The biggest date in Manchester’s LGBTQ+ calendar, the city will find itself wrapped in rainbow flags and celebrating queer culture for all its worth over the bank holiday weekend. Whether you’re bouncing from one end of Canal Street to the other for 72-hours, or seeking out some of the more out-there parties, it’s a time to let loose.
Here are some of the very best things to get up to over Manchester’s Pride Weekend…
Pride at Ducie Street Warehouse
Ducie Street Warehouse will be hosting Pride parties every day from 24th to 28th August. Among the fabulous events lined up are DJ sets and performances from the likes of Jodie Harsh and Mikey Slade, alongside creative workshops, like painting your own Pride banner with the folks from Cork & Canvas. Food and drinks-wise, there’s an all-day bloody Mary brunch, a disco brunch on Saturday and its award-winning roast dinner on Sunday for those feeling the need for some home comforts.
Kylie Minogue Pride Brunch
You can celebrate your Pride Saturday (and perhaps shift any of the fug of Friday night) with a posh brunch event over at Harvey Nichols. It’s a Kylie-flavoured event, featuring wines from the Kylie Minogue Wine Collection. You’ll get a glass of her Prosecco on arrival, followed by pastries and smashed avocado with poached eggs. Then it’s a tasting of four more Kylie wines, and you’ll be right in the groove for Saturday.
Gay Village Party
Of course, the very epicentre of Pride is the days-long party running the length of the village, with each and every bar and club on the strip getting involved in the festivities, as the party spills out onto the street. As ever, there will be community events, performances, the Pride Parade, and sound systems, all through the weekend.
Factory Pride at Aviva Studios
Mix-Stress curates the first Factory Pride event at their new home, Aviva Studios. And it’s a thoroughly packed weekend. There will be talks from the likes of vogue crew House of Blaque, poetry workshops, banner making and a huge amount of live music and DJ sets, kicking off from 22 August. There will be sets from Shimrise, Roisin Walsh, Scapa, Queer Latifah, Veba, Sequinella, Jade Edwards, AJ LeRoy, Good Afternoon and, of course, Mix-Stress herself. It’s all FREE to attend, and they’ve even turned the loos into a club.
Come As You Are Weekender at Refuge
The annual Come As You Are weekender returns to the Refuge for Pride. There’s a lot going on. The iconic DJ Cosmo will be among the headliners, along with our own local hero DJ Paulette, and other fine selectors like Homoelectric’s Jamie Bull, Jaegerossa, Eve’s Drop Collective, Swindells and Jim Bane. The party spills into the courtyard, as well as the sumptuous bar area, but also into the basement too, which is re-opening with a set from the legendary Dave Lee on Friday night, Sticky Heat on Saturday and Supernature on Sunday.
Pride at Kampus
Just over the way from the main Canal Street tear up, Kampus will be holding its own Pride party all through the weekend. It kicks off with Kiss Me Again and DJ Atalaya at the Friday evening garden party on 25 August, and then the Barkpride dog show first thing on 26 August, and more DJs all day on Saturday, including The Fat Britney, Violet Blonde and Love Party. Sunday sees a Nell’s takeover by Gaydio and then a street party on Little David Street courtesy of Red Light bar, with Mixing Mates and House of Blaque. Meanwhile, Madre, the new taco joint, will have its sound system outside all weekend long, plus a burrito van and frozen margs.
Big Hands Alt Pride
The iconic student hang out Big Hands is putting on its third alternative Pride weekend, with DJ sets taking in everything from punk and 60s to folk, garage rock and grunge. Friday sees DJ SexGoddess taking to the decks for a drag vinyl special of punk, garage and wonky pop until 3am. On Saturday, QUEER BEES present a day of live music featuring The Red Stains, Piston Dreams and Queer Coda. Following the live bands, Punk is Dead Inc DJs mop up until 3am. Proceeds will go to a local LGBTIQA+ youth charity. Cuban vibes from Mestizo Sounds wind things up on Sunday.
Pride winds up each year with its candlelit vigil in Sackville Gardens, always a much-needed moment of reflection after a weekend of solidarity and celebration. It was conceived to remember those who have been lost to HIV over the decades, and takes place in the tranquil surroundings of Sackville Gardens, home to the Alan Turing Memorial, the National Transgender Memorial and the Beacon of Hope, the vigil’s focal point. If you’ve partied at Pride, try to find time for this too.
12-hour BENT special at the DBA
A 12-hour blow out at the Derby Brewery Arms, so expect unrivalled abandon going on at this renowned rave pit. Things kick off at 4pm with its daytime courtyard party, before things head inside at 10pm for a lock-in until 4am. Among the DJs will be Jennifer Loveless, Michael Upson, Esmé, Nick Kagame and Jase Jeffery. There will be scenes.
High Hoops at White Hotel
The most excellent queer rave High Hoops will be holing up at the White Hotel for Pride weekend in a two-part heads-down session. Part One is Saturday night (26 August) with D Tiffany playing back to back with Roza Terenzi, alongside Cormac, Fastlove and k.h0lle. The Sunday party then takes over the reigns with Fais Le Beau, Marie Malarie and Seb Odyssey playing until, quite frankly, all hours.
Feel Good Fest
Northern Quarter favourite the Feel Good Club will be hosting its Feel Good Fest, running events from 23 August right through to the Bank Holiday Monday. On the 23rd, there’s a night of all female stand-up from the So Hilarious crew. Then Kiss Me Again take over the decks with a pre-weekend warm-up session on the 24th. From 2pm on 25 August, it’s banner making and pampering with the Trans Social Club, and the main Feel Good Fest event on 26 August with music, crafts, talks and markets. It winds up on the 27th with the ‘Tranuary Clothes Swap’, comprising clothes swapping, brunch and bargains.
Lustrous Pride Special at the Old Abbey Tap House
Hulme community pub the Old Abbey will be turning it out for Pride, with a second appearance from Lustrous. They’ll be taking over the inside and outdoor spaces at the pub for this eight-hour of Manchester’s queer club culture. It’s a fiver in advance, £10 on the door, with DJs Aeon Fux, k.h0lle, LILITH, Loney, Mabrak, Miffi, Tadiwa and WAJ and food vendors too.
Kiss Me Again at Soup
The Kiss Me Again collective’s annual fundraiser for the LGBT Foundation will be happening downstairs at Soup, as per. This year, the crew will be bringing Brooklyn’s DJ Wawa over for the occasion, joining founders David and Antoin.
Fatty Acid Pride at Partisan Collective
There will be drag, there will be DJs, there will be workshops, all at the Fatty Acid Pride party, hosted by ‘the illustrious’ Violet Blonde and, according to reports, ‘bangers all night’. Sold. There will also be a special guest perform too. So throw a surprise on the list of reasons to head to Islington Mill on Pride weekend.
Homoelectric at Hidden
Homoelectric’s annual Pride bash at the brilliantly mucky Hidden is always a highlight of the weekend. Joining iconic residents Jamie Bull, Gina Breeze, Lukas and Will TRAMP! will be the magnificent Grace Sands, Joshua James and Adonis regular Nyra. Needs little more explanation.
Pride Weekender at Exhibition
Exhibition is pulling out all the stops for its Pride weekend celebrations. Thursday night (24 August) will see Rev. Austin on the decks with sleazy R&B, neo soul, mash-ups and the odd edit, while Friday (25 August) sees Your Dad Sells Avon putting on a queer rave till 1am. Discomums’ Julie Wills then takes to the controls on Saturday (26 August), curating an all-day session, featuring Lil’ Minx and That Amazing Thing. Sunday sees Roisin and friends, including Pangolin, Sabrina and Peter Petrff. There will also be a cocktail menu raising funds for Manchester Pride on all week.
Manchester LGBTQ+ Trail walking tour
This unmissable walking tour of LGBTQ+ Manchester takes in landmark locations for the city’s activism, resilience, and progress, all the way from the Alan Turing memorial via Afflecks through to the Hacienda. Playwright Chris Hoyle will be your guide, there will be some famous faces popping up along the way too, including RuPaul’s Drag Race UK star Cheddar Gorgeous, activist Paul Fairweather, Hollyoaks actor Annie Wallace, Trans Creative’s Kate O’Donnell and drag queen Anna Phylactic. The two-hour walks happen from 22 – 24 August, and ticket proceeds will go to the Manchester Pride charity.
Spoken word at the Pull Up
Norther Quarter / Ancoats spot the Pull Up will be hosting a night of spoken word vibes on 28 August in the spirit of celebration and inclusion. There will be irresistible free Caribbean snacks, great cocktails, reasonably priced pints.
Afflecks Palace Pride Weekend
There will be all sorts going on at Afflecks over Pride weekend. Pop-up galleries will be taking over the Tib Street entrance and Third Floor Rising, there will be a Queer Quiz and disco taking over the third floor, a Pride swap shop hosted by Beg, Steal & Borrow, and up to 25% discount from select traders between 25 – 28 August. Its famous umbrella installation will be back down the Oldham Street stairwell too, as well as huge window murals.
Co-op Celebrates Manchester Pride
On Saturday 26th August Co-op’s Manchester High Street will be a destination in itself as it turns into a hub of activity for Pride celebrations. Featuring music, face painting, freebies, spin to win games and special acts to keep shoppers entertained throughout the day. The store will have DJs on from 12-8pm, taking over the store playing party anthems for shoppers to have a boogie down aisles whilst drag queen, Athena, will be making a special appearance. Co-op will also be encouraging those who visit the High Street store to come together and write personalised messages of love and support on the windows, crating a ‘wall of love’.