It’s coming up to that time of the year again – the biggest event on the calendar for most LGBT people living in Manchester and much of the northwest: Manchester Pride. From 22nd to 25th August, the “Gay Capital of the North” will be awash with tens of thousands of Pride-goers from all over the country and event the world visiting Manchester for its 24th year of Pride. But hopefully it won’t be awash with rain as it has in previous years.
This year’s Parade theme is “Love” – largely due to the big news this year that same-sex marriage is now legal in England, Scotland and Wales – and is very much open to interpretation and creativity. Last year‘s 80s theme was slightly controversial because of the negativity surrounding LGBT people and their lack of rights during that decade. So this year you can expect to see lots of red and pink and enactments of weddings to make you feel all loved up – or sickly, perhaps depending on your own relationship status!
Manchester Pride have also recently announced all the main acts who will be taking to the stage at the Big Weekend and this year it seems they have gone global after previous years’ acts were met with disappointed reactions. American singer-songwriter Anastacia, new girl group on the block Neon Jungle, once huge girl group All Saints and the winner of Eurovision 2014, Conchita Wurst will all be performing. Other performers include former X Factor contestants Misha B, Lucy Spraggan (both of whom were at last year’s event too), Marcus Collins and Amelia Lily as well as Foxes, MNEK, former Pussycat Doll Kimberly Wyatt, Heather Peace and Manbears. For a full list of names, click here.
During the month of August, the Pride Fringe will have a wide variety of exhibitions, talks, shows and other activities that will take place all over Manchester – once a ten-day festival that happened just before the Big Weekend, the Fringe has now expanded as more events are added each year and a full schedule will be announced soon. Also over the next few weeks, many of Canal Street’s bars and clubs will begin to release information about the special nights they will put on over Pride, so keep an eye out for those. And for those of you who want a bit of a rest of partying and drinking and fancy a bit more culture or shopping, don’t forget the village markets and the Lifestyle Expo will be present during the daytimes as usual. There is also the guided walk around Canal Street and certain parts of the city of places that are of great significance to the LGBT community that you might want to embark upon and check out if you have the time during a day. The Big Weekend will again, in line with tradition, come to a melancholy end with the Candlelit Vigil on the Monday evening.
Will you be going to Manchester Pride this year? To find out more about Manchester’s world-famous Canal Street, visit the official site here. Tickets for Pride are now on sale online and in some bars and shops around the gay village and there is also the chance to purchase a limited number of day tickets at the heavily reduced price of £5 for those who are struggling to pay for one. If you’re also looking for a place to stay and do not wish or can’t afford to rent a serviced apartment or stay in a hotel (or they have all sold out), don’t forget we at Gay Homestays have just over 20 properties available in the greater Manchester area. Or alternatively, if you have a spare room or property to let out to visitors in Manchester, you can add it here and become a host with us.