The LGBTQ+ festival is back for a long summer weekend of campaigning and celebrating
Last year’s festival season was completely wiped out, and this summer’s hangs in the balance as we embark on the uncertain road to normality. So it’s fantastic news that Manchester Pride has announced the return of one of the city’s most beloved get-togethers this August bank holiday weekend.
The charity is planning to hold its flagship LGBTQ+ fest in its regular spot in Manchester’s festival calendar; from Friday 27 to Monday 30 August. Should there be delays in the government’s proposed ‘roadmap out of lockdown,’ preventing the full return of live events this summer, an ‘exciting alternative’ format will ensure Pride goes ahead regardless.
The four-day event, which brings thousands of people to the city centre each year and raises vital funds for LGBTQ+ causes, promises its signature mix of campaigning and celebrating for 2021 - from the famed Parade and Gay Village Party to arts, culture and events for all ages.
The team behind the festival is working towards the delivery of a programme that includes all of the traditional elements expected by visitors, with some tweaks and allowances for the new restrictions as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
The biggest difference will be a reduced-capacity (50%) MCR Pride Live; held at a smaller venue to ensure that the event is accessible, safe and viable. The location be revealed later on this year.
Events taking place across several days will include The Gay Village Party (27 - 30 August), MCR Pride Live and Superbia Weekend (28 - 29 August). Saturday 28 August will also see the Manchester Pride Parade and Family Pride MCR; followed by Human Rights Forum and Youth Pride MCR on Sunday 29. As ever The Candlelit Vigil will bring the festival to a reflective close, on Monday 30 August.
Mark Fletcher, CEO of Manchester Pride, said; “Manchester Pride is proud to part of a global Pride movement that celebrates advancements in equality and challenges discrimination faced by LGBTQ+ people. As both a charity and organisers one of the UK’s largest Pride festivals, we had to fight for our survival throughout 2020.
“Having to postpone the Manchester Pride Festival in 2020 was necessary but extremely hard for myself and the team and I am so pleased that we are able to plan for an event in 2021. Naturally there is some uncertainty over what will happen in the coming months but we have to plan now in order to be able to deliver a festival of this scale.
“We are confident that by reducing the capacity of MCR Pride Live we can deliver the event, as long as the government’s plans for vaccinations and reopening of events and hospitality remain on track. With the health and safety of everyone involved our key priority, we remain cautiously optimistic and have plans in place to respond to a number of potential scenarios.
“Whatever happens Manchester Pride will deliver a celebration of LGBTQ+ life in Greater Manchester this August and we will do everything we can to make it a COVID-safe, live, in-person event across the city. If this just isn’t possible then we will host an alternative, innovative, world-class celebration that incorporates socially distanced events and digital elements to ensure that LGBTQ+ people in Greater Manchester can come together to celebrate and ensure that our campaign for greater LGBTQ+ equality continues at this vital time.”
Tickets for all events, from Superbia Weekend to Youth Pride MCR, will be released over the coming months. For those who bought tickets for the events due to take place in 2020 tickets were automatically rolled over to 2021. Should the event be cancelled or rescheduled, all tickets will be automatically rolled over to 2022. Anyone who does not wish to roll forward their ticket will have the option for a refund of the face value of the ticket.
For more information about the festival visit manchesterpride.com.