Manchester Pride Reveals Plans to Return to the City this Summer

Manchester Pride has confirmed the festival - including the parade - will be returning to the city this summer.

By Alex Watson | 2 March 2021

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The huge four-day event will be going ahead in its regular spot on the calendar, the August bank holiday to celebrate LGBTQ+ life.

The weekend will see four days worth of campaigning, celebrating and fundraising for LGBTQ+ life, featuring plenty of activism and of course, partying.

It comes after prime minister Boris Johnson announced the roadmap out of lockdown including offering hope of the return of live events by summer.

The team behind the festival have confirmed they are working towards the delivery of a programme that includes all the traditional elements.

Naturally, there will be a few changes to this year’s festival, including reduce capacity and being held in a smaller venue set to be released later in the year.

To ensure the safety of the MCR Pride Live event it will be held at a smaller venue with a 50% reduced capacity.

Mark Fletcher, CEO of Manchester Pride, said; “Manchester Pride is proud to part of a global Pride movement that celebrates advancements in equality and challenges discrimination faced by LGBTQ+ people. As both a charity and organisers one of the UK’s largest Pride festivals, we had to fight for our survival throughout 2020.

“Having to postpone the Manchester Pride Festival in 2020 was necessary but extremely hard for myself and the team and I am so pleased that we are able to plan for an event in 2021. Naturally there is some uncertainty over what will happen in the coming months but we have to plan now in order to be able to deliver a festival of this scale.

“We are confident that by reducing the capacity of MCR Pride Live we can deliver the event, as long as the government’s plans for vaccinations and reopening of events and hospitality remain on track. With the health and safety of everyone involved our key priority, we remain cautiously optimistic and have plans in place to respond to a number of potential scenarios.

“Whatever happens Manchester Pride will deliver a celebration of LGBTQ+ life in Greater Manchester this August and we will do everything we can to make it a Covid safe, live, in person event across the city. If this just isn’t possible then we will host an alternative, innovative, world class celebration that incorporates socially distanced events and digital elements to ensure that LGBTQ+ people in Greater Manchester can come together to celebrate and ensure that our campaign for greater LGBTQ+ equality continues at this vital time.”

Juha Jarvinen, Chief Commercial Officer at Virgin Atlantic, the official partner of the festival, commented; “We’re delighted that the Manchester Pride Festival is back for 2021 uniting people to celebrate LGBTQ+ culture. It’s been a difficult year for everyone and we look forward to working with Mark and the team to bring this much-loved festival safely back to the heart of Manchester.”

“Virgin Atlantic has long been staunch supporters of LGBTQ+ rights and we strongly believe in making our business as inclusive and welcoming as possible. Although we haven’t been flying as many passengers as we’d like over the last year, we certainly haven’t been sitting still. We are working with Open for Business to show the economic impact that anti-LGBTQ+ laws have on countries around the world and how these laws restrict tourism and limit growth. In a post-Covid world, as travel and tourism recovers, it’s more important than ever for destinations to be open and welcoming to everyone.

“It’s an exciting time for us and as travel restrictions relax, we look forward to welcoming people back onboard Virgin Atlantic, flying them safely from Manchester to their favourite destinations including Orlando, Barbados, New York, Los Angeles, Islamabad and Atlanta.”

Manchester Pride Festival 2021 will be made up of:

  • THE GAY VILLAGE PARTY, 27 – 30 August 2021
  • MCR PRIDE LIVE, 28 – 29 August 2021
  • THE CANDLELIT VIGIL, 30 August 2021
  • SUPERBIA WEEKEND, 28 – 29 August 2021
  • HUMAN RIGHTS FORUM, 29 August 2021
  • YOUTH PRIDE MCR, 29 August 2021
  • FAMILY PRIDE MCR, 28 August 2021

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