Are you ready for the queerest bank holiday weekend of the year?
BY FRAN DI FAZIO, IMAGE VIA PEXELS
The Manchester Pride Festival is coming back from Friday 26 to Sunday 28 August. Earlier this year, the organisation announced the event was going back to its community-led roots through a more balanced mix of entertainment and activism.
The city of Manchester has always been at the forefront of the gay liberation movement. In May 1988, people from all over the UK showed up in attendance to a history-making protest against Section 28.
Manchester Pride traces the Parade’s history back to the mid-1980s, when the HIV/AIDS epidemic was rampant. Every year, the festival ends with a candlelit vigil in remembrance of the victims, organised in collaboration with HIV support charity George House Trust.
Mark Fletcher, CEO of the Manchester Pride charity, said: “Community is at the heart of everything we do at Manchester Pride, and it’s important for us to close the event with a moment of reflection as Sackville Gardens are transformed into a sea of flickering candles to remember those we have lost to HIV/AIDS and unite us in the worldwide fight against the epidemic and the stigma which sadly still exists.”
While there will be an expanded focus on community events, which will be free to attend, the iconic Gay Village Party will go ahead from Friday to Sunday.
There will be a vast choice of events throughout the weekend. Superbia, the city’s permanent Pride arts and culture programme, will organise alcohol-free events for those looking for a calmer celebration.
For attendees aged 14 to 18, Youth Pride MCR will offer a free Pride party at popular music venue YES, with a great line-up of guests. Former RuPaul UK contestant Ginny Lemon and Mancunian Heartstopper star Yasmin Finney will attend.
Finally, Manchester Pride and Proud2BParents teamed to deliver Family Pride MCR, a programme tailored to families attending with children.
Thinking of showing up? Here’s all you need to know to attend
When and where?
Manchester Pride 2022 will take place from Thursday 25 August to Monday 29 August at the Gay Village and the surrounding area.
How do I get there?
You can reach the Gay Village by taking the train to Manchester Piccadilly or Oxford Road stations. You can also travel by bus, getting off at Manchester Piccadilly Gardens.
To get back and forth from the event site, travelling by tram is advised. To reach the Gay Village, take the Metrolink service to Piccadilly Gardens. For the Parade, get off at Deansgate Castlefield or St Peters Square.
When is the Parade?
The Pride Parade will start at 12pm on Saturday 27 August from the junction between Liverpool Road and Deansgate. It will end at Fairfield Street, a short distance away from the Gay Village. A map is available on the Manchester Pride Instagram channel.
Do I need to buy tickets?
Tickets are required to access the Gay Village Party. The organisation is offering special tickets for those on low incomes, families and disabled attendees and their carers. All tickets information and a breakdown of the costs are available on the Manchester Pride website.
Which events are free to attend?
There are two major free events accompanying this year’s Manchester Pride Festival. One is the Human Rights Forum, an activist panel taking place on Thursday 25 August from 7pm in Sackville Gardens.
The same venue will host the closing Candlelit Vigil on Monday 29 August.
How is the Gay Village Party organised?
The Gay Village Party will be ongoing from Friday to Sunday with different events being distributed on three stages. The full line-up is available on the Manchester Pride website.
What am I permitted to bring and will there be security?
For safety reasons, certain items won’t be allowed at the event. These are drones, weapons and other blunt objects, flammable substances, noise-producing instruments and laser pens. A full list of forbidden items can be found on the organisation’s online FAQs.
There will be a security team and attendees will be subjected to search on entry to event areas. A newly introduced special welcoming team of volunteers will also ensure attendees’ wellbeing and support.
Is the event accessible?
Accessibility provisions at Manchester Pride Festival include an access team present on site, British Sign Language interpreters on all stages, accessible toilets and downloadable resources that will be available prior to the event. For full details on the accessibility policy, visit the Accessibility Hub on the organiser’s website.
DIVA wishes you a wonderful Manchester Pride!
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