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Manchester Pride confirms the festival will be happening this year

Some more good news

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Manchester Pride has today confirmed the good news that it will be going ahead this year.

Plans for a physical festival to celebrate LGBTQ+ life in Greater Manchester are coming together for the August Bank Holiday weekend.

The charity is planning to hold the Manchester Pride Festival, in partnership with Virgin Atlantic, in its regular spot from Friday August 27th until Monday August 30th. 

On Monday Boris Johnson outlined England’s roadmap out of lockdown, with the plan that live events will be able return this summer. 

But with the pandemic always front of mind, Manchester Pride has revealed that it has alternative exciting plans which can be activated if the proposed dates for the roadmap out of lockdown change.

The four day event, which brings thousands of people to the city centre each year, is set to return for another weekend of campaigning, celebrating and fundraising for LGBTQ+ life, featuring activism, equality, youth and family, arts and culture, community and partying.

The team behind the festival is working towards a programme of events that includes all of the traditional elements, with some tweaks and allowances for the new restrictions as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The biggest difference will be a reduced capacity MCR Pride Live, which in response to audience feedback will be held at a smaller venue to ensure that the event is accessible, safe and viable. 

To ensure the safety and comfort of festival-goers, artists and the Manchester Pride team the event’s capacity will be reduced by 50% – the venue will be revealed later this year.

Manchester Pride Festival 2021 will be made up of:

  • THE GAY VILLAGE PARTY, 27th–30th August 2021
  • MCR PRIDE LIVE, 28th– 29th August 2021
  • MANCHESTER PRIDE PARADE, 28th August 2021
  • THE CANDLELIT VIGIL, 30th August 2021
  • SUPERBIA WEEKEND, 28th- 29th August 2021
  • HUMAN RIGHTS FORUM, 29th August 2021
  • YOUTH PRIDE MCR, 29th August 2021
  • FAMILY PRIDE MCR, 28th August 2021
  • + MORE TO BE ANNOUNCED

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 added: “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.”

Tickets for all events, from Superbia Weekend to Youth Pride MCR, will be released over the next few months so keep your eyes peeled.

For those who bought tickets for the events due to take place in 2020, tickets were automatically rolled over to 2021. 

Should the event be cancelled or rescheduled, all tickets will be automatically rolled over to 2022, and anyone who doesn’t want to roll forward their ticket will have the option for a refund at face value. 

For more information about the festival, head over to the website here.

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Victoria Baths to be transformed into night market with street food and live music

As well as over 100 local vendors, there will be an array of tasty street food and live entertainment across the evening

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The Night Market & Victoria Baths

Manchester’s historic Victoria Baths is set to be transformed into a magical night market with over 100 independent vendors, street food and live music.

The Night Market will be taking over the iconic building next month to showcase the very best talent Manchester’s local business scene has to offer.

There will be everything any passionate shopper could hope for, varying from artisans, artists, jewellers, designers, bakers and candlestick makers.

@victoriabaths / Instagram

Also in attendance will be an outdoor street food village for hungry shoppers, complete with numerous themed bars and a ‘Vintage Pool Party’ filled with vintage treasures with a live DJ.

And this year there will be The Turkish Rest Room Salons, which will see three of Manchester’s most exciting singer-songwriters – Dilettante, Anna McLuckie and Ellen Beth Abdi – transform the exquisite Turkish Rest Room into a performance space.

This unique concert venue promises to be a ‘hidden delight and an oasis of calm within the bustling market’, and has been handed over to the artists themselves, who will each ‘own the room’ for their one hour concert set.

The Night Market

The Night Market will be taking over Victoria Baths on Friday October 7th from 7pm til late.

Early Bird tickets are £6, though two can be bought on offer for £10. There is also the option to purchase a Night Owl ticket for £4 for those planning on arriving later in the evening.

For more information and to book tickets, click here.

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A Pokemon bus is bringing Pikachu to the Trafford Centre for a treasure hunt art trail

Pikachu is coming to Manchester!

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The Trafford Centre

The Trafford Centre is set to host a special Pokemon-themed treasure hunt art trail this autumn. 

The Pokemon Company International has announced that Pokémon: Art Through the Ages will be partnering with the popular shopping centre next month.

Pikachu will arrive at the Trafford Centre on the special Pokemon bus on October 17th, where he will be available for meet and greets with fans.

The treasure hunt-style event will then run until November 13th, with visitors getting the chance to discover hidden art pieces of the 151 Pokemon ‘originally discovered in the Kanto region of Japan’.

The Trafford Centre

The hidden Pokemon art will include a variety of artistic techniques and styles from across the ages, including cave paintings, stained glass and oil paintings for families and fans of all ages.

And visitors who find ten hidden oil paintings and unscramble the secret code will be able to collect a double-sided, limited-edition poster from the Trafford Centre’s GAME store – though these posters will be subject to availability.

There’ll also be additional activities inside a booklet for visitors to complete at their own leisure, as well as more goodies and freebies up for grabs.

Additionally, there will be special art workshops tailored especially for children aged between six and eleven at the Orient Main Stage, as well as showings of Pokemon movies and episodes across the months.

The Trafford Centre

Peter Murphy, senior director of marketing at The Pokemon Company International, said: “We are thrilled to announce such a creative partnership with Trafford Centre.

“Exploration is an element which is key to Pokemon, and we can’t wait for kids and families to embark on their own journey to complete the Kanto Pokedex and see Pokemon depicted in such unique art styles.”

Bruce Gardner, brand experience director at Trafford Centre, added: “When initially sourcing a suitable location for this fantastic event, the Pokemon team were inspired by the unique architecture that is iconic of Trafford Centre.

“We have worked collaboratively with Pokemon, our partners such as Transport for Greater Manchester, Clear Channel and our retailers to ensure Pokemon fans can escape the ordinary and experience a unique, memorable and fun-filled day out.

“On behalf of the centre, we’re delighted to welcome Pokemon next month.”

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Manchester Christmas Markets opening date finally confirmed for 2022

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@mcrchristmasmarkets / Instagram

It’s nearly that time of the year again, as we count down the days until Christmas – yes, it’s only September, but there’s no harm in getting excited early.

And the festive season means one thing – the return of the popular Manchester Christmas Markets.

The annual event will once again return to Manchester in 2022, and will be spread out across a number of locations in the city centre.

@mcrchristmasmarkets / Instagram

The dates for this year’s event have now been revealed, and this year it will all kick off on Thursday November 10th.

From this date, they will be open every day until Thursday December 22nd – the main hub of markets will then close, but certain zones will reopen after Christmas and into the New Year.

This will include the Christmas ice rink at Cathedral Gardens, with the food and drink stalls at that location also reopening after Christmas Day.

David Dixon / Geograph

Last year, the main hub was located at the newly established ‘Winter Gardens’ in Piccadilly Gardens, which will be returning – the council is yet to release the full list of zones for this year, however.

It’s very likely that, as per usual, there will be stalls on Market Street, St Ann’s Square, King Street, Exchange Square and Cathedral Gardens.

Manchester’s Christmas spokesperson, Councillor Pat Karney, said: “With Christmas Day a mere three months away, that can only mean one thing – Manchester Christmas Markets Day is even sooner!

“In fact, there’s only seven weeks left to go until you can grab a gluhwein and buddy up with a bratwurst whilst checking out the fantastic Christmas gifts and goodies on the best Christmas Market in the land. Mark it on your calendars – 10 November – they’re back!”

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