Manchester Pride returns for the August Bank Holiday weekend with the promise of the biggest and best event yet – including a headline set from Ariana Grande.
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 at Mayfield depot, 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.
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. Here are the stage times – but be aware as with all music festivals they are subject to change. Last entry to the site is 7pm on Sunday – when Ariana Grande will headline, so make sure you get to the event in time for your favourites.
The Yard Stage – Sunday 25th August
2pm – David Dunne
3.15pm – New Rules
4pm – Four of Diamonds
5pm – Pixie Lott
6pm – Becky Hill
7pm – Banarama
8.30pm – Tulisa
9.30pm – G-A-Y presents Cheryl
10.25pm – Ariana Grande
The Depot Stage – Sunday 25th August
2pm – DJ
3pm – Meat Free DJ
4.30pm – Gina Breeze
6.30pm – Maze & Masters
8pm – Hercules and Love Affair
9.30pm – Ministry of Sound Classical
11.30pm – Faithless DJ Set
Gaydio Stage – Sunday 25th 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, and performances from Saara Alto at 9.15pm, Liberty X will perform at 10pm before Screw the DJ take the party into the evening from 10.30pm to 11pm.
On Saturday August 25th, Lulu will headline the Gay Village Party, as the culmination of Danny Beard and friends day of entertainment, with times TBC.
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.
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.
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 9pm 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!