Charity announces alternative 2020 Manchester Pride festival

Date published: 23 July 2020

LGBTQ+ charity Manchester Pride has announced that it will deliver three days of celebrations for LGBTQ+ people in Greater Manchester over the August bank holiday weekend.

The charity, which campaigns year round for LGBTQ+ equality, is responsible for one of Europe’s biggest celebrations of LGBTQ+ life every year and it was very disappointed earlier this year to take the decision to postpone the 2020 festival until 2021 in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the safety of everyone who is involved with or attends the event in mind, the festival, which generates over £34m of economic benefit for the city, has been moved to 2021 to ensure that it is safe to hold large-scale gatherings again.

The team behind the charity, led by chief executive Mark Fletcher, has worked tirelessly over the past four months to ensure that the organisation, which is able to do the work it does because of the revenue from the Manchester Pride Festival and sponsorship from corporate partners, can continue to provide support to LGBTQ+ people in this difficult time.

A number of grants and other financial lifelines have enabled the delivery of this year’s activity. 

Financially the work of the charity, like many others in this challenging year, is still at risk and Mr Fletcher is appealing to people and organisations that can afford to support them to do so throughout the alternative festival.

The Alternative Manchester Pride Festival 2020 will feature free content that can be enjoyed by those who wish to celebrate from the safety of their own homes.

Saturday will see a day of content inspired by the Festival’s Manchester Pride Live event. 

It will be delivered online in partnership with United We Stream Greater Manchester.

The platform, which was launched on April 3 by Night-Time Economy Adviser Sacha Lord and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), has played host to artists such as Melanie C, Elbow and New Order whilst raising a staggering £477,000 for local charities and good causes.

Manchester Pride will curate a series of live performances and DJ sets with a number of special guests and partners alongside some legacy performances from previous events and a very special presentation of the Manchester Pride Parade for 2020. 

The content will then be available again on Sunday for anyone that missed it on Saturday.

Sunday will see the activity move to YouTube with a programme curated by the charity’s Superbia and Youth Pride MCR teams. 

Viewers can expect arts and cultural content alongside content designed by 14+ young people for 14+ young people as a result of the Youth Pride MCR workshops which launched in April.  

Monday will close the festival as always with a moment of reflection at the Candlelit Vigil. Manchester Pride will  stream the vigil online so that as many people as possible can be part of it.

A new element to the festival, at a time when it is more important than ever to keep certain conversations going, the charity is introducing a Human Rights Forum to explore some of the vital issues at the moment such as Trans Rights and BAME issues.

Over the coming weeks there will be opportunities for the LGBTQ+ community to contribute and add their voice to the celebrations through photos, videos and more.

Mr Fletcher said; “We have had an unbelievably tough four months as I know many other organisations both commercial and otherwise have and I am very proud that we are still in a position to deliver this much needed celebration of LGBTQ+ life. 

"The country is still in shock and many members of our community have been adversely affected by the pandemic, whilst also our Trans and BAME families have faced further challenges.

"It is more important than ever that we keep conversations around equality and inclusion heard whilst also providing much needed entertainment."

Those wishing to donate to Manchester Pride can do so through the charity’s Just Giving page or donate £3 to Manchester Pride by texting MCRPRIDE to 70450.

Texts cost £3 plus one standard rate message and you’ll be opting in to hear more about its work and fundraising via telephone and SMS.

Those who would like to give £3 but do not wish to receive marketing communications, text MCRPRIDENOINFO to 70450.

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