City gears up for a spectacular Brighton Pride

Brighton Pride 2016 (Photograph: Eddie Mitchell)
Brighton Pride 2016 (Photograph: Eddie Mitchell)

Brighton Pride is back for some fabulous fun, with a glittering line-up of events taking place across the city next weekend (August 4-6).

The Pride celebrations in the UK’s LGBT capital take place from August 4 to 6, and this year’s event marks 50 years since the decriminalisation of homosexuality in England and Wales.

Brighton Pride 2016 (Photograph: Eddie Mitchell)

Brighton Pride 2016 (Photograph: Eddie Mitchell)

Organisers have invited everyone to celebrate and show the world that ‘fifty years on from the decriminalisation of homosexuality, love wins’.

Hundreds of thousands of revellers are expected to attend Pride Weekend, with the famous parade and party in Preston Park set to draw in the crowds.

The Pride Community Parade starts at Hove Lawns at 11am on Saturday (August 5), with dancers, performers, musicians and artists making their way along the seafront, through the city to Preston Park. This year’s theme is the Carnival Of Diversity, and the city is set to come together to celebrate the diverse and unique communities in Brighton and Hove.

With Gatwick Airport sponsoring the parade this year, companies based in the city are set to join the party, as well as local community groups, representatives from political parties and faith groups, the NHS, emergency services and others, will show their support.

Brighton Pride 2016 (Photograph: Eddie Mitchell)

Brighton Pride 2016 (Photograph: Eddie Mitchell)

The Pride Summer Of Love Festival takes place on Saturday at Preston Park. Comedian Zoe Lyons will host the main stage with headliners Pet Shop Boys and LGBTQ+ champions Years & Years.

Other confirmed main stage acts include X Factor star Louisa Johnson, girl group M.O and local indie band Fickle Friends.

In the Legends Cabaret Big Top, cross-dressing legend Lola Lasagne compères an explosion of sequins as the fiercest drag queens strut their stuff.

The Wild Fruit stage welcomes house divas Jocelyn Brown, Angie Brown and Rozalla for a star-filled party, while the Urban World Dance Tent brings beats from across the globe. For spoken word, comedic and poetry performances, visit the Sheila McWattie Women’s Performance Stage.

Brighton Pride 2016 (Photograph: Eddie Mitchell)

Brighton Pride 2016 (Photograph: Eddie Mitchell)

The Trans Tent, Bears & Men’s Tent and Diva Girls World offer something for everyone on this day of celebration and community.

And there will also be a Wellbeing Field: an alcohol-free oasis of calm offering reiki, yoga and therapeutic.

The Pride Village Party takes place on Saturday (6pm to midnight) and Sunday (3pm to 9pm), and parts of Kemp Town and the seafront will be closed to traffic as the streets are filled with pop-up stages, live performers and party-goers. Pubs and clubs along St James Street and Marine Parade will open their doors to celebrate Pride weekend.

The Pride Pleasure Gardens at Old Steine and Victoria Gardens are back, offering a three-day long carnival of live performances and party tents. The gardens will host cabaret, clubbing and cocktails, and live music will range from nineties pop perfection with S Club 3 on Friday at Old Steine, to the freshest sounds from across the country as Victoria Gardens hosts the Bimm Live Stage on Saturday night.

On Sunday there will be a Pride Community Day at Preston Park, with a bouncy castle, face painting and sports fun and games, featuring group Zumba and a drop-in hooping class.

The Community Day also see Brighton’s own version of Crufts return. The Pride Dog Show is a chance for dog owners to parade their four-legged friends with a glamorous doggy fashion show and an awards ceremony with prizes for the waggiest tail and the dog who looks most like its owner.

Pride organisers will also be fundraising throughout the weekend, and have already raised over £310,000 for the Rainbow Fund and Pride Social Impact Fund in the last four years. The Rainbow Fund hands out grants to LGBT and HIV groups and organisations in Brighton and Hove, and The Pride Social Impact Fund benefits local good causes.

For more information about this year’s Brighton Pride, and for tickets to the festival in Preston Park, visit: brighton-pride.org