Manchester Pride Festival reveals 2019 overhaul

The organiser of the 2019 Manchester Pride Festival has revealed a new format for this year’s event, along with a new home for the festival’s live music experience.

The Festival, which takes place over four days in Manchester city centre every August Bank Holiday, August 23-26, has revealed a new format which will be made up of six key elements, extending the reach of the LGBT+ event. The location of the event’s new live music element, to be named Manchester Pride Live, has also been revealed. The ticketed event, which replaces what was known as The Big Weekend, will take place at Mayfield, close to Piccadilly Station.

The new home for Manchester Pride Live is part of a 24-acre regeneration site which will eventually see the creation of a new neighbourhood for Manchester, including residential, commercial and leisure space, as well as new city park. Parts of the site, including the railway arches and depot, have been brought back into use through a range of events including a weekly street-food fair and a host of one-off events including private functions, weddings and two events from the Manchester International Festival programme for 2018.

Manchester Pride Festival 2019 will be made up of Manchester Pride Live, the Candlelit Vigil, the Superbia Weekend, the Gay Village Gathering, Manchester Pride Parade and Youth Pride MCR. As a result of feedback from a widespread consultation in 2018, specific offerings are also being developed for family, BAME LGBT+ people and women-only events. Focus groups will be held in coming months to engage with those who want to be involved in shaping these new events.

To keep festivalgoers safe, Manchester Pride has committed more than £300,000 of investment into the reimagined Gay Village site, which has undergone much change as a result of development in the area over the past five years. It will remain a ticketed part of the festival and will be a focal point for the celebratory weekend.

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.

“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.

“Manchester Pride Live will be one of the most innovative projects that we have delivered to date and our intention is to make it a world leading celebration of LGBT+ life. The venue, much like us, is part of the foundations of our city and will provide a spectacular backdrop to what will be a uniquely inclusive experience where the LGBT+ people of Manchester can truly celebrate their culture in a safe and welcoming environment.”