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Manchester Pride

A line-up featuring Bananarama and Peter Andre – it could only be the return of Manchester's fabulous LGBT festival

Published on August 24th 2009.


Manchester Pride

He might not have Katie Price sharing his bed any more but Peter Andre will be getting lots of consolatory love from the crowd when he arrives in Manchester this weekend. The bronzed one is part of the line-up for the Big Weekend on 28-31 August – the centrepiece of this year's Manchester Pride celebrations.

And all this week, there's loads of Pride events on across town including art exhibitions, book readings, dancing, dog shows and silliness such as the It's a Gay Knockout at Taurus.

The music is a big deal this year – we think it might be the best Pride line-up yet. Performing on the main stage over the four-day event will be Human League, The Freemasons, Peter Andre, Bananarama and Little Boots.

Other confirmed acts include Manchester band and Radio One favourite Kid British, fellow Mancunians The Whip, Australian pop group The Blow Waves, dance act Booty Luv, New York soul singer Lonnie Gordon, electro pop artist Frankmusik, and alternative Swedish act Tommy Sparks. Natasha Hamilton, Rowetta Satchell and Alphabeat, all favourites from previous years, will also be back.

The concerts are just a slice of the action though. Within the Big Weekend events site (otherwise known as the Village) where you'll need a wristband to get in, there'll be a market, an information fair, and a community area in Sackville Gardens featuring comedy shows, local bands, live classical music, and days devoted to women and transgender people.

There's also the legendary parade on Saturday 29 August which anyone can watch, wristbanded or otherwise. It starts at the Castlefield end of Deansgate at 1pm before heading up St Anne Street onto Cross Street, then taking Princess Street all the way to Whitworth Street, where it finishes just outside the Village.

And all this week, there's loads of Pride events on across town including art exhibitions, book readings, dancing, dog shows and silliness such as the It's a Gay Knockout at Taurus.

Finally, there'll be the closing event at 9pm on Monday 31 August: the candlelit vigil held in Sackville Park in memory of the victims of Aids. You don't need a wristband to attend the vigil, but as space is limited, please arrive early.

Wristbands cost £17.50 and include access to the Big Weekend event site for the full four days. Full details of Manchester Pride events can be found at www.manchesterpride.com

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64 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

pcAugust 24th 2009.

dont really beleive the money is well spent or goes to charity...so this year we are heading the other way to Liverpool-Mathew St festival, its free, friendly and some fantastic bands on.Its also well organised and monitored closely by staff.

JJAugust 24th 2009.

Who cares?! If you don't mind paying for your wristband (which I reckon costs less than 4 nights out paying average entry fees into the likes of Bar38 etc), you know there will be queues and crowds, but you don't mind because it is the only time you can go out dressed in a fancy dress costume, non ironically.

JinkiesAugust 24th 2009.

John I think more people do with each year it's on. I don't think for a moment Pride should be stopped, but some parts of it definitely need a rethink.

DescartesAugust 24th 2009.

You spend a lot of time talking about Blears M30.

DavidAugust 24th 2009.

Cas - what should we do?Stop the event?These things cost money, have you seen where the money was spent last year in organisation?£18m made within the compound? I seriously think you are misled - Hotels and services outside of the compound is where the economy made the most. I have worked at Mardi Gras and in the village and have gone out in the village for a long time and it is no more of a shag fest than anywhere else and I think you will find the whole event is significantly NOT a shagfest. You are obviously looking for something and interpreting things you see inaccurately. May I suggest Cas that you do not attend this years event and do your right thing by just making a donation to chairty via the web :-)

AnonymousAugust 24th 2009.

Apparently all the profits go to charity, but from the £898,000 taken last year, only £105,000 went to charity. Someone must be making a killing on those costs. Surely either someone needs to look at the costs or a proper organising company be brought in. Could it be the organisers all have bars down in the village and make a killing from Pride? Don't want to change the status quo? They'll be booking Staus Quo next!

CasAugust 24th 2009.

Surely, if it's a charity event, the bar owners should donate a proportion of the grossly increased profit to the charities? Lets compare the £18m (even if that's an over estimate, half it!) with the £105k raised for charity. Erm? I'm not saying ban pride, I'm saying make it be run as a proper commercial event, with full scrutiny, and have FULL costs that incurs - policing, shutting roads etc etc And lets not pretend that it's anything other than an almighty shagfest! How many hang around for the vigil?

AnonymousAugust 24th 2009.

As opposed to the non litteral kind of killing?

AnonAugust 24th 2009.

As Cas says above about £17.5m of extra income for businesses from Pride is an official figure. You can see www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/…/1063926_pride_brings_in_cashThat… is for businesses across the city, most of which contribute zero to running costs leaving the LGBT community to pay. In previous years a figure of £22m has been quoted by the city council and media. There is really no reason why Pride can't be free and businesses fund it. Except that people are mug enough to pay up to £22 for a ticket.

east lancsAugust 24th 2009.

Obviously it'll be denied and whatnot but a good mate of mine was having a beer in Tribeca with her girlfriend. They were saying how Pride is annoying now 'cos of the queues and how it could be better organised. One of the Pride organisers overheard and launched into a rant which ended "you big black c*nt". Charming.

johnthebriefAugust 24th 2009.

As I understand it (and I may be wrong) it's both commercial and charitable - a share of the profits goes to charity

M30August 24th 2009.

If any residents in the village feel Pride is "a pain in the arse", may I suggest moving to a bungalow in Bramall or somewhere else suitably Middle England and to take their subscription to the Daily Mail with them

daveAugust 24th 2009.

what is the point of pride these days ? an excuse for a mass bender of drink and drugs, follwed by a candelit vigil, not remembering but celebrating the fact these peopel contracted the virus through their sillyness and assertions during a pride event! saying prayers dressed in silly outfits does not represent a respectful rememberance it is jsut a celebration! as for he whole event, we are in 2009 not back in the 80s were it more of a campaign for rights, nowadays it is jsut shoving it in peoples faces, and what is the floats all about with fat hairy bairs dressed in fetish gear, str8 swingers or ones who have fetishes dont go dressing up to go shopping in town to make a statement, in my view it all a big mistake, and no wonder straight people in this society have such a negative view of gay men. i am gay myself, but i dont need to shout about it i get on with my life as anyone would do, just like any normal human being. gay men just exist in their confusion aand the mess of the gay village life, drink drugs, sex thats all its about with these people, any normal human being would steer clear of it all

AnonAugust 24th 2009.

If you want to know why Pride being so big is the important thing... Andrew Stokes the Chair of Manchester Pride is also Chief Executive of Marketing Manchester AKA The Tourist Board. It's all about making money for businesses. The charity amount is the one thing that has never got bigger. In the financial year 1994/95, Mardi Gras was free and The Village Charity managed to raise £60,000 (about £85,000 in today's money) for good causes. Compare to 2006, when tickets cost up to £15, some 35,000 people bought one, and charities got just £65,000.In 2007 just £95,000 went to good causes from income of £803,000.

CasAugust 24th 2009.

David, Pride took around 900k in gate receipts last year. Around £18m was made by the economy, obviously mainly within the compound. £105k went to charity - it's disgusting. I've been to pride with gay friends, it's a shagfest in the extreme and that doesn't change whether you frequent taurus or napoleons, just more leather at the latter.

CasAugust 24th 2009.

No it isn't. I've been to 4 of them with gay and straight friends and it is a shagfest!

johnthebriefAugust 24th 2009.

I keep hearing stories of locla residents becoming increasingly hacked off with Pride - there's a widespread view that they no longer see themselves as temporary guests and make little effort to look after the people whose lives are disrupted by their event. We'll see how the security goons deal with the issue this year.

CasAugust 24th 2009.

M30, is Hazel on a float this year?

ADAugust 24th 2009.

Perhaps a better question than how much is going to charity would be how much are the organisers paying themselves?

ChickAugust 24th 2009.

LGBT?? Oh please. It's 'Pride', be proud, not politically correct, LGBT or whatever it's now called that is, not ManCon

johnthebriefAugust 24th 2009.

Whatever it used to be or coiuld be, what it is (for residents) is a pain in the arse

AnonymousAugust 24th 2009.

Not for lesbians Chris.

JAugust 24th 2009.

Here here!!

ELAugust 24th 2009.

Salford Lesbian and Gay Switchboard? SLAGS?Pride is a load of shit anyway. Both in terms of the actual event (overcrowded, overpriced, overhyped) and also in the sense that it's totally out of date.

CasAugust 24th 2009.

But why would you need a switchboard? Can you not call each other directly? Enjoy you g&t.

AnonymousAugust 24th 2009.

All bars have to make a contribution prior to Pride, so it's not "free". I believe this is based on the size of the venue and estimated income.

CasAugust 24th 2009.

Will she be wearing chaps?

JaneyAugust 24th 2009.

Its now just a big commercial money making event for Manchester council and businesses... It has lost its political edge even though there IS STILL homophobia and transphobia affecting peoples lives on a daily basis PRIDE IS A PROTEST !!http://www.prideisaprotest.org/

lucky-chrisAugust 24th 2009.

Pain in your arse, John? Is that not what it's all about??? (Sorry)

Mike, ManchesterAugust 24th 2009.

Just to let you know Kelly Rowland's cancelled (I think she found out that she's performing on an NCP car park opposite some chippies) and has been replaced by the Human League.

johnthebriefAugust 24th 2009.

I don't know anyone who wants it stopped, just a bit more consideration shown. You shouldn't have to argue for an hour and call the police just to get into your own home

GordoAugust 24th 2009.

Err, no Cas...

CasAugust 24th 2009.

I haven't for one minute said the £18m is spent wirthin the compund, read it. It's that 'unique' site you mention that gets me, it's bloody inclusive and the only reason it is there is to keep non wristband wearers out and to a degree to keep all the party goers where you want them. I struggle to see how you can claim effective financial management when so little is raised for charity and when the amount raised has actually gone down over the years. Lets say your 50k figure is true, it's about a couple of grand per bar - not really a lot, is it? It's the whole fact that it is run as a charity and claims raising money to be it's main aim that irks me, that simply cannot be true. If it is true then there are a lot of incompetant people on the board. Action what you like, you obviously have an inside interest but little practical legal knowledge. I think the gay community deserve it all to be more transparent or run better and I think it should be a given that no people with a financial interest should be allowed anywhere near the organising board - surely that's standard charity event practice. I'm packing my bag now to pop on the train to London, where a big group of us are cycling to Paris for chairty, we've paid all the costs ourselves so can truthfully say we're doing it for charity, and the amount raised by this group of ordinary publicity free cyclists will be comparable to the amount raised by the whole pride event. If you think that's ok then fine, I think Manchester's gay community is capable of much much better.

AnonymousAugust 24th 2009.

They will be the ones fawning over the very camp gay men. lesbians and camp gay men keep their distance. They will also look like women (joke).

M30August 24th 2009.

You'd probably say that Ms Blears led her constituents a merry dance. Unfortunately the Salford Lesbian & Gay Switchboard exists only in my imagination. Although it's estimated that the City of Salford has the highest concentration of gay men and lesbians within Greater Manchester. For that reason one would think that Hazel Blears would be more vocal in supporting the gay community within her constituency. Instead she cosied up to the catholic cabal of Blair, Kelly etc. I'll have this matter out with her over a gin and tonic in Via Fossa tomorrow afternoon.

DavidAugust 24th 2009.

OK everyone - get this link and look at the auditied accounts - once you have read these - come and rant a little more !!!www.guidestar.org.uk:81/…/at_pdfname=report.pdf…

M30August 24th 2009.

Cas, you'll see me and Hazel on the float for the Salford Lesbian & Gay Switchboard dancing to the birdie song, whilst holding up a large blown-up copy of the cheque she generously repaid her expenses with. jtb - I'm struggling to see your argument regarding Pride. It's a bit like moving to Notting Hill and saying "I like the gastropubs and the boutiques, but I can't be doing with that darned carnival" I have my own personal issues with Pride, namely how the organisers have been and remain a self-aggrandising bunch, and having attended a similar, free and better organised event in Brighton earlier in the month, going to Manchester Pride would feel like the equivalent of going to a gay disco in S****horpe circa 1987.

CasAugust 24th 2009.

Girl. I'm not trying to change the world just think that the fact Pride is organised by the people with the biggest financila interest but no responsibility on costs is farcial and bordering on criminal.

CasAugust 24th 2009.

Wasn't too good at dancing around Mr Brown though. Is there really such thing as a Salford Lesbian & Gay Switchboard?

johnthebriefAugust 24th 2009.

M30, leaving aside the oh-so-right-on comments about the Daily Mail, I have beenliving in the Village area for as long as Pride has been going. I don't mind Pride being held in the Village, what gets my goat is the way the organisers become ever more presumptuous each year. Pride is a visitor to the Village - and they should remember that fact, and that they cause inconvenience to residents. They are welcomed on the basis that the residents see Pride as a positive event, but they should not abuse that welcome. If they put a bit of affort into minimising the disruption they impose on their hosts, then there might be a lot less resentment.

PridefanAugust 24th 2009.

Of course it's a charitable event. But a three and a half day event with 30,000 people visiting needs security, ticketing, staging etc. Hence the high turnover in order to make it function as an event.The reason Pride WORKS is the Village. The bars and businesses support the weekend financially and in kind. Brighton Pride may be a fun event (a one day, free event) but it faces a funding crisis. Google it and see. Manchester Pride's unique site and wristband access ensures a charitable contribution AND effective financial management that makes sure it lasts from year to year. The bars DO contribute. They make a contribution of approximately 50k between them every year. Pride is run a registered charity, with a responsible board of trustees and accounts. 'Bordering on criminal' is an interesting allegation Cas. And possibly actionable. Oh, and a hilarious gimp gag. Thanks so much for contributing so much to the debate. Thanks to those with a brain (or an inquiring mind an a search engine) who have realised the mythical £18m is an estimate of how the whole Manc economy benefits from Pride, NOT £18m raised at the event. I wish!

AnonymousAugust 24th 2009.

That'd be surprising, not. To be honest I'm just going to avoid the whole of town over the bank holiday weekend, Pride being on ruins the city.

janeyAugust 24th 2009.

Ive been to Brum and Bournemouth pride this year..Iv'e enjoyed both and BOTH were FREE ..so why why why is'nt Manchester ? A city which is surrounded by some of the poorest areas in England EG Salford. David has summed up Manch Pride in this one line'pay pay and enjoy yourself whilst thinking about what a boost for Manchester's economy this will provide.”Pride should be a politicall event as well as having a few beers or three there is still much to fight for Only a few days ago a trans woman was stabed to death in Washington DC. there still a lot of hate and prejudice that needs to be over come . I dont want to be fenced in like cattle and pay for the priviledge..Its OK to let Rangers fans run riot in the city but the gays oh no no no we cant have them doing the same lets fence em in and charge em and make lots o money Im afraid im too poor to be gay and will not be going this year.

CasAugust 24th 2009.

Is it a commercial or charity event?

CasAugust 24th 2009.

Is it true ManCon have a float and Gordo is dressing as a gimp?

lucky-chrisAugust 24th 2009.

Anon - my thoughts exactly...

CasAugust 24th 2009.

So if some of the profits go to charity, where do the rest go?

M30August 24th 2009.

I've said it once and I'll say it again - the village has become too small an area to host Pride. It fitted for the Mardi Gras of the 90s and early Noughties, but times have moved on. Having the event in somewhere like Buile Hill or Heaton Park would mean that the procession can follow the route to the venue. Brighton manages to pull off a far more successful and credible Pride event, which is a free event held at a suburban park. I have no sympathy for any resident of the village who moans about Pride. Surely they knew what they were taking on when moving somewhere like that in the first place.

DavidAugust 24th 2009.

It really annoys me that people continuously blame the organisers for not raising enough money for charity. Whilst it is true that of total revenues, only a fraction goes to charity, lets not forget how huge this event has become and lets therefore be proud that gays the country over can rest assured that acceptance is widespread. The cost of closing roads off and providing police and toilet facilities is huge. I understand there are 84 stewards for the weekend. Lets imagine each is paid £6 per hour and each does 24 hours work over the course of the weekend - thats a whopping £12k plus NI = £13.5k. I am sure they get more than £6 per hour though.Manchester cc is far too small for this event but hell, the council has developed most of the land so we have only limited space available. I would be interested to know how much the council contributes to this event, I hope it is significant if they can afford to build a huge tent in Albert square for a non-sense festival.As for the event being a shag fest - Hell, I feel left out - it has never struck me as being a shag fest but then I guess that depends on the type of person you are and where you frequent !Hey ho, it should be a good weekend anyway, if you don't like it, stay away, if you do, pay pay and enjoy yourself whilst thinking about what a boost for Manchester's ecomomy this will provide.

CasAugust 24th 2009.

I haven't gone for a couple of years because it was just a big shagfest. The £18m is an official figure which I did not say was all spent within the compound, however I'd say most of it is. Lets says you're right and it was only £4m made within the compound - why did none of that go towards costs or chairty? I'm not saying stop the event but if it's going to have as it's main tag 'The main goal of Manchester Pride is to raise money for a variety of LGBT organisations' then it needs to raise a bit more don't you think? I think it needs to be run by professionals without a financial interest, I think that should be a bare minimum. As it is all costs are covered by the wrist band and what's left over from the bands goes to charity. So the bars and clubs within the compound, who of course benefit the most, get the biggest financial boost without paying a penny. I would assume there are several business within the village, who over the weekend, will take more than £105k that went to chairty. Is that right?

ChickAugust 24th 2009.

I remember this question of where the profits go, caused a right old hullaballo last year, notwithstanding that the restaurants, bars, clubs etc., were reported to have raked in £18m over the Bank Holiday weekend

lucky-chrisAugust 24th 2009.

shagfest, eh? Tell me, is Pride exclusively gay?

AnonAugust 24th 2009.

'Literal' only has one 't'. Manchester Pride is full of excuses and spin but you can see the £17.5m figure has been given by its own organiser Mr Stokes and some of the accounts are available (though mysteriously there isn't anything like the transparency you might expect Pride chose not to release certain figures last year). The City Council gave the first Manchester International Festival £2m and it was expected to bring in £32m extra income for businesses. We're told Pride brings in £17.5m (or £22m) yet the LGBT community must cough up about half a million pounds through ticket sales to fund it. How is it Glasgow Rangers fans can drink and party for free in the city centre?

MidnightshiftAugust 24th 2009.

Some of your questions might be answered www.manchesterpride.com/…/organisation…

M30August 24th 2009.

Hazel wouldn't wear anything as clichéd as chaps. Instead she'll mostly be wearing yellow legwarmers and a flourescent pink tutu. She's a keen dancer, you know.

JAugust 24th 2009.

Alot of the Daily Mail articles are sourced elsewhere so do you really know what you are reading?

DavidAugust 24th 2009.

No, it is not right that so little is given to charity, it used to traise far more. However, given the times and the culture I see no other option. It would be unfair to expect the Mcr tax payers to contribute but it should not be underestimated how much the Village association (made up of most of the pubs in the village) actually does for charity each year so I feel it is unfair that they should forego their profits made. I can assure you that professionals whould cost a whole lot more. An event of that size takes most of the year to plan and a lot of people do it in their free time. I do not believe the organisers have ambitious financial interests from organising the event though. It is a complex problem and one that is more a sign of the times. If you consider how things were, it was common place for businesses throughout the lan to invest in local infrastructure, schooling and charity but it simply does not happen anymore. We have to accept that two guys ranting on Mcr Confidential are not going to change the world.Anyway, I have just been called to the Rising Sun pub for a beer :-)

AnonymousAugust 24th 2009.

Why the Daily Mail? Stereotypes are dangerous don't you know!

DavidAugust 24th 2009.

Well dave - firstly, a lot of people have contracted HIV but come on... through 'sillyness'? That is an awful thing to say. It is very sad when people contract HIV, die whilst speeding or drinking in cars or become drug addicts. It is up to society to help them. It is awful disrespectful of you to say we are celebrating their 'sillyness' and to be honest it undermines your whole posting which I may add has some good points. I too cannot understand some of the awful floats that are paraded around the city, they are distaseful and in some instances offensive. I certainly do not want to see fat hairy fetish dressed men on the street and it is not what being gay is about.In fact, I should organise next years festivities - I would do a dam good job :-)

AnonAugust 24th 2009.

A free alternative picnic is being held on the grassed area near UMIST after the Pride parade on Saturday. There will be food and entertainment:http://www.reclaimthescene.com/Come along! It should be great and money raised goes to support LGBT people in Iraq where you can literally be killed if you are LGBT.

CasAugust 24th 2009.

Something to think about for next year!

not one for gossipAugust 24th 2009.

there have been long been whispers that a former bar owner from the village and a current Manchester City Councillor siphoned off £££ of the Mardi Gras money a few years ago...

AnonAugust 24th 2009.

We're actually paying Marketing Manchester (the Tourist Board) as well! £6,000 (see page 21). Why are WE paying the Tourist Board when this event brings in £17.5m for businesses? Income of £815,569, nearly two-thirds of which came from tickets, and charities got £95,000. It's actually worse than I said above because I said income was £803,000 and it was actually £815,569.

AnonymousAugust 24th 2009.

Does anyone have any tips on finding/picking up straight girls at pride?

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