It’s been touch and go whether Manchester Pride weekend would go ahead this year. But with the lifting of restrictions and the mass roll out the vaccine programme we can safely say it’s game on by now.
Despite the annual Pride parade becoming another victim of COVID-19 after being cancelled down to safety concerns, the city has still got us covered with a range of other events starting as soon as Wednesday to really get us in the Pride mood.
So, if you’re not heading to the official Manchester Pride Live festival down at Homeground or are keen to experience Pride outside of the village this year, here is our hefty roundup of music events happening across the city centre.
Escape to Freight Island
Really making the most of the weekend is Escape to Freight Island which is kicking off its Pride celebrations from Wednesday 25 August.
Across a whopping five days, the popular al fresco dining and drinking hotspot is putting on a full jam-packed programme of music, DJs, live performances, drag shows and more to coincide with Manchester Pride Festival.
Renowned UK party starters High Hoops will be opening the show on the Wednesday. Expect to hear the signature disco, acid, psychedelic house and electro sounds that High Hoops are known for.
Then the funky vibes will continue into weekend from Friday with a takeover from Manchester collective Rebecca Never Becky who are all about championing emerging and LGBTQ+ artists.
Whilst on Saturday, the soul, reggae and afrobeat sounds of the So Flute DJs will switch things up, before Katbrownsugar and special guests take control.
Freight Island’s very own Amuse Bouche will take over on Sunday as well. Hosted by Mix-Stress, the day will see a whole load more DJs followed by a special drag show courtesy of Performance is Power.
To book, head here.
Escape to Freight Island | 25 – 30 August | 11 Baring St, Manchester M1 2PZ
‘Something For Everyone’ at Ducie Street Warehouse
Also kicking Pride off early at Native Manchester on 26 August is the ‘Something For Everyone’ event presented by Ducie Street Warehouse.
There’s a whole five-day programme in place. It’ll be packed with performers, artists, live music and DJs in what will be Ducie Street’s first Pride Weekend event.
Mix-Stress and Friends will take care of the music on the Thursday, followed by four days of parties curated by Kiss Me Again, with takeovers from some familiar LGBTQ+ collectives.
Marking the midway point in the festivities on Saturday will be Manchester’s own Gina Breeze, Luke Solomon and Krysko who will expertly soundtrack the evening with their years-worth of DJing experience.
Ducie Street Warehouse | 26 – 30 August | 51 Ducie Street, Manchester, M1 2TP
The Refuge’s Come As You Are Weekender
The Refuge’s annual ‘Come As You Are’ event is not to be missed – and this year the weekender is back and bigger than ever.
The venue’s stunning spaces will be opened up for a three-day and three-night spectacular from Friday to Sunday.
Local legend DJ Paulette, Abigail Ward, Queer Latifah and Jamie Bull will provide all your house and disco mixes and everything in between across the weekend.
It’s all free and walk-in only too so no need book tickets, just get yourself down there.
The Refuge | 27 – 30 August | Oxford St, Manchester M60 7HA
Feel Good Club
Northern Quarter café and bar, Feel Good Club, have announced their own plans for the weekend, too.
Kicking things off on Thursday will be the launch of their monthly LOUDER music residency. It’ll focus purely on celebrating LGBTQ+ musicians making Pride the perfect time to launch the series. The inaugural evening will be in collaboration with Incantation Records, and will see SOFT LAD, The Elephant Trees and HUSK with The KTNA headlining.
Other Feel Good Club highlights across the weekend include a rebrand of their greenhouse to ‘Queen House’, which will become a safe space to meet and chat with likeminded individuals. And on Sunday afternoon, get some Pride pre-drinking in from 12pm-4pm.
Feel Good Club | 26 – 29 August | 26-28 Hilton St, Manchester M1 2EH
It’s full-on party mode at Cottonopolis this bank holiday. From Friday to Monday there’s is something different going on each day.
Music highlights include live DJs, bongos and live sax players as they dust off the disco ball and transform the venue into a glittering extravaganza on Saturday.
All the music and festivities will be accompanied by some cracking Japanese-inspired food, including a drag brunch, dining experiences, bottomless booze options and all of those famous Cottonopolis small plates and more.
Head here to book a table.
Cottonopolis | 27 – 30 August | 16 Newton St, Manchester M1 2AE
Square One’s Pride Weekender
Outdoor venue Square One have a class string of DJs lined up for their one-off Pride Weekender on Saturday 28 August.
High Hoops, Midland, Niks, DJ City, Michael Upson and Supernature Disco will be responsible for spinning the tunes.
The venue at the end of the Mancunian way has been putting on some incredible parties over the summer and this one’s set to follow suit.
Tickets still available here.
Square One | 28 August | Cakebread Street, M12 6HF | 2pm-11pm
Garden Party at Afflecks
There’s even more fun to be had at Afflecks, too.
With a nod to the original Pride parade theme for this year, Manchester’s iconic emporium will be hosting their very own ‘Garden of Freedom’ party celebration in its place on Saturday 28 August.
The whole building will be looking the part, adorned in heaps of glitter, decorations and all things garden party.
Meanwhile inside, drag DJs and queens will be roaming the venue for our entertainment throughout the day.
Afflecks | 28 August | 52 Church St, Manchester M4 1PW | 10am-6pm
StreamGM and The Manc have teamed up to show some serious love and support to the region’s renowned theatres, nightclubs, and live-music venues with the launch of SeeGM – a digital campaign to shine a bright spotlight on many of the amazing events, club nights, gigs and shows in our region.
You can find out more here.
Featured Image: The Refuge