The Manchester Pride Festival is Manchester Pride’s flagship event with its roots in the heart of the city’s world-famous Gay Village.
The four-day event has been around for more than 25 years. Over this time it has been known by various names including Pride, Mardi Gras and The Big Weekend and it has traditionally taken place only in Manchester’s historical gay village around Canal Street.
Running from Friday 23rd August to Monday 26th August, Manchester Pride Festival 2019 will this year be made up of Manchester Pride Live, the Candlelit Vigil, the Superbia Weekend, the Gay Village Party, Manchester Pride Parade and Youth Pride MCR.
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-goers 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.
“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 Artist Lineup
Years & Years
Nicky Siano’s Hallelujah Disco
Basement Jaxx [dj set]
Sandy Rivera (Kings of Tomorrow)
Katherine Ellis (Live PA)
HEDKANDI 20th Anniversary Tour
Sink the Pink Djs
Rhythm of the 90s
G-A-Y presents Cheryl
Four of Diamonds
Faithless [DJ Set]
Ministry of Sound Annual Classical
Hercules and Love Affair
We Love Pop
The Gay Village Party (August 23 – 26)
The heart of Manchester Pride’s August bank holiday Manchester Pride Festival is the Gay Village Party in partnership with Thomas Cook Airlines.
The four-day event, which will happen in Manchester’s Gay Village, will this year bring live performances, a food and makers market, family-focused activities and more to the iconic cobbled streets and the area surrounding them. The focal point of the event will be Sackville Gardens which will play host to the Thomas Cook Airlines stage and family space.
A huge part of the weekend will be the Queer Music Stage which will be programmed by Manchester Pride’s year-round programme of culture Superbia. It will run on Sunday from 2pm-11pm. The EXPO will continue in the space on Bloom Street where it has been for many years, along with the hugely popular silent disco on Saturday and Sunday and Singalong Cinema on Monday.
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.
Gay Village Party Artist Performances
The Parade (August 24, midday)
This year the theme for The Parade will be Deep Space Pride: A Future World of Equality, and those marching are asked to think about what LGBT+ communities and the attitudes towards them could look like in the future. Colours are expected to be as diverse as the communities that march, as the charity looks to a world where all people are free to love without prejudice.
The theme of the Parade acknowledges the fiftieth anniversary of The Stonewall Riots, an event that is widely considered to constitute the most important event leading to the gay liberation movement and the modern fight for LGBT+ rights in the United States. While LGBT+ charity Manchester Pride encourages people look to the future, they also look to how far Manchester has come already.
The Manchester Pride Parade was bigger than ever before in 2018, with more than 10,000 participants in floats and walking entries from businesses and community groups across the region. It is one of the festival’s most highly anticipated events, with thousands of people marching proudly together through the streets of Manchester in front of and tens of thousands of supporters cheering them along the way.
The Manchester Pride Parade starts on Liverpool Road, passing by the Town Hall and the Gay Village before finishing on Whitworth Street.
The Superbia Weekend
Superbia is Manchester Pride’s year-round calendar of cultural events.
The Superbia Weekend is a recent addition to The Manchester Pride Festival and provides a free to attend, dry alternative to The Gay Village Party. Its three-day programme of events takes place in a welcoming fully accessible, alcohol-free space across both The Refuge and 70 Oxford Road (the former Cornerhouse building), now part of Manchester Metropolitan University.
It was born out of extensive consultation with LGBT+ people across Greater Manchester – many of whom reported that they didn’t feel that partying element of the festival was for them. They wanted to access more cultural, wellbeing and art focussed events as part of their involvement in The Manchester Pride Festival. It has been a huge success since its conception in 2016.
For more information about Superbia click here.
Youth Pride MCR (August 24 and 25)
The inaugural Youth Pride MCR is a free-to-attend event for young LGBT+ people aged 14-25 which will take place over the Saturday and Sunday of the August bank holiday weekend as part of the annual Pride celebrations. It has been developed through engagement with young people from across Greater Manchester.
Youth Pride MCR, taking place at YES, will be made up of two different elements over the course of two days. Saturday 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 can 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 attendees will be learning screen printing, cross-stitching, dancing and contributing to art pieces. In the quiet zone, expect film screenings and meditation sessions.
Throughout the weekend there will be food and non-alcoholic drinks on offer, as well as a glitter stand to get everybody glittering. 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 event is already at capacity
The Candlelit Vigil (August 26, 9pm)
The culmination of The Manchester Pride Festival is The Vigil in which Sackville Gardens is turned into a sea of flickering candles as visitors take a minute to remember those lost to the HIV virus and join together to fight the epidemic worldwide and the stigma that still exists.
The Candlelit Vigil also provides visitors with a space to remember those who may no longer be with us and presents an opportunity to stand together in a united front as we recognise the many challenges that still exist and face LGBT+ communities from Manchester to the rest of the world.
The Vigil is the spiritual heart of The Manchester Pride Festival and there is a truly magical and moving atmosphere of quiet reflection in the gardens.
A wristband is not required to attend the Vigil however the capacity of the site is limited, so early arrival is recommended.
Also published on Medium.