Manchester Pride returns for the August Bank Holiday weekend with the promise of the biggest and best event yet.
The four day event celebrating Manchester’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender culture has been around for more than 25 years, and has been known by various names including Pride, Mardi Gras and The Big Weekend. It has traditionally taken place only in Manchester’s gay village around Canal Street.
But new for 2019, the event is being split into six different events – Manchester Pride Live, the Candlelit Vigil, the Superbia Weekend, the Gay Village Party, Manchester Pride Parade and Youth Pride MCR.
Here’s everything you need to know about all of the events taking place from Friday 23rd August to Monday 26th August.
Gay Village Party
The heart of Manchester Pride will be the Gay Village Party in partnership with Thomas Cook Airlines. The four-day event, which will happen in Manchester’s Gay Village, will bring live performances, a food and makers market, family focussed activities and more to the iconic cobbled streets and area surrounding them.
The focal point of the event will be Sackville Gardens which will play host to the Thomas Cook Airlines stage with headline performances from Lulu and Liberty X, as well as family space.
It all starts on Friday August 24th from 7pm with the opening ceremony.
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 to 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 Lineup
Tickets for the Gay Village Party, from £11 for day tickets and £16 for a weekend pass, are still available.
Manchester Pride Parade
The Manchester Pride Parade 2019 will be on Saturday 24th August and will start from the Liverpool Road end of Deansgate at 12noon. It is expected to finish by 3pm at Fairfield Street, close to Manchester Piccadilly railway station.
We can expect plenty of colourful outfits this year on the parade as the theme is Deep Space Pride: A Future World of Equality, which acknowledges the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, an event which kick-started the modern LGBT+ pride movement and the force for organising pride marches on a much bigger scale.
Here’s the full map of the Parade route for 2019:
The parade is free to attend for all, and the map includes some of the best vantage points to watch the floats pass by – including on Deansgate, at the Central Library on St Peter’s Square, Portland Street, Princess Street and Whitworth Street.
Manchester Pride Live
Manchester Pride Live will take place throughout the Mayfield site in Piccadilly and feature a number of performance spaces including a huge outdoor platform The Yard. Plus the cavernous indoor Depot will play host to DJs and dance acts and The Concourse will host a street food market, bars, and another stage area hosting pop-up performances. The old platforms of the station will be home to a funfair.
The action starts on Saturday August 24th and continues on Sunday August 25th – the stage times are TBC.
Manchester Pride Live lineup
Years & Years
Nicky Siano’s Hallelujah Disco
Basement Jaxx [dj set]
Kings of Tomorrow
Freemasons w/ Katherine Ellis
HEDKANDI 20th Anniversary Tour
Sink the Pink Djs
Rhythm of the 90s
Sunday 25th August
G-A-Y presents Cheryl
Four of Diamonds
Faithless [DJ Set]
Ministry of Sound Annual Classical
Hercules and Love Affair
We Love Pop
The Superbia Weekend
Superbia is Manchester Pride’s year round calendar of cultural events, and The Superbia Weekend is a recent addition to The Manchester Pride Festival to provide a free to attend, dry alternative to The Gay Village Party. Its three day programme of events take 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 the partying element of the 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.
Youth Pride MCR
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. It has been developed through engagement with young people from across Greater Manchester.
Taking place at YES on Charles Street, it 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.
The Candlelit Vigil
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.
A wristband is not required to attend the Vigil however the capacity of the site is limited, so early arrival is recommended. From 8pm on Monday 26th August.
The good news is that (fingers crossed) we are set for a glorious, sun-soaked bank holiday weekend here in Manchester just in time for Pride!
Current forecasts (as of August 16th) give a brilliant wall-to-wall sunshine prediction for Friday, Saturday, Sunday AND Monday of the bank holiday weekend – with highs of 21 degrees. So pack that sunscreen!