Let loose and dance The Big Weekend away at sets from pop powerhouses including Rita Ora, Jake Shears and Sigala. Grab your friends and get ready to sing your heart out!
This year’s theme is ‘The Circus of Acceptance’: a place where everyone is encouraged to be themselves in celebration of LGBT+ life. Find your best fancy dress and get your glitter on before running away with the circus this August bank holiday weekend.
Thomas Cook Airlines Stage
Jake Shears, Sigala, G-A-Y Presents Rita Ora, Alexandra Burke, Lucy Spraggan, Nadine Coyle, Louise, Gok Wan, Big Freedia, Youngr, Kelli-Leigh, Bright Light Bright Light.
The Gaydio Dance Arena
Pete Tong, Ana Matronic, Nicky Siano, Danny Howard, Dave Pearce, Jellybean Benitez, Jon Pleased Wimmin, TCTS, Darren (808 State), Jamie Bull, DJ Paulette, Kriss Herbert
Sink the Pink, Guilty Pleasures, Bongos Bingo
The Sackville Boutique Stage
Proms in the Park, Heather Peace Presents A Taste Of Our Gay Village
An alternative to The Big Weekend, a brand-new addition to Festival, The Superbia Weekend, is a family-friendly dry space. Bringing a dose of culture to the community, there’s a whole host of entertainment on offer which showcases LGBT+ comedy, film, literature, music, debate and sport.
The centre of the celebration is the pride parade, Manchester city centre is swept with colour as floats and thousands of marchers take to the streets before a sea of supporters. Make sure you catch the best of the action and secure a spot towards the end of the parade by the New Union Hotel.
As well as displaying an array of colours, a dimmer approach is taken in Sackville Gardens as it is illuminated by candlelight; thousands join together to take a moment to honour those we’ve lost to HIV. A moving end to the Festival, the Candlelit Vigil is a chance to show our solidarity and consider the challenges faced by LGBT communities around the world.
* The action at the Main Stage Arena and Sackville Gardens Arena ends at 11pm, but you can squeeze in another hour of fun at the Dance Arena which closes at midnight, then keep the party going at bars in the Gay Village that’ll be open until the sun’s up.
* Don’t be caught without cash! Here are three spots to withdraw at: opposite the main stage, outside The Village Chip Shop on Bloom Street (£1.99 charge); inside Clone Zone on Sackville Street (£1.50 charge); and for free in The Eagle Bar on Bloom Street.
Buy Big Weekend tickets in advance for £28 for the whole weekend and £20 for a day ticket at ticketmaster.com. This gets you into the entire event site including all the different stages. If you’ve got any last-minute additions to your group, make sure you head to the Box Offices on the site early as queues can build up quickly.
Get ahead of the game and bag yourself fast track entry. Buy your tickets online and make sure to select the secure post option. Your Pledge Bands will be posted out to you, so you can jump straight into the fun as soon as you arrive. If you don’t do this, remember that you’ll need to swap your ticket for a Pledge Band on the day of the Festival to get into the event site.
Go big or go home with a VIP package. Experience the best of the best with the black package which includes:
* A bottle of Barefoot Bubbly upon arrival to The Clubhouse on the Friday
* Invitation to a pre-parade drinks reception
* Watch the parade from your reserved seat on the viewing grandstand
* Goodie bag on your grandstand seat
* Priority access to The Gaydio Dance Arena
* Lunch vouchers for the Saturday and Sunday
Get tickets at festival.manchesterpride.com
Pride Official After Party
Keep the Pride Spirit going after hours at Glitterbox, Pride’s official after party. Last entry to the event at Albert Hall is 11pm without and 12am with Pride wristbands, but once inside the party continues until 4am. With Roger Sanchez, Simon Dunmore and Hifi Sean, plus special guest Julie McKnight, this promises to be a night to remember.
The Lowry, Pride Afternoon Tea
If you’re keen to get in the Pride spirit but festivals aren’t your idea of fun, then why not pop down to the Lowry during August for their limited edition Pride Afternoon Tea? Putting a spin on their usual and hugely popular afternoon tea, this month’s offerings include rainbow layered cakes and a pound from every afternoon tea sale being donated to charity.
If this weekend has got you in the mood for more then why not travel to Disneyland this October for their three-day Pride celebrations? Packed with events from welcome drinks at Planet Hollywood to an Oscar’s themed party, this is a chance to celebrate with old friends and make some new ones at the most magical place in the world.