Manchester Pride 2012 will be an out, loud and proud celebration with music, comedy, dancing, theatre – and above all fun. Pride runs from August 17 to August 27 including the Pride Fringe and the Big Weekend, which starts this Friday. It celebrates the city’s thriving lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities.
Thousands of visitors are expected for the Big Weekend, a non-stop party between August 24 and 27. The Gaydar main arena on Bloom Street/Sackville Street will host some of the hottest acts. Confirmed artists include Steps, Amelia Lily, 2 Shoes,Alexander Stewart Bjorn Again, Scarletts Rose, Louise Dearman, Alison Moyet and Cleo Sol. On stage at Sackville Gardens there is a programme of live bands with new talent and more established acts performing throughout the weekend. Between 4pm and 11pm on the Sunday the focus will be on female bands, performers and comedians.
One of the highlights of Pride is the Parade on Saturday August 25 from 1pm. More than 100 floats will make their way through the city’s streets providing a carnival of colour and attracting thousands of spectators. It starts on Deansgate opposite the Hilton Hotel and finishes on Whitworth Street, just outside the Gay Village. Details of the full route is here.
This year’s theme is ‘Queer’d Science’ to honour the 100th anniversary of codebreaker Alan Turing whose work at Bletchley Park helped crack the Nazi enigma cipher. The gay computer pioneer was prosecuted for gross indecency for having relations with another man in 1952 when it was illegal. He committed suicide two years later. A legal bid to clear his name has been launched in the Lords.
The village market will be on throughout the Big Weekend with stalls selling treats including sweets, clothing, jewellery. The Lifestyle Expo will run between 11am and 6pm from Saturday August 25 to Monday, August 27 with information about community groups, health and sports clubs as well as legal advice. Visit Pride Angel at the Lifestyle expo.
The pace of the weekend will slow on Monday August 27 at 9.15pm with the George House Trust candlelit vigil to remember those who have lost their lives to HIV and those who are fighting the epidemic worldwide. The vigil, which takes place in Sackville Gardens, closes Pride week. A Pride wristband is needed to get into the Big Weekend site around Canal Street, but not for the Parade or the candlelit vigil. A weekend ticket for the festival is £20 and a day pass £12. Child weekend tickets are £7.50 and day passes, £5.
Why not come along to the Lifestyle Expo to chat with Pride Angel about gay and lesbian parenting options.
Article: 24th August 2012 www.menmedia.co.uk