Events for the 2019 Bristol Pride Festival start this weekend and it’s the biggest ever festival and programme of events ever.
This year signals the 10th anniversary year of delivering Pride so the Pride team have pulled out all the stops to deliver an incredible 2 weeks of events to celebrate and showcase the LGBT+ community. Pride Day has also been moved to The Downs, again making it one of the biggest festivals in Bristol this year.
Kickstarting this Friday, 28 June, with a flag raising at 5pm at City Hall to open the festival and remember the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, seen as the birth of the global LGBT+ equal rights movement – there is an incredible 30 events that will then take place across 2 weeks in the lead up to the main festival day on Saturday 13 July. Events range from comedy, poetry, films, gaming days, circus night, dog show, theatre, talks, and more.
The expansion doesn’t stop there for the festival; which this year was named in the Global Top 50 Pride events. After 36,000 people attended the festival last year, the festival has doubled their previous capacity at the new larger home at the top of Whiteladies Road. It’s the biggest and most diverse line-up ever too with Spice Girl Mel C performing along with Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Sonique, boyband A1, US rapper LE1F, NINA, Saara Aalto, Boney M, Four of Diamonds, Hazell Dean, and RuPaul’s Drag Race star Peppermint to name just a few, in fact there are over 100 acts are taking part this year.
With more space new areas have been introduced, including the New Stage, a giant Circus Tent, Silent Disco and a Wellbeing and Mindfulness area with yoga and meditation workshops.
The colourful Pride Parade will still take place in the City Centre, departing Castle Park at 1045am and making its way to the Amphitheatre. Marching for visibility and to make a bold and positive stand against hate and prejudice, it’s a message that is more important than ever following the release of recent statistics showing that LGBT+ Hate Crime has surged in recent years, 144% nationally in 4 years and by 23% in the wider Bristol region in the last year alone.
Daryn Carter CEO of Bristol Pride said : ” I’m so proud of how far Bristol Pride has come in the last 10 years and while we celebrate our success and the great progress being made in equal rights it’s clear how much Pride is still needed.
Recent statistics and violent attacks nationally on members of the community are a sobering shadow over our celebration but one that should be a rallying cry for all that want to create a better society for all. Get involved, join us and stand up to hate, don’t be a bystander and let those with prejudice and bigoted views that there is no place for them.”
Moving to The Downs not only means that Pride can deliver a bigger festival for everyone wanting to attend but allows them to develop new festival area and present our biggest and most diverse line-up to date.’
Other festival highlights include the return of the Pride Circus Night at Circomedia, Milk Poetry at the Wardrobe. Also returning is the Pride film festival, Queer Vision, at the Watershed screening best LGBT+ films with a selection of shorts and a special preview screening of upcoming film Tell It to The Bees, starring Anna Paquin, on Monday 8 July. For a dose of history check out the award-winning theatre on offer at The Wardrobe Theatre with Riot Act on Wednesday 10 July telling the accounts of 3 people from the Stonewall Riots through to the present day, or see the person behind the image with the Scandalous Love of Oscar Wilde on Thursday 4 July. Of course one of the cutest events on offer will be the Pride Dog Show in Castle Park on Saturday 6th July.
More information, wristbands and tickets can be found at www.bristolpride.co.uk