Manchester Pride is an annual LGBT pride festival and parade. It takes place in the Canal street area and Mayfield, while the parade occurs through Manchester city centre. Held during the Late Summer Bank Holiday weekend, the event is paid for by entrance fees. It is one of the longest running in the country and attracts thousands of visitors to the city's gay village each year. The parade features various supporting organisations and charities, as well as representative floats from the ten metropolitan boroughs of Greater Manchester. The current festival includes a "Pride Fringe" with a series of arts, music and cultural events all over the city as well as community events including poetry readings, quizzes and film showings.
Manchester Pride Parade
Number of locations
|Canal Street, |
Manchester City Centre,
The event commenced August bank holiday 1985 in the Gay Village, with the support of a new batch of Labour Party (UK) Councillors, elected 1984 who gave the gay community their support and appointed a Lesbian and Gay officer, a move inspired by Ken Livingstone. By 1986 Manchester City Council had provided £1700 in funding to hold an event at Oxford St, the bars got together to raise money for AIDS organisations in the city with a lot of support from the gay community, it started as a very small event that people put their efforts into, it was the start of a more organised gay community, in a time of hostility from Police. In 1989 events were for fund raising to provide soft furnishings for the ward at Monsall Hospital where people received treatment for HIV / AIDS, by 1991 the Village Charity was established and ran the festival then known as Manchester Mardi Gras, 'The Festival of Fun' it raised £15,000. By this time it had expanded to include a full programme of activities from Friday to Monday with a market held in Sackville Park and a fireworks display, funds came from the North West Development Agency. By 1997 the event was notably popular with people of all backgrounds in society, and by 2002 there were 100,000 in attendance.
Manchester Pride FormedEdit
Since 2003 the gay village has been a closed gated area during the event with an entry fee charged for access,in the same year at the final closing ceremony of Mardi Gras, it was announced that the event would now be known as "Manchester Pride" and in 2007 it became a Charity in its own right (charity number 1117848) in 2013 it had loss of more than £16,000 and in 2014 Manchester Pride invited people from the LGBT community to help shape the way the organisation is run. by 2016 the event raised £149,000 for the Manchester Pride Fund, with The Big Weekend drawing over 170,000 visitors. The parade can be watched by any spectator as it travels from Deansgate. In 2017 the event raised £161,000 for LGBT charities in Manchester. The parade had over 4,000 participants and nearly 150 entries and attracted tens of thousands of spectators to the city centre. Manchester is the first such parade to include the police, the army and the NHS among its floats.
Ticket Price ControversyEdit
The 2019 event has attracted some criticism over the cost of entry to the live music area and also an entrance fee. Standard entry cost in 2018 was from £12.50 for the Monday, a one day ticket was £20 plus booking fee for Saturday or Sunday or £18.50 for Friday. A weekend ticket was £28. Elite tickets were £150. including three drinks per day from Saturday to Monday, Clubhouse bottle of bubbly, access to the parades VIP viewing stand plus lunch vouchers and priority entry. 'The Big Weekend' has been replaced by a ticketed event for 2019, with a weekend ticket fee of £64.50 plus booking fee. There are three types of ticket for 2019. The concerts will be held at the Mayfield Depot, a 10,000-capacity venue with performances by Ariana Grande, Years & Years, former Girls Aloud singer Cheryl and N-Dubz singer Tulisa. The Rainbow Pass for over 18s gives access to the concert and the Gay Village Party, the Gay Village Party at Canal St is without age restriction and weekend tickets are £15 plus booking fee, a family ticket for two adults and two children for £20 plus booking fee and day tickets. There are also VIP tickets, giving access and perks, priced from £200 to £275 plus booking fee. QZ Magazine has stated the events pricing is consistent with rising costs of concerts held in the city and that ticket prices for the live event caters to the privileged.
Criticisms have arisen over the closed nature of the event. Pride organisers argue that it increases safety and, by purchasing a ticket to enter, this gives Manchester Pride an increased income that will be donated to charities. The wristband offers access to its arena sites, where music performances are held, certain bars and clubs within the vicinity charge their own entry fees, in addition to the charge for access to gay village during the event. Manchester Pride noted the issue, stating, "we ask that bars do not charge an entrance fee during the Big Weekend; however this is something we cannot enforce".In 2015 the Ombudsman found fault in the Council’s wording of a Traffic Regulation Order. In 2017 a member of the public questioned restricted access and was advised by Greater Manchester Police pedestrians retained their rights of way according to the wording in the TTRO for that year
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