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Manchester Pride Festival 2021 Will Continue as planned

Manchester Pride Festival 2021 Will Continue as planned

Manchester Pride has announced that Manchester Pride Festival 2021, in partnership with Virgin Atlantic, will go ahead as planned following the government’s relaxing of COVID-19 measures on Monday 19 July.

Mark Fletcher, CEO for Manchester Pride, said; “Greater Manchester has a long history of promoting equality and diversity, and was at the forefront of the fight for the rights of LGBTQ+ people in the UK. It continues to be the home to a vibrant Gay Village and one of the largest LGBTQ+ communities in the country.

“We are so happy to be able to safely deliver an in person this year and support LGBTQ+ people both in celebrating and campaigning.  It has been an extremely tough 18 months for the LGBTQ+ communities across Greater Manchester and we want them to know that we are more committed than ever to ensuring that activism, equality, arts and culture, youth and family, community and partying and celebrating are central to everything that we do across the Festival Weekend.”

Councillor Luthfur Rahman OBE, Deputy Leader, Manchester City Council, said:  "We're a city with a long history of recognition and support for the LGBT+ community and Pride gives us the chance to celebrate this.  We all know Manchester does Pride better than anywhere else - we have Pride running through our veins - and we can't wait to safely welcome it back again as an in-person event this year."

The festival, which will take place in its regular spot in the city’s calendar from Friday 27 August until Monday 30 August, features six key strands: Activism, Equality, Arts and Culture, Youth and Family, Community and Party. 

Party @ Manchester Pride Festival

In 2021 Manchester Pride will host its world-class live music event, MCR Pride Live with a world-class line-up of pop and dance artists in a brand new venue!  The venue for the two day live music extravaganza, which will host performances from 40 plus international and UK artists will be announced very soon.

Artists will include Zara Larsson, Sigala, Annie Mac, Gabrielle, Katy B and Example at this year’s MCR Pride Live on Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 August.

On Sunday night Zara will be joined on stage by singer, songwriters Ella Henderson,  Gabrielle, Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Lucy Spraggan.  The stage will be hosted by Danny Beard, Cheddar Gorgeous, Anna Phylactic, The Manchester Queens and House of Blaque.

Set to appear on Saturday are English DJ, record producer and remixer Sigala, Radio One’s Dance Party legend Annie Mac, singer songwriter Katy B and musician, singer, songwriter, rapper and record producer Example plus a secret headliner which will be revealed on 27 August.

The roots of Manchester Pride and the Festival are firmly in the heart of our world-famous Gay Village. Taking place over all four days of the bank holiday weekend, the Gay Village Party is the ultimate street party celebration with incredible performances, markets and parties.  The lineup for the Gay Village Party will be revealed later this month.

Equality @ Manchester Pride Festival

Manchester Pride is proud to part of a global Pride movement that celebrates advancements in equality and challenges discrimination faced by LGBTQ+ people. While Pride is a celebration of LGBTQ+ life in Greater Manchester, the Manchester Pride Parade is a march for equality and one of the Festival's most highly anticipated events.

Mark Fletcher continued; “The Manchester Pride Parade is a huge part of the festival and offers LGBTQ+ people from across Greater Manchester the chance to come together with their allies and campaign for equality for themselves and others. 

“Unfortunately, we are extremely sad to say that following the government guidance which was released last week, and subsequent covid safety advisory group meetings yesterday, we recognise that it is not possible for us to deliver the much loved and anticipated parade  in 2021.  

“Sadly we always knew that some, if not all, of the festival was at risk this year and we know that many partners, supporters and community groups will have invested time and money in preparation for the Parade, just as we did. My team must now focus on delivering a safe programme of events that can be operated within the Government guidelines, providing an opportunity for everyone to be involved in supporting our important campaign for LGBTQ+ equality.

“Whilst this is a huge blow, we’re keen to ensure that our activism continues and this year we will be creating a not to be missed moment.”

With this in mind the charity intends to host a smaller series of marches to keep the spirit of pride alive.  The proposed series of Equality Marches will take place on Saturday 28 August 2021 in lieu of the full Parade. They will give organisations and individuals an opportunity to take part in a more comfortable outdoor setting.  There will be five marches, each limited to a maximum of 400 people per march, offering the opportunity for up to 2,000 people to take part overall. 

Representatives from the organisations that have signed up for the parade this year will be invited to put forward 10 people to march for them across the day. Marches will also be open to the general public who will be able to reserve their places by heading to https://bit.ly/2U8CHKi. Marchers will be encouraged to bring an individual banner, sign or flag and proudly display this as they march the route. 

Mark continued; “Whilst the Government announced an end to restrictions on 19 July, there were guidelines issued to support the safe delivery of large scale events.  As we have a duty of care to our staff and our audiences we recognised that, due to the nature of the event,  it is not possible to follow these guidelines when bringing hundreds of thousands of people together in Manchester City Centre. We do not feel this is the right thing to do just now. We are really pleased that we are able to offer a safe alternative to the parade that will enable us to come together and march again.

“We will be releasing more details on how friends and family may come and watch but please remember that as our city experiences increasing infection numbers I have to ask you not to come and watch the marches without following the pre-booking booking process that we will outline shortly. However, we will work to stream the marches online so that others can enjoy them safely too.”

Arts & Culture @ Manchester Pride Festival

Superbia is Manchester Pride’s year round programme of arts and culture. Superbia Weekend is an alcohol-free space, offering a programme of premieres, firsts, new work and LGBTQ+ celebrations as a culturally rich alternative to the other elements of the festival. This year, Superbia Weekend programme will be cultivated with love, acceptance and inclusiveness at its core.

Youth and Family @ Manchester Pride Festival 

Manchester Pride wants to ensure that families can take advantage of the festivities at Manchester Pride Festival and 2021 will see the return of the Family Pride MCR, a programme of activities centred around fun, wellness and learning. Manchester Pride launched Youth Pride MCR in 2019 and it was the first event of its kind in the UK. In 2021, it will once again provide a safe, supportive, fun and inclusive space for young LGBTQ+ people to express themselves, connect with others and find community.

Activism @ Manchester Pride Festival

Following its launch in 2020, featuring internationally-renowned activists Munroe Bergdorf, Juno Dawson, Ben Hunte and Reeta Loi, The Human Rights Forum will bring together prominent activists and thought-leaders to discuss the challenges that continue to face LGBTQ+ communities today, and the ways in which individuals can bring about political or social change through their actions.

Community @ Manchester Pride 

Community is at the heart of everything Manchester Pride does. The 2021 festival weekend will close at the important and moving Candlelit Vigil.  The Candlelit Vigil is a space to remember those who are suffering and those who are persecuted, and an opportunity to stand together in a united front to recognise the many challenges that are still faced by LGBTQ+ communities, both here and around the world. 

Mark Fletcher continues; “The pandemic is by no means over and we must continue to recognise the needs of the LGBTQ+ people that we serve with Manchester Pride Festival. So, whilst the rest of our plans will continue for now, we will keep safety front of mind at all times. There will be appropriate measures in place at all of our events to take into consideration the needs of LGBTQ+ people and the situation in the city in August.”

Manchester Pride Festival in partnership with Virgin Atlantic, takes place over four days in Manchester city centre every August Bank Holiday (27 - 30 August) and is made up of six key elements, extending the reach of the LGBTQ+ event even further and creating new touch points for all LGBTQ+ people across Greater Manchester and beyond.

The internationally renowned festival will come alive across the city with a programme of events curated to appeal to a variety of different audiences to create the charity’s most inclusive event yet.

Very limited tickets to Manchester Pride Festival are available now.   To find out more about Manchester Pride follow the charity on Twitter @manchesterpride or visit the website via READ MORE

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Published: 21-Jul-2021

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