A landmark event in Manchester’s annual calendar, Manchester Pride rolls into town every August – bringing incredibly fun and unmatched vibes along with it. It’s a time to truly celebrate exactly who you are – no matter how you identify – with epic tributes to our thriving LGBTQ+ community taking place in all corners of the city. And back with a bang for 2023, Mancs can expect huge parties and shows over the long weekend, including hilarious drag shows, bustling dancefloors, and of course, the big festival itself. Here’s our guide to the very best Pride events taking place in Manchester this month.
1. ‘Come As You Are’ at The Refuge
Taking place over Pride weekend, The Refuge is bringing back its beloved ‘Come As You Are’ celebration, which will see events taking place that celebrates music, love and inclusivity all weekend long. Think DJ sets from the legendary DJ Paulette, Hush Club, Eves Drop Collective, Supernature and Sticky Heat – with more acts to be announced over the next few weeks.
Kimpton Clocktower Hotel is also offering a place for party people to rest their heads over Manchester Pride on August bank holiday weekend, to make being at the centre of the action that bit comfier. You can take advantage of the Pride weekend package inclusive of complimentary cocktails and a hangover kit. To ‘Stay with Pride’ you can book through Kimpton Clocktower’s website.
📍The Refuge, Kimpton Clocktower, Oxford St, Manchester M60 7HA.
Cara Melle is taking to the stage this August to bring the very best of Beyonce to Manchester, with a host of some of London and Manchester’s best drag queens in tow. Expect all the hits, plenty of dancing, and, of course, tasty brunch dishes and free-flowing booze. There’ll be games, competitions, dance-offs and immersive performances for four whole hours, making for the perfect day out with friends. Get tickets here.
📍On Bar, 46 Canal St, Manchester M1 3WD.
3. Malibu Pride Extravaganza at Pong & Puck
Malibu Beach Club, running just for the summer, sits outside colourful and quirky retro games bar, Pong & Puck at Great Northern Warehouse. On Saturday 26 – Sunday 27 August, Malibu is throwing a weekend of campness, cheekiness and craziness – expect freebies, activities and cabaret! On at Malibu Beach Club at Pong & Puck over Manchester Pride weekend are:
Tease Me Tropicana, hosted by Miss Mae Flowers (Saturday 26 August, 12pm – 4pm)
Head over to the summertime terrace for an afternoon of live performances, complimentary Malibu cocktails, glitter face painting and the chance to tell all in a ‘cheeky’ confession booth. No booking is required, simply sashay your way in, grab a seat, and sip away as the Manchester Pride parade goes right by – and it’s free to attend!
Miss Ginger Hunter’s Pride Bottomless Belter (Sunday 27 August, 12.30pm – 3pm)
This unforgettable afternoon of Pride inspired drinks, pizza, music bingo and cabaret games, led by the gorgeous and glamorous Miss Ginger Hunter, is due to be absolutely fabulous. Enjoy a welcome Malibu cocktail on the tropical outdoor terrace, followed by a fabulous two-hour session of sass, games and bottomless drinks inside Pong & Puck. Tickets are just £35 per person, and you can book here.
📍Pong & Puck, Great Northern Warehouse, 235 Deansgate, Manchester M3 4EN.
4. ‘Freedom to Be’ parties at Ducie Street Warehouse
There’ll be a series of Pride parties at food, drink and destination hub Ducie Street Warehouse once again this year, with some sickening hosts lined up for their ‘Freedom To Be‘ sessions including legendary drag queen Jodie Harsh.
Featuring performances and sets from the likes of Chevone S Duo and of course headliner Drag Queen Jodie Harsh, ‘Freedom to Be’ is set to once again celebrate queer culture in style, with a Club Kids Disco and Cork & Canvas ‘Paint Your Own Pride Parade Banner‘ session, rounding the event into a true family outing. You can find tickets here.
📍Ducie Street Warehouse, Ducie St, Manchester M1 2TP.
5. Manchester Pride
Of course, we need to mention Manchester Pride itself, with all the official events it comes along with. As usual, the festival will focus its efforts on activism, putting an emphasis on the annual Gay Village Party, starting on Friday 25 August with headliners including Jake Shears, Alison Goldfrapp and Conchita Wurst.
The Parade, Candlelit Vigil, Superbia Weekend, Youth Pride MCR, Family Pride MCR and Human Rights Forum will also continue to proceed this year, helping to reflect the areas of the festival that the LGBTQ+ community care about the most. You can find out more and put together your itinerary here.
6. Affinity Living X LOAF MCR Retro Charity Disco
As an early entry into the fabulous Pride vibes, Affinity Living and LOAF MCR have teamed up to host a groovy charity disco, all to celebrate Manchester Pride. The charity disco will take place on Thursday 24 August from 6pm -10pm at LOAF Oxford Road, which will be transformed into a Boogie Wonderland for all of Manchester’s Dancing Queens.
The LOAF MCR team will be pulling out all the stops for this groovy get-together, and for just £5 a ticket guests can expect an unforgettable evening of cake and cocktails, old school games, funky tunes, and all round immaculate vibes. 100% of the proceeds made will go towards supporting Manchester Pride and the city’s LGBTQ+ community, with plenty of epic raffle prizes to be won in return. You can book tickets here.
📍LOAF MCR, 83 Oxford St, Manchester M1 6EG.
7. Pride at Hard Rock Cafe
Hard Rock Cafe Manchester is once again joining the annual celebrations for Manchester’s Pride festival over August bank holiday weekend, with fun activities, delicious food and drink, and Pride-themed live music, to party with the city’s LGBTQ+ members and allies.
A classic ‘Pride playlist’ can be enjoyed over a bite to eat in the restaurant, and those who are taking part and joining in the festival will receive a discount on food and drink. Hard Rock Cafe Manchester will be dressed for the occasion over the festival’s dates, and will also be hosting its own Pride photo booth, helping hungry festival-goers to capture the moment and make memories that will last a lifetime. Feel free to drop by on the weekend, or book a table here.
📍Hard Rock Cafe, The Printworks, Manchester M4 2BS.
8. Lip Sync Showdown at Printworks
Get ready to ‘Pound the Alarm’ on bad performers and ‘Just Dance’ with those who manage to slay the
mic, as the Printworks’ Pride Lip Sync Showdown will be held at Manchester’s favourite adult playground, Bingo Balls. Battlers should prepare for an unforgettable night of drag performances and lip-syncing battles to an outrageous line-up of pop classics, power ballads and guilty pleasures on Wednesday 23 August from 7pm – 11pm.
Hosted by popular Manchester compere, Chris Dresden, lip-syncers will be joined on stage by disco
ball performers and fabulous backing dancers, guaranteeing a fierce battle of the icons as the city
comes together to celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community. Entry is completely free, along with the chance to nab 2 cocktails for £12 and half price fish bowls until 8pm, but you can guarantee your place by registering here.
📍Bingo Balls, Unit 21-22, The Printworks, Manchester M4 2BS.
9. Bisexual Baddies
Get ready for a trio of queer performances at 53Two, as Bisexual Baddies enters the roster. Chanje Kunda presents ‘Celestial Bisexual’ a multi-media performance combining large cosmic imagery taken by the Hubble telescope, projected into the space and on her body, combined with dance movement and out of this world poetic descriptions of bisexual bliss, coupled with euphoria.
Afshan D’Souza-Lodhi Presents ‘How To Eat Mangoes’ a performative, interactive lecture. This sensual piece takes the audience through the intricacies of the mango and unearths the hidden sexual core that sits in the centre of our beings. Kitty Velour is a pole dance princess, booty-popping showgirl and dreamy aerial bisexual artist from Manchester, presenting a feel-good Pride show to keep the party going. Find tickets here.
📍53Two, Arch 19, Watson St, Manchester M3 4LP.
Prepare to flashback to the 90s as you Spice Up Your Life and head Backstreet’s Back in this 4 hour day party! There’ll be DJs and live performances throughout the afternoon, including a jaw-dropping vocal show from the Flashback 90s tribute duo and fabulous drag queen hosting. Indulge in a delicious brunch, washed down with bottomless prosecco or mimosas as you dance along to all the 90s pop hits you can handle! Find tickets here.
📍Area Manchester, Regency House, 50 Sackville St, Manchester M1 3WF.
11. Pride Family Party at GRUB
Street food favourite in Manchester GRUB is hosting a very special event for families to celebrate Manchester Pride. You can expect colourful crafting fun, movies representing LGBTQ+ characters screened in the CULTPLEX cinema, story time with Jennie Guay, author of Howie Blend, rainbow cupcake decorating, face painting, temporary tattoos and glitter, music and bubbles, puzzles and board games, and of course street food, coffee and a bar for the parents to enjoy.
The kids can also get involved in pizza making with Igloo Pizza Kitchen, starting at 12pm. The GRUB Pride Family Party will be kicking off on Friday 25 August at 2pm – with the exception of pizza making.
📍GRUB, 50 Red Bank, Cheetham Hill, Manchester M4 4HF.
12. PRIDE Walking Tour with a Difference
Discover centuries of LGBTQ+ Manchester history with a walking trail and guided tour hosted by local playwright and guide, Chris Hoyle – and some very special guests. From Victorian drag balls to Canal Street, the Campaign for Homosexual Equality and the city’s famous Pride Parade, Manchester has always led the way with queer activism. Follow the trail to explore LGBTQ+ stories whist celebrating and reflecting on the city’s activism, resilience, and progress.
Guided tours will take place on Tuesday 22 August at 6pm, Wednesday 23 August at 6pm and Thursday 24 August at 1pm and 6pm. The 2-hour city centre walk takes in locations to be proud of such as the Gay Village, The Beacon of Hope, Alan Turning Memorial and The Hacienda to name a few. Tours will feature guest appearances from RuPaul’s Drag Race UK star Cheddar Gorgeous, activist Paul Fairweather, Hollyoaks actor Annie Wallace, Trans Creative’s Kate O’Donnell and drag queen, Anna Phylactic. Tickets are £10 each and all proceeds going to Manchester Pride Charity, and you can book here.
13. Pride wristband and Canal St Card holders go free at Sonata
To celebrate Pride, piano and cabaret lounge Sonata is offering free entry all weekend to Pride wristband and Canal St Card holders. The Bumper Bank Holiday weekend at Sonata keeps the party alive, albeit it in a slightly calmer setting than might come to mind when you think ‘Pride’, with live music ‘til 1am on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
The weekend will hosts some Sonata favourites, allowing you to kick back and relax, or have a little boogie if you’ve still got the energy! Harriet Eaves will be the main performer of Saturday night, and is sure to get the crowd going with her renditions of pop classics.
📍Sonata, 3 St Ann’s Alley, Manchester M2 6AJ.
14. Queer Roots Collective presents Alternative Pride
Queer Roots Collective are a regenerative grassroots group based in Manchester who are shifting the focus of Pride to community, away from capitalist corporations, by running events, meetups, walks and gardening socials which are accessible and fun for all. On 9 and 10 September, Platt Fields Market Garden will host queer owned street food vendors, including gwafuvegan, a queer booze stocked bar (‘dry’ on Sunday) from The Queer Brewing Project, and queer-led crafts and activities including lino printing, life drawing in the polytunnel and zine making.
Local organisations and stall holders will be running the show, with other activities for all the family such as yoga, forest school, and talks and workshops covering all things queer in nature including mushroom growing, queer ecology, seed saving, history, storytelling and more, making this alternative Pride event something truly educational and enlightening for all.
DJs, open mic and live music will be keeping the Pride going across the weekend, and you can book tickets here.
📍Platt Fields Market Garden, Platt Fields Park, Fallowfield, Manchester M14 6LT.
15. Afflecks celebrates Manchester Pride
Afflecks, Manchester’s iconic, independent shopping emporium, has announced a fabulous roster of activities and discounts to celebrate Manchester Pride. There are two new mini galleries taking over the famous Tib Street entrance and Third Floor Rising, a Queer Quiz and disco taking over the third floor, a Pride swap shop hosted by Beg, Steal & Borrow, and up to 25% discount from select traders between Friday 25 and Monday 28 August.
Afflecks has also been kitted out from head to toe in some seriously fierce decorations. There’s a gorgeous rainbow flower arch located at the Church Street entrance and the famous Pride umbrella installation that cascades down the Oldham Street entrance stairwell is also back. Get down there and check it out!
📍Afflecks, 52 Church St, Manchester M4 1PW.
16. Pride cocktails at The Midland Hotel
For a classy affair, head to The Midland Champagne Lounge on Friday 25 August to see Elton John impersonator ‘Gary Birtles’ tickling the ivories on the hotel’s grand piano. Choose from a range of Pride cocktails, including the Blue Oyster (classic Margarita cocktail with blue Curacao), G.A.Y Green and Yummy (Vodka, Lemon, Passionfruit, Crème de Menthe) and Fruity & Frisky (Raspberry Mojto Royale). All three cocktails will be available in the Champagne Lounge from Friday 25 to Monday 28 August.
The hotel will also be adorned with fabulous changes to the exterior lighting, a new flower installation and a shimmer wall outside Mount Street, so photo ops are a MUST.
📍The Midland, 16 Peter St, Manchester M60 2DS.
17. The Ultimate Pride Weekend Bottomless Brunch at Canto
Queens say yaaaas to tipsy tapas! On Pride weekend, Sunday 27 August from 12.30 – 5pm Ancoats’ favourite Mediterranean tapas bar and restaurant, Canto, will be hosting a special edition ‘Drag Brunch Tipsy Tapas’ with the legendary queen, MissieJayCockshort.
Choose from three tapas dishes per person, with sexy small plates including spicy chorizo, roasted new potatoes and traditional Jamón croquetas. All washed down with your choice of unlimited prosecco, bellinis, sangria, house lager or house wine for 90 minutes for £38 per person. All bookings must be made in advance here.
📍Canto, Cutting Room Square, Blossom St, Ancoats, Manchester M4 5DH.