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Everything you need to know to make the most of Manchester Pride Big Weekend


Over the last few weeks, we’ve watched as the city has turned rainbow with everything from LGBT traffic light signals and rainbow road crossings, to a Pride party for pampered pooches and mouth-watering food and drink specials that almost look too good to eat.

Now the weekend we’ve all been waiting for is finally here.

Manchester’s streets will be bustling with LGBT supporters as the gay village becomes a hub of live music, performances, activities, shops and much more – as Manchester Pride’s Big Weekend festival takes the city by multi-coloured storm.

This week Pride announced some new additions to the weekend’s line-up, including Ru Paul’s Drag Race judge and Broadway star Todrick Hall, British production trio Disciples, and singer Samantha Mumba.

We’ve put together a breakdown of which day each performer will be taking to one of Pride’s three stages, as well as lots more helpful info so that you can make the most of the last ever Manchester Pride on Canal Street.

The Parade

Saturday’s annual Parade is scheduled to set off along Liverpool Road at 12pm, passing by the Town Hall and around the gay village before ending on Whitworth Street. Supporters are welcome to join in the celebration by cheering on the floats and walking parties as they fill Manchester’s streets with pride. The event is free to attend and can be watched all along the route highlighted on the map.

This year’s theme is Circus of Acceptance, so expect the city’s streets to be transformed into a carnival of performers with acrobats, fire breathers, stilt walkers and much more. In past years the event has welcomed over 200,000 supporters so if you’re planning on attending the parade, it would be best to get down early to find the perfect viewing spot. This year over 150 entries will be included in the parade – including the renowned Coronation Street float, with lots of the cast members supporting the LGBT charity.

The Big Weekend

Welcoming artists and performers from around the world, Manchester Pride’s Big Weekend is the focal point of this mighty LGBT celebration. 

This year’s festival comprises three stages – the Thomas Cook Airlines stage, the Gaydio Dance Arena and the Sackville Gardens Boutique Stage, and we’ve got the low down on which performers are taking to each stage over the course the weekend.

Friday 24th August

Thomas Cook Airlines Stage: Jake Shears, Louise, Guilty Pleasures, Screw The DJ

Gaydio Dance Arena: Nicky Siano, Jellybean Benitez, Jamie Bull

Sackville Boutique Stage: Bongo’s Bingo

Saturday 25th August

Thomas Cook Stage: Sigala, Disciples, Kelli-Leigh, Gok Wan DJ Set, Big Freedia, Nadine Coyle, Sink the Pink, Cutmore

Gaydio Dance Arena: Dave Pearce, Pete Tong, Jon Pleased Wimmin, Darren (808 State), Kriss Herbert

Sackville Boutique Stage: Heather Peace, Emily Burns, Susie Blue, Chloe Hawes, Eli Star & Sarah Beth, Jess Kemp

Sunday 26th August

Thomas Cook Airlines Stage: Rita Ora, Todrick Hall, Samantha Mumba, Bright Light Bright Light, Youngr, Chelcee Grimes, Miri, July Jones

Gaydio Dance Arena: Ana Matronic, Danny Howard, DJ Paulette, TCTS

Sackville Boutique Stage: Angie Brown, Kelly Wilde, Hayley-Ria Christian, Lucas Primmer, Annabelle Lectar, Create Theatre Productions, Krystal Kane, Kyle Finn, Wolfy, Rachel Kelly, Ivory, Beverly Tight Lipps

Monday 27th August

Thomas Cook Airlines stage: Alexandra Burke, Lucy Spraggan, OMYO, Ruby Murry, Richard Hadfield, Wicked, Tabitha Jade, Tyni

Sackville Boutique Stage: T-Party, Gery Love, JoJo McClay, Monopoly Phonic, Ajah UK, Beau & Violet, Husk

The Big Weekend Expo

Saturday and Sunday, 11am – 6pm | Monday, 11am – 4pm

Located inside Bloom Street NCP Car Park, the Big Weekend expo is a collection of over 40 stalls all representing LGBT organisations, charities and supporters. Here you can find lots of info and advice on a range of LGBT topics, as well as lots of freebies. It’s a great way to learn all about the different organisations helping to support the LGBT community and is a real eye-open when it comes to all of the different areas that they cover and also how you can help support them.

The Silent Disco

Saturday 25th & Sunday 26th, 12pm – 5pm

After the success of last year’s silent disco – the event will be returning to Manchester Pride this Saturday and Sunday. Located in the Indoor Arena, guests can get lost in the music and sing-out-loud like you’re having your morning shower – rocking out to various DJ’s playing the biggest sing and dance-a-long tracks.

DIVA Karaoke

Saturday 25th & Sunday 26th August, 5pm – 11pm

Located in the Canteen at the entrance on Chorlton Street, is as a new addition for Pride 2018. It’s time to bring your inner divas to life for Diva Karaoke. Whether you love belting out the classics, or just fancy giving it a go – everyone is welcome. Guaranteed fun, with super hosts and hostesses to give you a helping hand.

Sing-a-long Cinema

Monday 27th August, 11am – 5pm

Also returning this year is the popular Sing-a-long Cinema. Located in the Indoor Arena, last year this venue was over-following with eager musical lovers wanting to singalong to some of their favourite show tunes. With back to back showings of The Greatest Showman and Hairspray – it’s an event not to be missed.

Bongo’s Bingo

Friday 24th August, 7pm

Bingo with a difference. Bongo’s Bingo is a rave sensation that is taking to the Sackville Boutique Stage during the first evening of the Pride weekend. This party version of the classic game has become a huge success around the UK and holiday destinations around the world. You can win big money, as well as eccentric prizes – and the session features mid-game raving intervals and bucket loads of fun.

The Candlelit Vigil

Monday 27th August, 9.15pm

Manchester Pride

The final event to take place at Manchester Pride 2018 will be the Candlelit Vigil. Supporters will join together to remember the many lives lost to the HIV virus. A free-to-attend, moving tribute which many refer to as the heart of Manchester Pride.

Third release Big Weekend tickets are priced at £28 for the full weekend, £20 for day tickets and family and children’s tickets are also available.


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