It may not be until the end of August, but it is never too early to think about planning for Manchester Pride’s Big Weekend. The four day event includes a fantastic parade, a multitude of live acts, spaces around Manchester for all kinds of LGBT activity, market stalls, food and drink and a candlelight vigil to commemorate all those we have lost to HIV/AIDS and gives the community a chance to stand together to help face the challenges the LGBT community faces worldwide.
The Pride parade takes place on the Saturday of the weekend and turns Manchester into a sea of colour and fun as floats and marchers make their way through the city centre. Thousands of people turn up for the parade so make sure to arrive early to get a good spot!
Every night of the Big Weekend includes a free concert – previous years have seen Sophie Ellis Bextor, Will Young, Steps, the Sugababes and Texas among others taking to the stage. This year’s acts are still being announced but the first headline act is someone we really, really want – Sporty Spice herself, Melanie C!
It is important to remember in among all the partying that Manchester Pride is a registered charity raising money for LGBT and HIV related projects in Greater Manchester. It also campaigns for equality and challenges discrimination for LGBT people as well as creating opportunities and celebrating the community. You can buy a wristband to enter whether that’s for one day or the whole event and the money goes towards the charity – the earlier you buy your weekend wristband, the cheaper it is too, so my advice is get them as early as you can.
I have been to various Pride events all over the country in the many, many years I’ve been alive – even organising the Nando's space in the Blackpool parades for two years running for when I worked there - and have always had a blast being surrounded by friendly faces, both gay and straight and feeling supported within the community. Below is from one of the times I organized a space for my work, but I just wanna point out that it isn't me in the chicken suit!
So whether you’re gay, straight or bi, whether your first or tenth Pride – 2017’s event is shaping up to be one of the best yet.
For more information click here.
Tickets are available here.