The time has finally come for the return of the much-loved Manchester Pride Festival 2023, with the city ready to welcome a huge parade, a line-up of massive music, and loads of celebrations across the Gay Village.
The charity’s annual LGBTQ+ celebration is one of the highlights of Manchester’s events calendar, drawing thousands into the city.
This year, there’ll be the Gay Village Party, the parade, and loads of smaller events like Superbia Weekend, Family Pride, and more.
If you’re heading down to Manchester Pride Festival 2023, here’s everything you need to know, from travel to tickets and more.
Manchester Pride 2023 Parade
This is arguably the most popular and well-attended part of the entire Manchester Pride Festival weekend – the parade.
Thousands will take part in the march through the city centre, with tens of thousands usually coming to watch.
This year’s theme is Queerly Beloved, marking 10 years since gay marriage was legalised in England and Wales.
The parade will set off at 12pm from Liverpool Road, navigating its path through the city centre via Deansgate, Peter Street, Oxford Road, Portland Street, Princess Street, Whitworth Street.
It’s expected to wrap up on Fairfield Street around 3pm.
Manchester Pride Festival tickets and wristband exchange
Manchester Pride Festival will run from Friday 25 August until Monday 28 August, with all events apart for the Gay Village Party free to attend.
Weekend and day tickets are still on sale with Ticketmaster, though VIP and low income tickets have sold out.
Manchester Pride ticket prices are as follows:
Saturday day tickets – £33.85
Sunday day tickets – £33.85
Monday day tickets – £2.50
Weekend tickets – £41
You’ll need to swap your ticket for a Pledge Band at the Pledge Ban Exchange Point before heading into the Gay Village Party. You can find the exchange point at the Aytoun Street Car Park, with the opening times below.
Friday 25 August: 12pm – midnight
Saturday 26 August: 12pm – midnight
Sunday 27 August: 12pm – midnight
Monday 28 August: 12pm – 6pm
Manchester Pride Festival line-up
This year’s line-up is Manchester Pride’s most diverse to date, with 96% queer performers; 54% women, 51% people of colour and over 42% from trans and non-binary communities.
The music will take place across three stage; The Village Stage, MancUnity, and the Alan Turing Stage.
Headliners include drag sensation Pabllo Vittar, singer-songwriter and Scissor Sisters frontman Jake Shears, RuPaul’s Drag Race UK winner Danny Beard, and electronic music icon Alison Goldfrapp.
The full stage splits and set times are on the Manchester Pride website, but there’s a tidy summary below too.
The Village Stage: Trans Filth & Joy, hosted by Milk Presents and Trans Creative. Featuring BIMINI, Tito Bone, Cyro, The BollyWitch, and more. 18:30-23:00.
MancUnity: Celebrate Fat Pride, in partnership with Gaydio, with artists including The Niallist, Ivy Profemme, The Fat Britney, and Miss Lei-Lei. 18:30-00:00.
The Alan Turing Stage: Hosted by Donna Trump, and includes the Human Rights Forum, La Discothèque Orchestra, Queeriosity Cabaret, and more. 17:00-23:00.
The Village Stage: Notable appearances by Alison Goldfrapp, Pabllo Vitar, Jodie Harsh, and more. The stage will open from 12:00 with a Parade screening, with main acts from 16:30-23:00.
MancUnity: Black Pride MCR / Swagga, headlined by Raven Mandella. 13:30-00:00.
The Alan Turing Stage: Queer Asian Takeover, hosted by Lucky Roy Singh, featuring Gok Wan, Gracie T, and more. 12:00-23:00.
The Village Stage: Join Danny Beard and Friends, Jake Shears, Natasha Bedingfield, Lisa Scott-Lee, and more. 12:00-23:00.
MancUnity: Queer Women’s Takeover, with Monki, Blasha and Allatt, Mix-Stress and Friends, and more. 13:00-00:00.
The Alan Turing Stage: Cutie-poc Cabaret, hosted by Rikki Beadle-Blair, with Oneda, Angie Brown, and more. 12:00-23:00.
The Village Stage: Revel in community collaboration and enjoy performances from George the Dragon Disabled Queer Joy Cabaret and Cuppa T. 12:00-18:00.
MancUnity: The Runway by Manchester’s own 7ft drag artist Banksie, 14:00-17:00.
The Alan Turing Stage: Enjoy the melodies of the Disney Orchestra. 12:00-16:30.
Family Pride is the part of Manchester Pride Festival that aims to provide an exciting, inspiring and celebratory day for LGBTQ+ families, parents/carers, and children alike.
The completely free event will be held at the Great Northern Warehouse on Saturday 26 August, between midday and 6pm.
The programme includes music, crafting, party games and sing-a-longs, as well as a rainbow disco, showcasing performances and artists that champion love, self-expression and individuality.
As per the weather forecast for the entire summer so far, it’s not looking like a heatwave is imminent.
According to the Met Office, Friday will have highs of 17 degrees and lows of 12 degrees, and will be cloudy but dry.
On Saturday, there’s a 60% chance of a thunderstorm at 12pm (right at the time the parade starts, which is nice), then it will be cloudy with sunny spells after that.
Temperatures will reach 18 degrees, with lows of 11 degrees on Saturday.
On Sunday, there’s again highs of 17 degrees and lows of 12 degrees, with a chance of rain showers in the afternoon.
And for the Candlelit Vigil on Monday, it’s cloudy and 18 degrees all day.
Featured image: Manchester Pride
Viral sportswear brand Gymshark is holding a massive bodybuilding competition in Manchester
Gymshark will be back in Manchester this month, this time for a huge bodybuilding competition.
The viral fitness brand will be taking over the enormous space at Manchester Central, drawing in huge crowds of fitness experts and enthusiasts.
The Ryan Terry British Championship will bring together male and female bodybuilders on one stage.
There’ll be everyone from rookies taking part in their very first bodybuilding competition to seasoned bodybuilders competing for a PRO card.
It’s Gymshark’s first ever bodybuilding competition and if it’s anything like their last event in Manchester, it’ll be a popular one.
Last time the brand was in town for its LIFT MCR event in the spring, they had queues stretching down the street as thousands flocked to see figures from the worlds of lifting, fitness and bodybuilding.
Gymshark’s event this October will also feature Athlete Meet & Greets with some high-profile Gymshark athletes.
Drunk Histories: Project Halcyon Distillery launch ‘Still Room Sessions’ where you drink whilst learning about drinking
Project Halcyon Distillery is well and truly up there with our favourite new openings in Manchester city centre and after having enjoyed many unique visits already, the speakeasy-style bar is now offering up yet another interesting drinking experience: their ‘Still Room Sessions’.
There’s a lot to it and we’ll get to all that in due course but, put in simplest terms, it’s kind of a bit like if the TV show Drunk History and a tasting event had a baby. Sold.
Still Room Sessions are Project Halycon‘s brand new monthly interactive workshop experience which will be held on the second Sunday of every month.
Each month, a member of their award-winning bartending team — and trust us, they really are worthy of the recognition — will cover a completely new topic as they take guests through a guided talk on various aspects of the history and ongoing drinking culture behind drinking.
Now, before any of jump the gun and say ‘I don’t want a history lesson, I want a drink’, let us stop you right there; each session revolves around tasting various different cocktails and spirits for the bar’s incredible drinks selection, as well as specials that they create for events like this.
Tickets to one of Project Halcyon’s Still Room Sessions include a drink upon arrival, at least two cocktails during the sessions and a spirit tasting. Oh yes, you might have some trouble concentrating by the end but god knows you won’t be even more interested with a few drinks down you.
Also, it is worth reiterating that the subject matter the guys will be covering is genuinely interesting stuff, not just if you’re a history buff but a fan of drinking in general. In fact, we can personally vouch for that.
After going along to their first session in September, simply entitled, ‘A Century Later’ — an exploration of the effects of the infamous American prohibition 100 years on, its lasting impact on today’s drinking culture, bartending style, as well as how the whole idea of a speakeasy bar came about — we were hooked inside the first five minutes.
After being presented with a refreshing G and T on arrival, we were welcomed into the still room for our first couple of drinks, which came in the form of their irresistible Bees Knees cocktail (created exclusively for this first event) as well as a taste of their house gin. Strong start — literally.
Then, as we prepared for the second 30-minute segment of knowledge and knocking back a few, everyone received an Apple Blossom cocktail along with a taste of Calvados as a nod to both gin and the distilled type of cider being two of the most bootlegged spirits ever.
Finally, to tie things off, the last 10 minutes saw them open up the floor for a more casual discussion and Q&A of sorts, with people asking everything from ‘why do people shake instead of stir for certain cocktails?’ (that one’s for you, Mr Bond) to tips on how to make a proper drink at home.
Oh, and did we mention that everyone got 33% off their bill for the rest of the night? Oh yes, all 12 of us stayed behind to enjoy a few more drinks afterwards. We could hardly turn an offer like that down.
Their second session kicks off this weekend next week on Monday, 9 October, with ‘The Journey of Juniper‘, which will see the staff talk about the world of gins and its illustrious history.
Starting all the way back with Dutch genever and the bathtub gin craze of 18th century London, to newer, more modern style expressions, including their very own, made on sight in the back of house, guests won’t just be sat listening, they’ll also be taught how to make the perfect martini at home.
We’ve always believed in the importance of education…
We think this is a really exciting opportunity for guests to learn and interact with Halcyon’s already rich, culturally-infused drinking space. Each event is limited to just a dozen tickets, so these talks and tasting sessions really are exclusive. You can secure your place on the next one HERE.