Wednesday, April 24, 2024
Travel

Great Britain rolls out the rainbow carpet as Pride continues across the Pond

GB is spilling the tea on all things LGBT this summer and we have a gay guide for you!

From Brighton to Belfast, Liverpool to London and beyond, cities across the United Kingdom continue to celebrate and commemorate the milestones of their LGBTQ communities with colorful, diverse, and entertaining Prides.

VisitBritain, the official website for UK tourism has lots of information for you to plan your last minute Pride getaway this summer! Discover the top LGBTQ+ things to do in Great Britain here.

The company’s Executive Vice President, The Americas, Australia and New Zealand Paul Gauger said: “It is no wonder Britain is such a popular destination for the LGBTQ community with our vibrant cities, unparalleled cultural offerings, stunning countryside and world-class attractions. Our activity is all about showcasing the diversity of these amazing places and experiences and inspiring visitors to discover the warm British welcome waiting for them not only during Pride season, but all year round.”

Here’s our Pride pick of cities:

London

Pride in London calls for Visibility, Unity and Equality. Pride in London announces the 51st anniversary pride parade with landmark participation and a return to its historic route. London Pride, the UK’s biggest, most diverse Pride. A home for every part of London’s LGBT+ community.

The London Pride parade will start at noon on July 1 from Hyde Park Corner, while the grandstand in Haymarket will be open from 11am.

The parade will trace the route of the historic 1972 march, passing important sites from the UK’s LGBT+ movement. The parade kicks off at Hyde Park Corner, where the first post-march picnic took place in 1972, and where mining communities showed solidarity with the LGBT+ community in 1985. From Hyde Park Corner, the parade continues down Piccadilly, through Piccadilly Circus. Turning south on Haymarket, the parade goes through Trafalgar Square (the terminus for the 1972 March), before culminating at Whitehall Place. To view the route on a map, please visit https://prideinlondon.org/parade/map/   

Queer Britain (London, England)The first ever LGBTQIA+ museum in the UK, Queer Britain covers over 100 years of queer life from the worlds of activism, art, culture and social history. 

Dalston Superstore (London, England): East London’s queer pleasure palace – full of cabaret, drag performances and live music events

DIVA, V&A South Kensington, London – 24 June 2023 – 7 April 2024: DIVA celebrates the power and creativity of iconic performers from Victorian opera goddesses to today’s global megastars. Through fashion, photography, design, costumes, music and live performance, the exhibition looks at what it means to be a diva and how divas have driven societal change. www.vam.ac.uk/exhibitions/diva

More info: 

o   https://prideinlondon.org/ 

o   https://www.visitbritain.com/en/things-to-do/lgbtqi-guide-london

o   https://pinkuk.com/events/europe/uk/london/london/pride-in-london-2023 

Brighton
  • Brighton Pride – August 4-6
    • Brighton’s Pride festival kicks off with the annual Pride Community Parade, a dazzling visual spectacle that sees Brighton and Hove’s diverse community take to the streets in a show of unity and equality. The party carries on with Fabuloso in the Park, featuring main stage entertainment from major artists, with previous years hosting acts including Britney Spears, Kylie Minogue and Jess Glynne. Other entertainment has included dance tents, cabaret, a funfair, a family area and a market. The Pride Village Party brings the festivities to St James Street and there’s also the city’s iconic seafront Marine Parade, not to mention a vibrant mix of comedy and performance at Pride at the Ironworks.
  • Pride Village Party – Aug 5-6
    • The Pride Village Party in Brighton’s famous Kemptown sees businesses across St James’s St and Marine Parade come together to celebrate Pride and raise extra funds for the Brighton Rainbow Fund and Pride Social Impact Fund.
    • Entertainment zones, bars and venues, live performances and cabaret, DJs, drag artists, singers, performers, musicians come together for an unforgettable weekend of fundraising celebrations. Tickets are not on sale yet.
  • Pride Parade – August 5
    • The Brighton & Hove Pride LGBTQ+ Community Parade 2023 will be on Saturday 5th August with the theme ‘Love, Protest & Unity’.
    • Love – a declaration of love for all our LGBTQ+ siblings and confirmation that we will always stand together as a community
    • Protest – acknowledging that the Pride movement has its roots in protest and committing to continuing the fight for global human rights
    • Unity – as our hard fought for rights are being eroded around the world, a recognition that our differences make us stronger and commitment to campaign until all are treated equally
  • Pride Community Day and Dog Show – August 27th
    • Join us as we celebrate our four-legged best friends with a day of fun and barking frolics, as dogs and dog lovers come together and shine with Pride.
    • The Pride Community Day & Dog show in association with Coastway Vets features awards for numerous categories, retail stalls, a glamorous catwalk doggy fashion show, bar and refreshments.
  • FABULOSO in the Park – August 5-6
    • Brighton and Hove Pride Official Community Fundraiser
    • FABULOSO in the Park will run over two days (Saturday and Sunday) hosting main stage artists as well as popular favourite attractions including Cabaret Tents, Queer Town, the QTIPoC stage, dance tents and a host of new, diverse and immersive experiences.
  • Pride at the Ironworks
    • ‘Pride at the Ironworks’ is a season of cabaret, comedy and live music celebrating LGBTQ+ culture and diversity, and part of a fantastic new year round cultural calendar
    • Their mission is to  present high-quality, innovative, inspirational, and engaging work to entertain, inform, educate, and thereby enrich the cultural life of the LGBTQ+ community and the residents of Brighton & Hove. All productions support our local good causes and community groups, including the Brighton Rainbow Fund, and Pride Cultural Development Fund.
  • Pride Campsite – Aug 4-7
    • Nothing beats spending Pride weekend under canvas as you immerse yourself in a Pride experience filled with fun, laughter and celebrations and it’s the best way to make Pride weekend financially accessible to all visitors. The Brighton Pride Camp Camp is always filled with an amazing celebratory atmosphere from Friday to Monday to make it a 3 day weekend.
  • Brighton Bear Weekend – July 6
    • Brighton Bear Weekend will begin with the fabulous and ever so slightly competitive BBW quiz. Don’t miss the legendary garden party and of course the incredibly popular Mr Brighton Bear competition.
    • Bears, cubs and pals will descend on Brighton to party and celebrate with events including Bear-a-oke, Cub night, Mr Brighton Bear competition and more.
    • The event will raise money for the Brighton Rainbow Fund. 
  • Brighton Trans Pride – July 15
    • 2023 is their 10th Anniversary
    • Trans Pride Brighton is the first and the largest Trans Pride event outside of America. Each year since 2013 we’ve host the largest protest for trans liberation in Europe, with over 10,000 people attending.
    • Trans Pride Brighton is a grass-roots, community-led organisation run by a team of volunteers. Our aim is to inspire all trans, intersex, gender variant and queer people to help make a real difference by celebrating trans lives and gender diversity. We aim to educate and eliminate discrimination by promoting equality and diversity through visibility, while also celebrating our unique history.
Birmingham
  • SHOUT Festival – Autumn 2023
    • SHOUT is the festival of queer arts and culture for Birmingham and the West Midlands. It aims to amplify the voices of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer people and communities from across our city and region, and start new conversations and tell new stories about LGBT+ life..
    • SHOUT Festival was created by Birmingham LGBT, a grassroots organisation that lies at the heart of a kaleidoscope of dozens of community groups and networks, and delivers a vast range of support services for LGBT+ people – which puts SHOUT Festival directly in touch with the lived experience of queer communities across the city.
  • Sidewalk (Birmingham, England): A popular hangout for a younger mixed crowd filled with cocktails.
Leeds
  • Leeds Pride – August 6
    • A ‘must-not-miss’ event on Yorkshire’s LGBTQI+ calendar, Leeds Pride is the biggest event of its kind in Yorkshire. Past years have seen the city burst to life with a diverse line up of acts at Millennium Square, a march through the centre of Leeds and the biggest parties until the early hours. Leeds Pride is one of the biggest events in the city and one of the biggest free pride events in the country.
  • The Angels of Freedom is a community based initiative organised by volunteers and supported by Leeds City Council, British Transport Police and West Yorkshire Police. Their aim is to provide visible support for the LGBT+ community based in the Freedom Quarter area of the city every Friday evening. Their volunteers provide conversations on support & social groups, activities and events in Leeds, along with just being a friendly approachable face on the bar scene for anyone wanting a chat. Their regular LGBT+ Coffee and Cake Cafe is a great opportunity to meet others, play board games, enjoy cake and refreshments or just for a friendly chatter with attendees.
  • The Bookish Type is an independent bookstore located in the Merrion Centre specialising in literature from across the LGBTIQA+ spectrum from all genres! Not only that, the unique bookshop is also a community hub and the team want to bring people together, particularly different generations of bookish types.
  • Gay nightlife
    • Queens Court, the biggest gay club in Leeds, has DJs and themed nights throughout the week across two floors. 
    • The New Penny is one of the UK’s longest running LGBT+ venues, and Leeds oldest gay bar, and is still going strong. 
    • The award-winning Viaduct Showbar will entertain you seven days a week with cabaret, live shows and DJs while Fibre will have you dancing until the small hours.
Bristol
  • Bristol Pride – June 24 – July 9
    • Bristol Pride is a unique and important event that celebrates the LGBT+ community offering the chance to connect people. As well as showcasing our wonderfully diverse community, Pride is about overcoming prejudice, hatred, reducing isolation, and showing members of the LGBT+ community that they are not alone. The countdown to Pride 2023 has begun, the festival runs from 24 June – 9 July with more events than ever this year and Pride Day sees scissor sisters front man Jake Shears headline plus international icon Natalie Imbruglia takes over our Afternoon Legends slot with over 100 acts across five stages. 2022 saw 40,000 people join us on The Downs with 20,000 on the Parade March which takes place on Sat 8 July ahead of the main festival. Registration to join our Parade March is open now.
  • Pride Day July 8
    • Pride Day starts with the Pride Parade which is followed by our massive outdoor multi-stage festival with music and performances, community and family areas, silent disco, bars, food, markets and lots more.
  • Don’t Tell Your Mother (DYTM)
    • Monthly indie-pop LGBT+ friends night. Hang out at the popular bar, dance your socks off, or relax out on the terrace. Comes into its own in the Summer months, when the bustling friendly vibe extends into the yard.  
    • When: Currently first Saturday of the month at The Phoenix.
  • ESDR / Eat Sleep Drag Repeat
    • Eat Sleep Drag Repeat (@ESDRevents) is the home of RuPaul’s Drag Race artists in Bristol and beyond, presenting artists from the show since September 2015. We’ve hosted artists such as Sasha Velour, Katya Zamolodchikova, Alaska 5000, Sharon Needles, Jinkx Monsoon and more.
    • ESDR are known for high quality shows with exceptional guest artists. We search far and wide for the best UK drag talent, hosted by award winning Brighton Drag Prince Alfie Ordinary. We’re really proud to promote drag which doesn’t discriminate; everyone is welcome at Eat Sleep Drag Repeat.
  • Bristol Bear Bar (Bristol, England): One of the UK’s only purpose-built bear bars, it attracts a varied crowds and brings the beats of pop and dance music to the table.
Manchester 
  • Canal Street: a huge gay village right in the centre of town packed with gay bars and clubs:
    • Wednesday nights, known as ‘Butterflies’, are particularly popular with the trans community, with the bars Napoleon’s and New York New York having faithful regulars.  
  • No. 1 Canal Street is one of the most highly regarded bars and seen by many as the community heart of Canal Street.
    • Poptastic hosts one of the area’s most popular club nights – on Tuesdays and Saturdays – at  Club Alter Ego. 
  • G-A-Y is a pop music haven with music video walls and a roof terrace, offering regular drinks promotions to a lively crowd
  • Vanilla, the city’s legendary lesbian bar, makes sure that the girls get good representation with a selection of fun bar nights and one-off bank holiday events.
  • Coyotes Bar is another favorite.
  • Cruz 101, the non-stop gay club open seven nights a week, that helped kick start the city’s modern gay nightlife.
  • Gay Wedding Show Manchester – Sept 17
  • FunnyBoyz Manchester RuPaul’s Drag Race UK S4: JustMay – Feb 4 and Jun 17. 
  • The Manchester Pride Festival takes place over Summer Bank Holiday, 24th – 28th August 2023 and hosts many events including:
    • Parade: Saturday, 26th August.  The Manchester Pride Parade is a march for equality and one of Manchester Pride Festival’s most highly anticipated events. 
    • Gay Village Party: 25th – 28th August.  Taking place over all 4 days of the bank holiday weekend, the Gay Village Party proved to be the ultimate street party celebration 
  • The Candlelit Vigil provides a moment of reflection to remember those we have lost to HIV/AIDS and to stand together unified against the discrimination LGBTQ+ people still face today.
  • Superbia: Manchester Pride’s year-round arts and culture programme, offers a series of alternative events each year as part of Manchester Pride Festival.
  • Family Pride: – Saturday, 28th August 2022, is a programme of activities centered around fun, wellness and learning.
  • Youth Pride: Sunday 27th August. Youth Pride MCR is a free-to-attend event especially curated for the younger members of the LGBTQ+ family aged 14+, who wanted to experience Pride in a way designed just for them. 
  • Sparkle/Trans Pride Manchester: The Sparkle Weekend 8 July 2023 – 10 July 2023, is the world’s largest free-to-attend celebration of gender diversity, and a safe space for anyone who identifies as gender non-conforming, their families, friends, and allies.
Liverpool 
  • Liverpool Pride 2023 – Friday, July 28, 2023 to Monday, July 31, 2023, is a weekend-long festival held at the Pier Head and Gay Quarter in Liverpool City Centre.
    • The Main Parade takes place on July 30, 2023, and the route starts at St George’s Hall, typically at noon and finishes at Moorfields.
    • Tithebarn Street will feature big-name entertainment, local bands and artists. The area includes a youth zone, community expo and more across the site.
    • Pride Sundae is set to stage a host of unmissable events across Liverpool and is perfect for the whole family.
  • Liverpool was the first British city to introduce rainbows on street signs to identify the Gay Quarter with pride. Stanley Street Quarter serves as the main focal point for Liverpool’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and is the symbolic heart of the ‘gay quarter.’  Pride after parties will be held at various gay bars such as:
    • Navy Bar – Longtime gay quarter nightspot offering a full bar & DJs located in the hub of Liverpool’s gay village.
    • GBar – 3-room gay bar on Eberle St in the hub of Liverpool city centre for after-hours partying in the basement with a great sound system.
    • Heaven – Heaven is Liverpool’s busiest after-hours located in Stanley Street Quarter. Expect a mix of LGBTQ and straight, and mingle with the varied crowd. Large selection of shooters, cocktails and beers.
    • Superstar Boudoir – Liverpool’s No 1 Drag Venue on Stanley Street. Lively cabaret bar opens seven days.
    • The Lisbon –  Basement bar serves tasty pub-style food every day. Famed for its beautifully ornate ceiling, one of the most historical and mythical bars on Pink Street.
    • The Masquerade – Live music, karaoke nights, resident drag queens performing every weekend and regular theme nights.
    • Poste House – Snug 2-level gathering place with a traditional pub on the main level plus a gay-friendly space.
Newcastle
  • Northern Pride will be held July 22-July 24, 2023.
    • Pride Parade: Thousands are expected to join the march as it makes its way through the city, beginning at Newcastle’s Civic Centre on 22nd July starting at 12:00 pm and ending at the UK Pride Festival grounds on the Town Moor.
  • Newcastle has a thriving Gay scene with several bars and nightclubs within a short distance of each other. The Gay Village or Pink Triangle as it is sometimes known is situated between the Central Station and the Metro Radio Arena including:
  • Powerhouse (Newcastle, England): The city’s biggest and longest running nightclub, located in the Pink Triangle. Spanning over four floors, it plays party classics through the evening.  
Edinburgh 
  • Edinburgh Pride takes place on Saturday 24th June 2023 and is Scotland’s longest running celebration of diversity, being the 26th anniversary in their 28th year of events and is Scotland’s biggest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) festival.
    • Pride Parade: June 24th 2023 – The parade route takes place south along Horse Wynd from 12pm.  As the parade ends, events begin at both Teviot House and Potterrow with a full programme of entertainment including a wellbeing fair, family entertainment and ceilidh dancing.
    • Other activities include a Youth Space, Trans space and community entertainments from Local Choirs.
    • Edinburgh DILF party hosts regular event throughout the year including a special Pride party.
    • Run entirely by volunteers, they organize both a pride march and a community based festival to celebrate diversity and personal identity. The festival encompasses live music, DJs and a health and community fair. Pride Scotia is held in Edinburgh every two years.

There are many gay bars and clubs and pride events on Princess Street.

  • The Street (Edinburgh, Scotland): An independent LGBTQIA+ bar and bistro on the edge of the Pink Triangle, serves coffee and comforting street food by day and has a buzzing party atmosphere by night.
Glasgow
  • Glasgow Pride 2023: Gin tastings, drag events, a large parade & a glamorous disco at Barrowlands Ballroom (June 23, 2023 – June 25, 2023)
    • The Main parade: (24th June 2023) This years’ march starts at noon on Saturday at Greendyke Street, just outside Glasgow Green and after making its way through Glasgow City Centre, ends on the Broomielaw near the new Barclays Campus where there will be a small selection of stalls and activities.
    • All of the gay bars and clubs on Virginia Street host special parties and events throughout the weekend with most of the bigger parties taking place on the Friday and Saturday nights of the weekend. Parties to be confirmed:
      • The Barrowlands Ballroom on 244 Gallowgate hosts a pride after party, with an all-star lineup of performances from drag acts, bands, samba drummers and choirs as well as stalls, face painting and family activities.
      • Revolution on Mitchell Street hosts a Pri(de After Party with guest DJS and performances throughout the night.
      • Other events include the AMXM Pride Party on Glassford Street.
      • DILF Glasgow hosts a very special Pride edition of their popular pop-up event.
  • Speakeasy (Glasgow, Scotland ): Despite its name, it’s not hard to spot this queer bar. Located in the Merchant City area, think colorful cocktails, karaoke and fierce drag queens.
Cardiff
  • PRIDE Cymru’s Big Weekend takes place on August 27th and 28th, 2023  on Cardiff City Hall Lawns 
  • Every year, Cardiff hosts a weekend celebrating Wales’ LGBT+ communities. A colorful parade, a music festival, comedy shows and drag stars paint the city in rainbow colors for all to enjoy.The parade features performances from DJs Leoncé and DJ Dabes
  • Pride Cymru encourages visitors to enter their annual parade on Saturday. Whether people join individually or with friends or family, the parade sees thousands of people march peacefully through the streets of Cardiff city center. Many local businesses join in too, promoting equality and standing behind employees who identify as LGBT+. It’s one of Cardiff’s brightest parades.
  • Pride Cymru’s pride festival entertainment covers 3 stages over 2 days of jam packed performances from a mix of big names and local talent. Performers will be announced closer to the festival timing. 
  • Shelf Life Bookshop (Cardiff, Wales): For queer-positive books and zines, head to Shelf Life. Full of rare DI-zines from independent creators and books raising the voices of the underrepresented, this is a shop full of undiscovered gems. 
Belfast

Belfast Pride Festival is one of the biggest festivals in Belfast and runs over 150 events across 10 days. The festival runs from Friday 22nd July to Sunday, July 31st with Pride Day and the centerpiece Pride Parade on Saturday 30th July.

The Belfast Pride Parade is the main event in the LGBT+ calendar, a major city event and the biggest cross community parade in Belfast. It is a protest and a celebration, a call for equality, a stand for solidarity and a celebration of the lives of LGBT+ people in Belfast and beyond.

The 2023 Belfast Pride festival will take place from Friday July 21st to Sunday July 30th. The Pride Parade will be on Saturday, July 29th. 

 

Cornwall
  • March / Parade – Features performances from walking bands and dance groups, with appearances from organizations and charities with floats and props. There are different parades throughout the area on Sundays throughout May, June and July.
    • More information to be shared on official pride events. 
Dover
  •  Dover Pride (26 August) hosts a day of music and entertainment in this historic town.

o   www.femmefest.co.uk

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