On Saturday, September 21, 2019, the second annual Rule Breakers event took place at LeFrak Center at Lakeside in Prospect Park. The event by Bustle featured performances by Abir, Jesse Jo Stark, Betty Who, and Lizzo with appearances by Busy Philipps, Katelyn Ohashi (and her former coach Valorie Kondos Field, a.k.a. Miss Val), and Stacey Abrams. The consensus throughout the day was that mostly everyone in attendance was there to see the singing/rapping/flautist powerhouse known as Lizzo and she was the perfect day to end the day long festival that celebrates women who break established rules. Her set seemed to be a condensed version of her current “Cuz I Love You Too” tour, performing songs from that album with the exception of “Good As Hell” and her current number one single, “Truth Hurts,” which was originally released as a single in 2017.
I first saw Lizzo live four years ago and her rise has been an absolute joy to watch. When I saw her headline the intimate Mercury Lounge in 2016, I encouraged friends to get tickets by saying she wouldn’t be headlining small spaces like this much longer. I ended up being right as she is doing two sold out shows at Radio City Music tonight and Tuesday (September 24th) after selling out multiple shows at Brooklyn Steel earlier this year.
The Rule Breakers event celebrated women on the stage and had a large number in attendance but it was extremely disappointing to see only a couple of female photographers approved to cover the event in the pit when there are so many women photographers to choose from to document the event (I requested to cover it for an outlet and never received a response). According to Lizzo, a male photographer was being pushy on the red carpet and she defended Stacey Abrams.
Hopefully this aspect will change to make an active effort to hire and include more women photographers for future Bustle events.