Manchester Pride with Attitude!

Publish Date: 25/08/2011

Over the years the festival has come under different names, such as Mardi Gras and Gayfest and was host to Euro Pride back in 2003. However, the aim of the festival and organisation has always been to raise money for deserving causes, and Manchester Pride is the only event of its kind in the UK that does so.

Since 2003, the organisation has raised £895,000 for these causes. The money is divided between LGB&T organisations and HIV/AIDS organisations - absolutely no profit is made by the organisation. This year as the festival turns 21 it hopes to reach the £1M mark.

As Manchester Pride approaches its 21st birthday, the festival is comprised of four distinct parts. Its 'Big Weekend' (Friday 26 - Monday 29 August), where a large and diverse number of musical acts perform across numerous stages; the Pride Fringe (19 - 25 August), a week-long series of art, theatre, music and events prior to the weekend to celebrate creativity and culture within the community; the Pride Parade (Saturday 27 August), taking place throughout Manchester's City Centre celebrating LGBT community with its sponsors, friends, partners and supporters, and finally the Candlelit Vigil (Monday 29 August), paying respects to those we have lost to the HIV/AIDS virus. You do not need a wristband to attend Manchester Pride's Candlelit Vigil (organised by George House Trust) or the Pride Parade, nor do you for Fringe events (though some of these are ticketed and priced).

For 2011, the festival will have its very own App available for download, so you will be able to look up the site map, schedule set times and weekend 'hot spots' from the comfort of your own phone.

Manchester Pride works extremely hard each year to put on a fantastic festival whilst at the same time raise money for the groups it strives to help. This would not be possible without its dedicated volunteers who help with things such as the 'wristband exchange', as well as its fantastic patrons and other supporters.

A big thank you must also go to Jackie Crozier who as Festival Director has worked tirelessly over the last six years to create a spectacular annual event, which is unique in being both a phenomenal success and a fantastic supporter of many good causes that we are all hugely proud of.

Jackie lets us in on what to expect this year "This year expect all things British! Alongside our 'Best of British' theme for the fantastic parade (Saturday 27 August) we have some fantastic home grown musical talent performing over the weekend, including Pixie Lott, Sugababes, Blue, Patrick Wolf and Alexandra Burke! This should be one of Pride's best years and - as we turn 21 - expect a few surprises!"

Manchester Pride & LGF Patron Antony Cotton is one of the events biggest supporters: "My favourite thing about Manchester is the sense of community that we have here. I've said it before and I'll say it again, Manchester is the greatest city in the world. I'm looking forward to the Parade and the Vigil which for me bookend the weekend perfectly. These are the two key elements, the very meaning and purpose of what we're doing that makes Pride still so important. It's about visibility and it's about respect. Without those two things we have nothing."

For more info download The Manchester Pride special issue of outnorthwest: