing.

This year, in partnership with AT&T, the festival will award $1 million to a team of systemically underrepresented filmmakers to assist in developing their film and guarantee a premiere at next year’s festival.

Passes and ticket packages are available now, starting at $60.

LezVolley

Cherry Grove, Fire Island, NY, August 10

Photo By Liz Arocena

Looking to get sweaty on an island full of lesbians? Look no further than LezVolley. The annual women’s volleyball tournament has grown to 30 teams over the past 13 years, making it the most popular lesbian event on Fire Island. This year’s tournament is sponsored by the historic Stonewall Inn, along with various local brands. If you’re not a player, it’s free to set up your beach blanket on the sidelines to get the best view.

Although the event began hyper-locally, it has since drawn in an international crowd. Owners and founders Danielle Stanziale and Kristine Bungay tell GO Mag that social media is to thank. After creating a TikTok page in 2022, millions of people have viewed LezVolley’s videos. Stanziale and Bungay say the overwhelming enthusiasm for their social media posts highlights a need for more events like LezVolley.

“The new generations, for instance, have never seen anything like [LezVolley] because most events are inclusive to everyone within the queer community, and [….] LezVolley [offers] a different atmosphere that seems to resonate within the female side of the queer community,” Danielle says.

Several players have come from England, Canada, and France in recent years. The only downside of the event’s growing popularity, the owners say, is the limited physical space of Cherry Grove. They can’t host more than 5 courts or 30 teams at the moment, but they’ve got a solution in the works.

“To answer the increasing demand for events like ours, we are currently working on an extension to the LezVolley weekend. While our first home will always remain on Fire Island (don’t worry, we are not going anywhere!) we are looking to extend the event to another East Coast state, and maybe one day to the West Coast. Stay tuned!”

Rynn Restaurant

New York, NY

Photo Courtesy of Rynn 

Rynn is a modern Thai restaurant in NYC’s East Village, owned by partners Natchaya Klinkajon and Serena Throngsri, along with chef Hataichanok Pruksaprawpong.

Rynn, or “รนิ น,์ ” means “pouring,” which reflects the inspiration behind the restaurant: the desire to pour memories into everything the owners serve. The trio blends authentic traditions with modern innovation, delivering a new approach to the cuisine.

“Every dish and cocktail served at Rynn is carefully crafted using ingredients and details inspired by the memories and childhood experiences of its members,” the owners explain. Dishes like La Tiang, an ancient shrimp and pork dish encased in egg, honors Thai tradition. A more contemporary point of view is taken with the Tum Strawberry, a spicy berry salad with a touch of fish sauce.

“Rynn is a place where memories come to life through the art of culinary creations and mixology,” Klinkajon tells GO. “Being life partners [with Serena] as well as being business partners makes both of us put everything we possibly can – love, dedication, knowledge, and hospitality – into Rynn.”

Whatever you choose to sink your teeth into, Rynn guarantees a culinary experience that is both comforting and exciting. “It’s a place where nostalgia blends with creativity to create a unique and unforgettable dining experience.”

ANIMAL

Brooklyn, NY

A new queer bar has opened its doors in Brooklyn. ANIMAL, located at 307 Meeker Avenue, celebrated their opening earlier this year with music by Michael Magnan. The bar has since welcomed artists including Alissa Briana, Gant Johnson, Danny Clobber, DJ Donofrio, S’aint Panic, and DJ William Francis.

Don’t let the minimal exterior fool you – the interior is basked in the glow of red lights and a disco ball. ANIMAL is the perfect place to loose yourself in the music, and dance the night away. Co-owners Jim Morrison Hevert and Ashton Correa describe the bar as a “love letter to the energy of New York.”

Stonewall National Monument Visitor Center

New York, NY, June 28

A visitor center is set to open this June beside the Stonewall National Monument on Christopher Street, between Waverly Place and Seventh Avenue South. The visitor center’s mission is to “preserve, advance, and celebrate the legacy of the Stonewall Rebellion.”

The 2,000-square-foot site took over $3 million and more than two years to renovate. It includes many authentic aspects of Stonewall and a few special partnerships set to be unveiled later this month.

“I’m really excited for the public to come in and see it and experience it,” says Diana Rodriguez, the founder of PrideLive. “We started this [project] six years ago and I think it’s more important now than when we started it,” she says, referencing the anti-trans and anti-queer legislation circling the U.S.

SNMVC is the first LGBTQ+ visitor center within the National Parks Service. The Stonewall National Monument became the first National Parks Service site dedicated to LGBTQ+ history in 2016, when it was designated by President Obama.

Rash

New York, NY

Snuggled directly below the Myrtle Avenue subway station, stands a line of queers in fishnets and dark eyeliner, waiting for their hands to be stamped with a tiny ‘r.’

A wall of smoke greets guests at the front door and strobing white spotlights illuminate the dance floor, which is split into two rooms by a set of archways. The entire club is flooded with red lights. Even the bright EXIT signs seem to sit purposefully above the doorways.

The drinks are strong and delicious – from a Midori Sour to a spiked coconut water. A set of gender neutral bathrooms hug the corner. An oval-shaped stage is parked in the middle of the dance floors and a DJ booth sits in the far back corner- making it a perfect performance space.

If you aren’t familiar with the subtle ‘r’ logo, you might pass the building without a second thought. That is, until you hear the pulsing music pounding down Willoughby Avenue. Yay Spray, a live trio, kicked off Rash’s opening night on April 3 with the smooth sounds of sax, guitar and drums, accompanied by a visiting bass player. Two DJs SCRAATCH and DrumLoop took over soon after with pulsing beats.

On opening night, the dance floor was flooded by a crowd of loyal locals, who had been anxiously awaiting the bar’s reopening since it was burned down two years earlier. The bar had only been open for a mere five months in 2022 when a man splashed gasoline across the floor and set off an explosion with his lighter. Two employees were injured, and the local safe space was gutted.

Then 24-year-old John Lhota was arrested shortly after but was not charged with a hate crime. “In the last couple of years, it seems there’s no question that violence against queer nightlife has been on the rise,” says Jake Sillen, one of Rash’s owners.

Shortly after the fire, Jake and co-owner Claire Bendiner started a GoFundMe page, which raised over $125,000 for staff medical bills and bar restorations. The donations, along with funds from their recently-dropped merch line, helped to slowly rebuild the safe space, much to the community’s relief.

As opening night wound down, many bar-goers dreamily sauntered outside to share cigarettes, chat, and take pictures in front of the graffitied brick wall. Their smiles said it all: this Rash doesn’t need an ointment.

Get Outta Town…

Olivia Travel

International Trips, held throughout the year

Photo Courtesy of Olivia Travel

Over three decades ago, 600 women climbed aboard a “concert on a cruise” for an all-women 4-day trip to the Bahamas. Now, Olivia Travel has rightfully earned the title of the most popular lesbian travel group by hosting over 300 trips for 350,000 women since 1990. And this year, they want to take you on the trip of a lifetime.

Olivia will be chartering their first-ever large ship cruise to Alaska early this Fall. The seven-day cruise, on Holland America’s Eurodam, will set sail round-trip from Seattle, Washington, on September 21-28. The ship will make stops in Juneau, Glacier Bay, Icy Strait Point, Sitka and Ketchikan, Alaska, and Victoria, British Columbia. All meals, including 24-hour room service, are included, along with access to an onboard casino, fitness center, swimming pool, spa, and fitness center. Once docked in Alaska, guests can hike up Mount Roberts or catch a glimpse of wildlife on a whale-watching tour. Later in the week, Olivia travelers will take a few scenic cruising trips around Alaska before trying their luck at salmon fishing.

If fishing and hiking aren’t your thing, Olivia is also chartering an eight-day luxury cruise to Tahiti from September 5-12. What’s better than a bunch of lesbians in a rainforest? On board the Windstar Star Breeze yacht, guests will visit Papeete, Moorea, Raiatea, Motu Mahaea (Taha’a), Bora Bora, and Huahine. Along with meals and room service, unlimited use of all water sports equipment are included with your ticket. The recently-renovated ship boasts three restaurants, including Spanish restaurant Cuadro 44 in partnership with Anthony Sasso, one of the youngest chefs to be recognized by the Michelin Guide. Excursions include a group dolphin-watching expedition with a marine biologist, kayaking, snorkeling, and a helicopter tour at sunset. Once docked in French Polynesia, travelers can climb Mount Temehani in search of the rare tiare apetahi flower, which grows only there.

Olivia is also exploring the Greek Isles in October. Promising to show off the best of what the Isles have to offer, the eight-day cruise is making stops in Athens (Piraeus), Santorini, Crete, and Rhodes, Greece, as well as Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey, before wrapping up in Mykonos, Greece. The ship offers 7 restaurants onboard. Meals, standard spirits, beer, and wine are included with the purchase of a ticket. For history buffs, the ancient sightseeing opportunities abound: a visit to the Temple of Olympian Zeus, the Acropolis, and the Colossus of Rhodes (one of the Seven Wonders of the World). There’s also an option to take a donkey ride to visit the capital city Fira, which sits 900 feet above sea. Or, if you are less into adventure and more into luxuriating, take a stroll along the countryside with a glass of wine.

The year of the lesbian does not end after 2024 – it just gets better. 2025 will mark the travel company’s 35th anniversary, which will be celebrated with their largest cruise ever. Nearly 3,000 LGBTQ+ women are meeting up in Fort Lauderdale, FL and heading to Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos Islands; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Road Town, Tortola, BVI; Half Moon Cay, Bahamas, Olivia’s private island in the Caribbean. Olivia Travel promises it’ll be an unforgettable trip to mark the milestone filled with entertainment, parties, excursions, and special events, including a signature Coral GAL-a.

Grab another stamp on your passport, spend that tax return, and make lifelong queer friends! Book an Olivia trip.

Women’s Week

Provincetown, MA, October 14-20

Provincetown for Women has come a long way since its beginning as a humble seaside getaway. 2024 marks the 40th anniversary of the celebration.

“We are thrilled, honored, and very moved to be planning our milestone 40th Anniversary celebration,” Women’s Week Director Lynette Molnar tells GO. “What started as a gathering of women for a clambake on the beach in 1984 has evolved into the longest- running event of its kind, drawing people from every corner of the country and around the world.”

This year’s massive event schedule includes 350 different activities. From yoga and vineyard tastings, to whale watching and silent protests, there’s something for everyone.

Provincetown for Women doesn’t end there. The LGBTQ+ focused organization promotes multiple events throughout the year to grow the P-town economy and create a safe space for queer women to be themselves. Their annual Lesbian Visibility Week (April 22-28) schedule offers events designed to meet queer elders, learn about lesbian history, read tarot cards, and more. For those looking for a romantic connection, Single Women’s Weekend (May 17-19) could be the answer to your gay prayers. The summer wouldn’t be complete without Girl Splash (July 24-27), which offers a weekend of theme parties, lesbian outings, and pride events.

“The longevity of Women’s Week is a true testament to the deep need it fulfills in the community, and to the persistence and dedication of all the volunteer organizers who’ve ensured its continuation for four decades,” says Molnar. “We can’t wait to welcome everyone coming to this momentous celebration. It’s going to be EPIC!”

Stargaze Festival

Tolland, MA, August 23-25

Nature-loving queers, unite! Located in a woodsy oasis in Massachusetts, Stargaze Festival offers three days of live music and dance parties catered to LGBTQ+ women, non-binary, and trans people. Festival goers will sleep (and party) under the stars on Camp Timber Trails, which was founded in 1967. Tickets start at $250.

“The Stargaze community is the way life should be: fun, beautiful, and all inclusive. Stargaze lets women, non-binary, and trans people live free without judgment, expectations, or limitations. Life is truly what you make it,” says creator Beth McGurr.

ELLA International Lesbian Festival

Mallorca, Spain, August 16-24

Photo Courtesy of ELLA Festival

ELLA Festival welcomes all queer women and non-binary folks from around the globe. This is the eighth year ELLA will hold their seven day festival on the island of Mallorca, Spain. There will be workshops with international speakers during the day and parties with the best artists and DJs at night. Everyone from locals to couples to solo travelers are welcome. Tickets range from $15 for a single event to an $800 experience pack.

ELLA is offering all GO readers an exclusive 5% discount when you use the code ELLAGOMAG on any tickets purchased on their site.

“Queer women from across the United States can gather at ELLA Festival Mallorca 2024 to create memories that transcend borders. From live music and dance parties to inspiring talks and curated excursions, every moment is crafted to be unforgettable,” ELLA Project Manager Sarah Lavender tells GO.

Womenfest

Key West, FL, September 4-8

Photo By Larry Blackburn Photography

For the past 20 years, Womenfest has been carving out a fun and safe space in Key West for all queer women – as long as you’re over 21. It’s known as the hottest all-ladies party in the Florida Keys. The week is full of beach parties, boat parties, drag parties…and a “vibrator race” for charity. If you’re looking for something outside the party atmosphere, Womenfest will also host beach clean-ups, art workshops, a 90s female alt-rock cover show, and a clothing-option snorkel trip.

“Key West Womenfest offers a wide range of activities for those who want to socialize, feel comfortable being themselves, soak up some sun, then party and dance the night away,” says Fritzie Estimond, Associate Director of the Key West Business Guild.

Key West is known internationally as a gay hotspot and Womenfest welcomes hundreds of queer women every year. “Womenfest has a simple goal: to celebrate ALL women!” Estimond continues.

“Since its introduction over 20 years ago, Key West Womenfest has become a standard for celebrating women ages 21 and over. Couples, singles, and those in between are all welcome!” Tickets are sold separately for each event.

The International Eressos Women’s Festival with Diva Destinations
Skala Eresou, Greece, September 10-20

Photo By Jen Grant

A lesbian getaway at a 4 star hotel in Sappho’s birthplace sounds too good to be true, but it exists! Let Diva Destinations host your trip to the International Eressos Women’s Festival, returning in 2024 for its seventh year of “engaging activities, events, workshops, shows, and concerts that aim to empower women and foster a sense of belonging.” Trips booked through Diva Destinations include your room at The Aeolian Hotel with a private beach and pool, breakfast, dinner, a return flight home, and plenty of activities. You may choose a 7 day or 14 day trip, but the actual festival takes place Sept 10-20.

“This is a magical event where women from all walks of life come together to celebrate their strength, diversity, and creativity. This festival is a unique opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals and create lifelong memories that will leave you inspired and uplifted for years to come,” Jen Grant, Founder and Partner at Diva Destinations, tells GO.

Hot Flash and Hotter Flash

Los Angeles, CA, Monthly

Photo Courtesy of Anna Goodman

It’s that time of the month – Hot Flash. This party is heating up for queer women 30 and over in LA. The event is the brainchild of Anna Goodman, a queer party promoter and community organizer, and Damn Good Dyke Nights, Goodman’s event company.

Hot Flash takes over Palihouse in West Hollywood every third Saturday of the month with drinks and music by a rotating list of guest DJs.

Hotter Flash is a monthly throw-down geared towards the 40+ crowd. The LA event, designed to create an intentional space for mature women looking to make friends and party, kicks off at 7pm on one Friday a month. The day varies, so be sure to check the organizer’s calendar. Hotter Flash typically takes over Butcher’s Daughter in West Hollywood – so you can add dinner to your night of drinks and dancing.

Goodman says that 40+ women “are thrilled that they can come out, enjoy dinner and dance to the music they know and love, have a place to sit if needed, connect with the “scene” again, and make it home and in bed by 11pm.”

Hotter Flash stands as LA’s only event for queer women over the age of 40. The turnout proves the need for the space and inspires the team to continue.

“The Hot and Hotter Flash series have been especially fulfilling for an older crowd that assumed their days of going out were over,” says Goodman. “The majority of queer events today center around GenZ, in loud, dark, crowded venues, starting late into the night.”

Both parties are advertised as a fun environment meant to embrace aging and eliminate the assumption that older women don’t party.

“It has been such a joy to see folks of all ages come out and enjoy community, making friends, meeting potential lovers, and having an exciting night out in a unique, safe, and inclusive environment,” Goodman tells GO. Tickets are available online and at the door.

Queersound

Los Angeles, CA, Monthly

Photo Courtesy of Queersound

Queersound is an LA-based concert series, highlighting queer artists and bands created by queer musician Danielle Lande in 2018.

Queersound, a monthly show at the Silverlake Lounge, describes itself as “a community built on authentic relationships and a desire to connect with others through music.” The collective also hosts shows at top venues around LA, including Resident, Moroccan Lounge, and Gold Diggers.

Queersound went on the road for the first time this May for their Iridescence Tour, featuring shows in Oregon, Washington, California, and British Columbia. The tour was headlined by Lande and Mermaid, to celebrate the band’s debut album Iridescence.

Back home in LA, Queersound welcomes a variety of queer artists, from indie-folk rock to slow jazz. It’s the perfect space to break out your instrument and perform, discover your new favorite artist, and make like-minded friends.

Watch Me!

Long Beach, CA

Sports-loving gays, rise up! Watch Me! is a brand new women’s sports bar coming to Long Beach, California. The bar is set to become Long Beach and Greater LA’s only women’s sports bar.

Owners Jax Diener and Emme Eddy took inspiration from the few other women’s sports bars across the country, including Sports Bra in Portland and Rough & Tumble in Seattle.

Diener and Eddy say the bar will be open to all kinds of fans, from die-hards to casual watchers. After raising over $13,000 through a ncrowdfunding campaign, Watch Me! will celebrate its grand opening on Friday, July 26 at 4pm.

Women in Film: The Artists Lounge

Los Angeles, CA, every 2nd Wednesday of the Month

Hosted at The Ruby Fruit, a wine bar for the sapphically-inclined in LA, The Artists Lounge is a networking event for queer women in film. The meet-up takes place every second Wednesday of the month from 11am-3pm. Women come together to brainstorm collabs or hunker down with their work-in-progress while drinking a natural orange wine or a free cup of coffee (with a $10 purchase).

The Ruby Fruit also hosts a trans-led evening mixer every Tuesday and a weekly coworking date for queers every Thursday. Poetry open mics and queereoke (karaoke for the gays) pop up on the occasional Friday night.

Open Dyke Night

Los Angeles, CA, Monthly

Photo Courtesy of Anna Goodman

Open Dyke Night is LA’s best (and only) lesbian piano bar karaoke night. It’s free and open to anyone 21+. The event takes place at Tramp Stamp Granny’s, a popular bar with “drinks, dancing & Upscale Debauchery.” The monthly party throws down every second Thursday of the month. Keep your eyes on Damn Good Dyke Nights event calendar to reserve your spot.

 


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