Manchester Pride has announced plans for a physical festival for LGBTQ+ people to come together to celebrate LGBTQ+ life in Greater Manchester over the August Bank Holiday weekend.
The charity is planning to hold its flagship Manchester Pride Festival, in partnership with Virgin Atlantic, in its regular spot in the city’s calendar from Friday 27 August until Monday 30 August.
On 22nd February the UK Prime Minister outlined England’s roadmap out of lockdown, offering hope that live events will return this summer. But with the pandemic always front of mind, the team which works year round to organise the four day festival, has indicated that it has alternative exciting plans which can be activated if the proposed dates for the roadmap out of lockdown change.
The four day event, which brings thousands of people to the city centre each year, is set to return for another weekend of campaigning, celebrating and fundraising for LGBTQ+ life, featuring activism, equality, youth and family, arts and culture, community and partying!
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 COVID 19 pandemic.
The biggest difference will be a reduced capacity MCR Pride Live, which in response to audience feedback will be held at a smaller venue to ensure that the event is accessible, safe and viable. With the safety and comfort of festival-goers, artists, stakeholders, artists and the Manchester Pride team the event’s capacity will be reduced by 50%. The venue for the event will be revealed later on this year.
Manchester Pride Festival 2021 will be made up of:
THE GAY VILLAGE PARTY, 27 – 30 August 2021
MCR PRIDE LIVE, 28 – 29 August 2021
MANCHESTER PRIDE PARADE, 28 August 2021
THE CANDLELIT VIGIL, 30 August 2021
SUPERBIA WEEKEND, 28 – 29 August 2021
HUMAN RIGHTS FORUM, 29 August 2021
YOUTH PRIDE MCR, 29 August 2021
FAMILY PRIDE MCR, 28 August 2021
+ MORE TO BE ANNOUNCED
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.”
Juha Jarvinen, Chief Commercial Officer at Virgin Atlantic commented; “We’re delighted that the Manchester Pride Festival is back for 2021 uniting people to celebrate LGBTQ+ culture. It’s been a difficult year for everyone and we look forward to working with Mark and the team to bring this much-loved festival safely back to the heart of Manchester.”
“Virgin Atlantic has long been staunch supporters of LGBTQ+ rights and we strongly believe in making our business as inclusive and welcoming as possible. Although we haven’t been flying as many passengers as we’d like over the last year, we certainly haven’t been sitting still. We are working with Open for Business to show the economic impact that anti-LGBTQ+ laws have on countries around the world and how these laws restrict tourism and limit growth. In a post-Covid world, as travel and tourism recovers, it’s more important than ever for destinations to be open and welcoming to everyone.
“It’s an exciting time for us and as travel restrictions relax, we look forward to welcoming people back onboard Virgin Atlantic, flying them safely from Manchester to their favourite destinations including Orlando, Barbados, New York , Los Angeles, Islamabad and Atlanta.”
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 www.manchesterpride.com.