The Manchester Pride Festival is the flagship event of Manchester Pride which returns to the city this August Bank Holiday Weekend from 23 – 26 August.
The iconic event has been around for over 25 years and traditionally only takes place in Manchester’s historical Gay Village. This year, the Manchester Pride Festival is a massive combination of events, made up of Manchester Pride Live, the Candlelit Vigil, Superbia Weekend, the Gay Village Party, Manchester Pride Parade and Youth Pride Manchester.
Mark Fletcher, CEO of Manchester Pride, said: “This is such an exciting year for Manchester Pride. Not only have we secured a world-class line-up, but there are so many new elements to the festival that enable us to deliver something that truly is for everyone. We want festival go-ers to be able to choose their own Pride celebrations, whether that be through live performances at Mayfield, an LGBT+ party in the Gay Village, a sober space for arts and culture and a brand new event designed for a new generation of young LGBT+ people with Youth Pride MCR.”
He added: “We are so incredibly proud of this year’s event and hope that our audience can join is in what is set to be a Pride celebration like no other.”
Manchester Pride Live takes over the Bank Holiday Weekend on 24 and 25 August and has an incredible lineup of some of the biggest names in pop with headline performances from Years & Years and Ariana Grande on Saturday 24 and Sunday 25, respectively. Other amazing acts on the lineup include Emeli Sande, Becky Hill, Bananarama and Pixie Lott. Manchester Pride Live takes place at the Mayfield site in Piccadilly, with a number if different performance spaces. The Yard is a huge outdoor space, while indoors The Depot will host DJs and dance acts and The Concourse is home to a range of street food traders and bars with another stage area hosting pop up performances.
The Gay Village Party is a four day event over the whole Bank Holiday Weekend happening in Manchester’s Gay Village around Canal Street. In partnership with Thomas Cook Airlines, the pride party will bring a massive variety of events such as live performances, a food and makers market and family activities. Sackville Gardens will play host to the Thomas Cook Airlines stage and family space, ensuring that Manchester Pride is an event for everybody. A huge part of Manchester Pride Weekend is the Queer Music Stage which will be programmed by Manchester Pride’s year round programme of culture Superbia, running from 2pm – 11pm on Sunday 25 August.
The party continues on Bloom Street with the hugely popular client disco on Saturday and Sunday and the singalong cinema on Monday 26. In the evenings the space will be transformed into The Fetish Emporium, a night market with stalls and demonstrations and performances. The car park, which in the past has played host to the main stage, will this year host the Sackville Square Fair with a host of food and drink traders and a makers market with DJs and live music playing all weekend. Plus the much-missed fairground rides will return to the site.
The highly anticipated Manchester Pride Parade will see thousands of people marching through the city centre on Saturday 24 August. This year’s theme for the parade is Deep Space Pride: A Future World of Equality, encouraging us to think about what LGBT+ communities and the attitudes towards them could look like in the future. This year’s thoughtful theme is a nod to the 50th anniversary of The Stonewall Riots, one of the most important events in the gay liberation movement and the modern fight for LGBTQ+ rights in the United States. Last year, The Manchester Pride Parade was bigger than ever before, with over 10,000 participants and this year it is set to grow even more.
The Superbia Weekend is a new addition to the Manchester Pride Festival, which provides a free to attend, dry alternative to the Gay Village Party. Superbia is Manchester Pride’s year round calendar of culture events, and is hosting a three day programme of events over Manchester Pride Weekend, offering fully accessible, alcohol free events at The Refuge and 70 Oxford Road. The Superbia Weekend comes to provide access to Manchester Pride Festival for those in the LGBTQ+ community who reported that the partying element of Pride wasn’t for them. Superbia offers more cultural, art-focussed and wellbeing events as part of the weekend since its conception in 2016.
This year’s Manchester Pride Weekend will see the introduction of Youth Pride MCR, a free event for young LGBTQ+ people aged 14 – 25 taking place over the weekend on 24 and 25 August. Youth Pride MCR will be hosted by YES, made up of two different elements across the two days. Saturday’s event is Free Yourself – an afternoon of fun with DJs, Vogue workshops, post parade partying and special guests. For those who want to step away from the partying, guests can visit the quiet zone, where attendees cspan partake in quiet games, a sensory area and mental health discussion. Sunday is Know Yourself which consists of author talks, acting workshops, and a drag how-to workshop. Youth Pride MCR is also providing lessons in screen printing, cross stitching, dancing and contributing to art pieces. In the quiet zone, expect film screenings and meditation sessions.
Over the weekend at YES, there will be food and non-alcoholic drinks on offer. The Pink Room and Quiet Zone are encouraged to be a space for young people only but parents can enjoy the roof terrace or bar if they wish to wait within the venue.
The final day of Manchester Pride Festival sees the Candlelit Vigil transform Sackville Gardens into a space for visitors to remember those that lost their lives to the HIV virus and join together in the fight against the worldwide epidemic and the stigma attached to HIV. The Candlelit Vigil is the spiritual heart of Manchester Pride Festival which recognises the many challenges that LGBTQ+ people still face today, with a magical and moving atmosphere in the gardens.
To find out any more information and for tickets to events, visit manchesterpride.com