Organisers have announced an all-new format for the August Bank Holiday festival
Manchester Pride organisers say they are prepped for a 'radically different' festival this year, as the city's largest LGBT+ celebration announce a brand new home for the August Bank Holiday live music event.
As major redevelopment in The Village continues, the festival's main event, Manchester Pride Live (formerly The Big Weekend), will now take place at the Mayfield Depot.
Located behind Piccadilly station, the expansive (and supposedly haunted) former railway depot sits in close proximity to Sackville Gardens in The Village and will welcome revellers on Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 August.
The Village will continue to be the hub of the festival in 2019
Following in the footsteps of previous large Mayfield events, such as Warehouse Project and Manchester International Festival, around 30 acts will perform across two main stages over the weekend.
Artist announcements will follow later this month, with promise of world class acts 'never been before seen at the festival'.
Manchester Pride Live is expected to 'introduce a whole new audience to Mayfield' as well as extending the reach of the LGBT+ event further. While the new venue is a first in Manchester Pride's history, CEO Mark Fletcher reassures the festival 'will not be moving away from Manchester’s gay village' despite the changes.
The Village will continue to be the hub of the festival’s LGBT+ celebrations. This year will see the Gay Village Gathering, an 'ultimate street party' with community performances in Sackville Gardens, plus markets and parties across the village’s venues.
The Parade - which was bigger than ever before in 2018 - will follow the same route as last year, and expects to draw hundreds of thousands of revellers to the city centre on Saturday afternoon.
The Candlelit Vigil will also continue to close the four days with a moment of reflection in Sackville Gardens, to remember those lost to the HIV virus.
Fringe event The Superbia Weekend is also set to return in 2019. The former Cornerhouse building on Oxford Road will be an alcohol-free space and 'a culturally rich alternative' to the more hedonism elements of the festival.
Other announcements include Youth Pride MCR, a free-to-attend event for 16-to-25 year olds.
Mark Fletcher, chief executive for Manchester Pride, said: “This is a huge announcement for us and something we are extremely proud of. We have spent the past three years listening to our audiences and have curated these new elements of the festival to connect with as many LGBT+ people as possible.
“The progressive city of Manchester has always led the way in the advancement of LGBT+ rights. Having listened to everyone that engages with the festival and reviewed the landscape of Pride celebrations throughout the world, along with the issues still being faced by LGBT+ people across Greater Manchester, we felt that it was important to deliver a festival that not only celebrates LGBT+ life but also clearly continues to campaign for equality and acceptance.
Fletcher adds: “What’s more, 2019 will mark the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising; an event which kick-started a half-century of LGBT+ right liberation. As we reflect on this landmark, we’ve been working hard to ensure that the political messaging and purpose of the Manchester Pride Festival remains clear and accessible for everyone who continues to support the LGBT+ Pride movement in the modern age."
Find out more about Manchester Pride and their charity via the website