Held annually over the August Bank Holiday weekend, Manchester Pride is a joyful, loud and proud celebration of queer identity and expression. The festival is one of the most important LGBTQ+ events in the country – but it isn’t just one sun-soaked weekend. Manchester Pride is also a charity that supports all areas of LGBTQ+ lives in the city all year round.
Most parts of the festival are free to enjoy such as the annual Pride parade, plus a Family Pride MCR and a Youth Pride MCR. The Gay Village Parties are the only part of the festival that you need tickets for – that’s where the big names perform.
Manchester Pride 2023
This year’s festival runs from 25-28 August and is based around the theme, Queerly Beloved. Expect a celebration of love as Manchester Pride 2023 marks ten years of marriage equality.
The headline acts will be Alison Goldfrapp, hot off the success of her first solo album The Love Invention, and Raven Mandella, the “unapologetically Black and queer” dancer, drag performer and DJ. Joining them as a special guest is the celebrated drag artist and musician, Conchita Wurst.
There’ll be a diverse line-up performing over three stages, including Brazilian drag sensation Pabllo Vittar, international icon Jake Shears and RuPaul’s Drag Race UK winner Danny Beard. Look out for appearances from Gok Wan, Natasha Bedingfield, Lisa Scott-Lee and Jodie Harsh. Takeovers this year include the Queer Asian Takeover, Trans Filth & Joy, Black Pride MCR and the Queer Women’s Takeover.
It’s not all a raucous riot of colour and noise. There’s a human rights forum, a Superbia Weekender with alcohol-free arts and culture events, and the festival, as ever, closes with its candlelit vigil in Sackville Gardens.
Image: Bimini who is performing at Manchester Pride 2023