Manchester Pride have announced a raft of new changes to this year’s event to better reflect the LGBTQ community as a whole.
The four-day spectacle – which will take place over the August Bank Holiday – has a new format made up of six key elements.
The first of the changes is a new location for its live music experience Manchester Pride Live, which will now take place at Mayfield, close to Piccadilly Station.
The main six strands will include the newly revamped Manchester Pride Live, along with the Candlelit Vigil, the Superbia Weekend, the Gay Village Gathering, Manchester Pride Parade and Youth Pride MCR.
What’s more, to better serve underrepresented communities who identify as LGBTQ, Manchester Pride will develop specific offerings for BAME LGBTQ people, families, and women-only events.
“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,” said Mark Fletcher, chief executive for Manchester Pride.
“The progressive city of Manchester has always led the way in the advancement of LGBT+ rights. Having listened to everyone that engages with the festival and reviewed the landscape of Pride celebrations throughout the world, along with the issues still being faced by LGBT+ people across Greater Manchester, we felt that it was important to deliver a festival that not only celebrates LGBT+ life but also clearly continues to campaign for equality and acceptance.
“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.
“The Mayfield Partnership is the perfect partner for Manchester Pride. Its commitment to creating an accessible and inclusive new neighbourhood in the city and the values it espouses are in perfect synergy with everything we hold close as an LGBT+ campaigning charity. We are excited to deliver great things together.”
Along with changes to the event, Manchester Pride has also changed its visual identity to better recognise queer people of colour and highlight the importance of stamping out racism within the community.
“We have seen that the iconic rainbow must adapt to reflect the modern society that we live in,” Mark said.
“A lot has happened but there is still a long way to go, especially in the recognition of people of colour in the LGBT+ community. To highlight the importance of this we’ve decided to adopt the 8 stripe flag created by the city of Philadelphia, USA as part of our logo.”
The eight-stripe flag was first introduced back in 2017, adding an extra brown and black stripe to Gilbert Baker’s classic design to better represent BAME people in the LGBTQ community.
Manchester Pride will take place over the weekend 23-26 August. Tickets for the event go on sale on 31 January, and you can pre-register here.