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Pride Weekend: More Razzmatazz Then Ever

The Parade, Pixie Lott, Alexandra Burke, Sugababes and Patrick Wolfe, Blue, The Original Bucks Fizz and The Vigil

Published on August 22nd 2011.

Pride Weekend: More Razzmatazz Then Ever

MANCHESTER Pride is celebrating its 21st year with a jam packed Fringe, followed by the Big Weekend and The Parade, the focal point of the whole event over the August Bank Holiday weekend.

‘Best of British’, includes Pixie Lott, on Saturday 27 August, Alexandra Burke, Sugababes and Patrick Wolfe on Sunday 28 August followed by Blue and The Original Bucks Fizz on Monday 29 August.

Lance O’Meara, the festival co-ordinator told Confidential, “we’ve got fantastic headliners with the likes of Pixie Lott and Pam Ann, and a fantastic line-up to look forward to, there’s a lot going on in the run up to the weekend and lots of birthday events throughout the festival”.

The Pride Fringe festival, running from Friday 19 August to Thursday 25th has a huge range of events lined up, something for everyone. There’s a whole host of family events, including the LBGT family Fun Day on Saturday 20th August with music, sports, crafts and circus skills activities planned and the Pink Dog Show on Sunday 21 August in Sackville Gardens.  The theme is ‘Fairy Tails’ and as well as the competition, there is reiki and massage for dogs and a dog dancing display.

Dubbed ‘a festival highlight’ of this year’s British Film Institute’s London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival  by The Times, ‘Jan’s Coming Out’, a documentary about lesbian life is being shown at the Frog and Bucket on Wednesday 24 August.

For sports fans there is plenty on offer during the Fringe, from a walk in the Peak District to kayaking to It’s a Gay Knockout, and for those with less interest in active participation, there is a live debate with a panel of openly gay sports personalities at the Palace Theatre on Thursday 25 August.

To mark the very first Pride, which was essentially a Bring and Buy Sale outside the Rembrandt raising funds for LGBT and HIV charities, there will be a Bring and Buy Sale in Sackville Gardens on Sunday 21 August.

Friday 26 to Monday 29 August is Pride’s Big Weekend with three stages of exciting entertainment and hundreds of market and lifestyle stalls. There are some huge acts topping the bill on the Gaydar Main Arena, and reflecting this year’s parade theme, ‘Best of British’, including Pixie Lott, on Saturday 27 August, Alexandra Burke, Sugababes and Patrick Wolfe on Sunday 28 August followed by Blue and The Original Bucks Fizz on Monday 29 August.


Away from the main arena there is the Lifestyle Expo, giving access to information and resources which include legal advice, community groups, health, sports clubs, and travel.

Sackville Gardens will be brought to life with music, comedy, cabaret and panto, while the Women’s Stage celebrates female music and comedy, and hosts a Drag King Competition. For the historians among us there is the ‘Out in the Past’ heritage project which is running guided tours charting the past 200 years of Manchester’s LGBT history.

By now well established as the focal point of Pride, The Parade takes place on Saturday 27 August, and as indicated above is also called the ‘Best of British’. O’Meara told us, “we’ve got great things lined up for the festival, which is being led by comedian Pan Amm and the Corrie Cast with ITV”. ITV are supporting Pride for the second year running, and spectators can look forward to the winners of last year’s ‘Best Float’ title, the Coronation Street cast, doing their best to retain their title.

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The weekend culminates with The HIV Candlelit Vigil on Monday 29 August, at 9pm in Sackville Gardens to commemorate the lives lost to the HIV virus and the campaign to fight the epidemic. Manchester Pride has raised £895,000 since 2003 for local LGBT and HIV groups and charities.

Manchester Pride is one of the first Pride events to have an iPhone app. The ‘Guide to Pride’ app, in conjunction with RBS and available free from the iTunes store will “enhance the visitor experience during the Big Weekend” and  includes information on the entertainment schedule and event ‘Hot Spots’ like the locations of bars, clubs and the box office.

Councillor Paul Fairweather, the Lead Member of the City Council for Gay Men said “I am particularly looking forward to the parade. It’s great to see not only so many people taking part, including a whole range of community and voluntary groups, but also all of the people lining the streets, including several generations of families, giving a really positive message to the LGBT community and showing they are welcome in Manchester.”

For more information about Pride, including ticket information, click here (http://www.manchesterpride.com/). 

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SmittyAugust 22nd 2011.

Really looking forward to it, looks like a great line up. So when's Mancon going to take a float in the parade? Something for next year mebbies?

Simon BinnsAugust 24th 2011.

A massive papier mache Gordo on wheels weaving its way through the city? Are you sure that's what you want?

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