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.
A massive cheese crawl is coming to Manchester next month
It doesn’t get feta than this!
You can tour Manchester’s best cheese spots as part of a huge Cheese Crawl across the city!
Calling all cheese-lovers, there’s a Manchester Cheese Crawl that takes you across town to the cheesiest spots in the city.
It features two hours of non-stop cheese-related fun, including everything from blue cheese to cheese quizzes and competitions.
The event description reads: “Calling all curd nerds and turophiles – yep there’s a word for your love of cheese – Manchester’s finest cheeses are being wrapped up into one 2 hour walking tour!
“Get involved in Manchester’s first and grate-est cheese crawl! The crawl is 2 hours of non stop in-curd-edible action. There will be a cheese whizz quiz and of course a bit of wine.
“The crawl will be packed full of the finest of Manchester’s brie-liant cheeses, with very mature fun facts, and the chance to heckle your quizmaster with your favourite cheese puns that will have your group crumbling faster than a wensleydale.
“Meanwhile you’ll feta believe you’ll learn a bit about cheese making, and be introduced to some cheese mongers and shops you just camembert to stay away from. It’s a whole different kind of ‘cultured’.”
The Cheese Crawl starts in St Ann’s Square every Saturday at 12pm and 3pm, starting Saturday May 1st and running until September 25th.
You’ll wander across the city before ending up in the Northern Quarter, trying the finest cheese Manchester has to offer on the way.
Tickets cost just £25 and include cheese samples, optional bread and crackers, and some red wine – and you can grab them here.
Dino Kingdom is bringing more than 100 animatronic, life-like dinosaurs to Manchester
Dinosaur fans won’t want to miss ‘Manchester’s biggest outdoor summer adventure’
This summer, from Friday July 23rd to Sunday August 8th, the team behind award-winning light and lantern festival Lightopia are bringing Dino Kingdom to Wythenshawe Park.
Dino Kingdom will be an epic outdoor, prehistoric exploration, with more than 100 life-like moving and roaring dinosaurs and creatures to uncover.
State-of-the-art 3D and AR technology will bring dinosaurs ‘back to life’, with unforgettable interactive experiences and thrilling fairground rides for all the family.
During the summer holidays, Dino Kingdom will be a must-see attraction. Here you’ll meet and interact with more than 70 life-sized dinosaurs – including a huge Tyrannosaurus Rex, and the biggest installation, the Apatosaurus, towering above at 18-metres long.
There will also be smaller dinosaurs to seek, including hatching babies and other interactive beastly beings amongst the woodland, including crocodiles, frogs, bees, spiders and much more.
Let your imagination run wild, in the ultimate family experience, as you trek through the prehistoric kingdom.
An educational experience as much as an adventure, it is perfect for those budding palaeontologists out there, with an excavation sand pit, dinosaur eggs, fossils, volcanoes, a giant dinosaur skeleton head and a walk-through fossil tunnel.
Dino Kingdom offers visitors an incredible journey of discovery and education through entertainment, from dozens of animatronic dinosaurs, 3D dinosaur projection mapping and fairground rides, to fun dino performances, hand puppets and costume characters, there’s something to entertain everyone.
Dinosaur trekkers can take a well-earned break and refuel with the wide offering of food and drink options and idyllic picnicking areas.
Dino Kingdom at Wythenshawe Park is happening from Friday July 23rd until Sunday August 8th 2021, and will be open from 11am till 7pm every day, with hourly entry slots.
Advance tickets are priced at £15 for adults, £13 for children (under 3s are free) and £52 for families of two adults and two children, concessions are priced at £14.
In even better news, you can sign up today to register for 25% off pre-sale ticket release – just head to the website here.
Tickets for the ‘world’s most entertaining’ cycling festival are on sale now
This is no ordinary cycling festival
By now we’re all dreaming about this summer, with the return of live events, pubs and festivals.
If it’s festivals you’re after, then look no further than Velio, a brand-new event celebrating life on two wheels.
Its debut festival is arriving in the North West this September, with three days and nights of cycling, immersive rides, music, comedy, food and drink, wellness and good times – and tickets are on sale now.
Located at the beautiful Cholmondeley Castle in the countryside of Malpas, Cheshire, Velio will be the first event in a series of pioneering cycling festivals created to provide unrivalled experiences on and off the saddle.
Both riders and non-riders can come down to enjoy the entertainment and feasts.
There will be different cycling routes and lengths for all ages, from the beginner to experienced riders, including the headline Velutopia ride – a 14km long stretch on closed roads filled with immersive entertainment, it’s a world-first cycling festival experience.
The unrivalled cycling experience will be made up of five routes – 3km,14km, 30km, 60km and 100km – and will cater from beginner to experienced riders, as well as including disabled cycling options and mini kids rides.
Velio festival will have entertainment, music and comedy, with a carefully crafted programme of international music artists, comedians and immersive moments across five stages.
Renowned vocal group Sister Sledge will be taking over the centre stage alongside fellow headliners Everything Everything. Also soundracking the mainstage will be a range of live acts including Elder Island and The Futureheads, as well as stellar DJ sets from Friendly Fires and Norman Jay MBE.
Expect a host of incredible tribute performances including The Bootleg Beatles and Da Funk (Daft Punk Tribute), as well as Mr Motivator getting the party started on the main stage.
The infamous La Discotheque will host their own stage with acts such as Crazy P Soundsystem and Disco Classics – featuring a live orchestra, with their fabulous flamingos, soul sergeants and queens to match.
Comedian Jason Manford will be providing a laugh a minute on the comedy stage presented by Altitude Comedy Festival with a stream of cherry-picked comedians, including Marcus Brigstocke, Shappi Khorsandi and Lou Conran.
The Velio Village presents a programme of day and nighttime immersive entertainment. This open-air village will play host to an eclectic mix of brass bands, DJs, cabaret & burlesque, a late-night jazz cafe, film screenings, karaoke, kids entertainment, chill out areas and much more.
Communal feasting will be at the heart of the festival with The Great Village Feast, with award-winning restaurant Volta collaborating to produce the banquets at the festival.
Foodies will enjoy long table communal feasts championing the finest local produce, while speciality bars serve up a variety of tempting tipples ranging from wine and gin to craft beers and cocktails.
Included in all tickets is standard camping for 3 days and 3 nights with access to a spacious campsite, toilets and showers. Motorhomes and campervans are welcomed, and you can also arrive to pre-erected tents.
For an enhanced camping experience, the boutique village offers a range of Bell, Lotus or Mahal tents for 2 to 8 people. All feature memory foam mattresses, premium bedding, bedside lights and tables as standard, with optional upgrades of electricity, toiletries, mirrors, and towels available.
Boutique village campers also enjoy exclusive access to speciality food vendors and bars in the area, along with VIP toilets and showers.
The onsite secure and insured bike storage system will negate any concerns about storing your pride and joy, while the bike cleaning and maintenance stations will make sure your ride is looking tip-top and podium ready.
If you don’t have a bike or don’t want to bring your own, a bike rental service is available on site. There are also physios and coaches on hand to offer tips and advice and make sure you’re fully geared up for some cycling fun and frolics. .
Add in yoga and meditation in the Cholmondeley gardens, plus wood-fired hot tubs, and you’ve got a unique and unforgettable festival experience.
Ed Norris, curator said: “We’re on a mission to get more people into cycling and bring it’s wholehearted culture to the world.
“Now more than ever we need the ability to switch off, connect with others and live a balanced lifestyle, at Velio we’re here to help celebrate the good times, indulge your senses and embrace the cycling culture.
“Whoever you are, wherever you’re from, our community is open.”
In addition to being the first immersive cycling festival, Velio is proud to be the first ‘Flexi-Distanced’ festival. All the measures and teams are in place to run the event socially distanced or non socially distanced, whichever the guidelines dictate, so you can book in confidence.
The comprehensive programme of activities and entertainment ensures there is something for all ages and disciplines at Velio, whether you’re a late-night dancer, an early morning meditator, a weekend feaster or a mid-week rider.
Pioneering a community spirit is also paramount, so we’re calling for you to get out the bike, get out of the city and gear up for an unforgettable weekend of cycle fuelled fun with family and friends, both old and new.
Tickets went on sale on Wednesday April 14th, with prices starting from just £150 (with the 25% discount code) for the entire three days and nights including camping.
Grab your tickets here, with 25% off available until Sunday April 18th.