Manchester Pride 2022 has unveiled its full line-up for the latest celebration of the LGBTQ+ community in the city centre and also put tickets on sale.
The event always brings thousands of people onto the streets of Manchester and organisers are hoping for another rainbow spectacular over the August Bank Holiday weekend.
After a couple of years in which the festival has been affected by Covid-19, and after last year’s event which took place mired in controversy over Pride’s purpose and direction and which led to a major consultation and listening exercise, the organisers are looking forward to the 2022 event.
The team behind Manchester Pride says most of the events will be free and money from the tickets will be going to supporting LGBTQ+ causes and charities in Greater Manchester.
Here’s your guide to what’s happening at the 2022 edition of Manchester Pride and how you can get tickets for it.
When is Manchester Pride 2022 and what is happening?
Manchester Pride 2022 takes place over the August Bank Holiday weekend, kicking off on Thursday 25 August and with the celebrations rounding off on Monday 29 August.
The centrepiece of the celebrations, the enormous parade through Manchester city centre, is back after the pandemic restrictions scuppered it last year.
The Gay Village Party will have an array of talent on its stages while there will also be street events, activities for young people, talks and workshops.
What is the programme for Manchester Pride 2022?
The festival gets under way on Thursday 25 August with the Human Rights Forum bringing together prominent activists and thought leaders to consider the challenges faced by the LGBTQ+ community today.
This event will be developed and delivered in partnership with the LGBT Foundation and will consist of talks, rallying, spoken work and other thought-provoking performances.
Surrounding this will be a street party with markets, performances and parties across the venues in the Gay Village throughout the weekend.
Many people’s highlight of Manchester Pride, the parade, is back on Saturday 27 August with tens of thousands of LGBTQ+ people and their allies marching through the city together for peace, equality and acceptance and thousands more lining the route.
Other events include Youth Pride MCR and Family Pride MCR, where young people and families will be able to join in the celebrations with a series of free curated events. These will take place on the Saturday and Sunday (27 and 28 August).
Superbia, Manchester Pride’s year-round programme of arts and culture, will host the Superbia Weekend, offering a series of alcohol-free events for those who wish to celebrate their Manchester Pride in a more tranquil environment.
The whole thing will then close on a solemn and thoughtful note on Monday 29 August with the Candlelit Vigil in Sackville Gardens with HIV support charity George House Trust.
What is happening at the Gay Village Party?
The full line-up for the Gay Village Party, which has been co-designed in partnership with Manchester’s queer communities, has now been announced.
It is opening on Friday 26 August with a trans led and curated event, Trans Filth & Joy, and will continue throughout the weekend with a diverse programme including takeovers from Black Pride MCR, Fat Pride and Queer Women’s Takeover.
Trans Filth and Joy will kick off the festival on the Alan Turing stage with an event put together by two trans organisations, Trans Creative and Milk Presents.
The stage will then features performances across the weekend from acts including Melanie C, Nadine Coyle, Charity Shop Sue and Drag Race UK star, Bimini.
The MancUnity Stage, which is putting the spotlight on homegrown and local talent throughout the weekend, will start on Friday 27 August with Fat Pride, with DJs, dancers and performers all helping to celebrate big bodies.
Black Pride MCR will take festival-goers on a musical journey, celebrating the black roots of house music, disco, funky house, vocal and tribal with exceptional DJs and iconic dancers from the Northern Vogue Ballroom scene.
The Queer Women’s Takeover will include DJ Mix-Stress and DJ Róis, founder of the What She Said Club which gives space to LGBTQ+ women, gender non conforming and non-binary people, Paigey Cakey, and Manchester LGBTQ+ RnB DJs Stacy Bee, Nkay and DJ KL.
The Cabaret Stage will host The Enby Show, which has been described as an “electric, unique and vibrant” gender-bending variety show.
Other performers on the stage will include The Bitten Peach, a gender-diverse, pan-Asian collective, and all-female or non-binary theatre and cabaret company Pecs Drag Kings.
What is happening at Superbia?
The line-up has now also been revealed for Superbia, a programme of free activities and events throughout the festival celebrating LGBTQ+ arts and culture.
The series of events opens with a Pride Special of Superbia Cinema at Ducie Street Warehouse on Wednesday 24 August showing a series of short movies from North West based queer film-makers.
The line-up has been curated by creative producer Beau-Azra Scott and provides an alternative way to celebrate Pride at places around the city centre, many of them alcohol-free and accessible.
Thursday 25 August is the launch of the Manchester is Queer Exhibition where artists have been invited to create and present work based around retelling stories of forgotten LGBTQ+ history from the city, including the Anti-Section 28 protest attended by 20,000 people and one of the first Drag Balls in 1880.
On the same evening, NoirTones presents ASMR (Arts, Social, Music, Rally & Rise Up) in partnership with Rainbow Noir and LGBT Foundation. The evet at Whitworth Locke is a chance primarily for queer, trans and intersex people of colour to meetup, connect and celebrate as well as prepare placards and playlists for the main Manchester Pride Parade on Saturday.
International makeup artist Patti Baston will be hosting a Feminising Masterclass & Mixer, sharing tips and tricks on how to finesse the perfect feminising makeup application, on Friday 26 August.
Then on Saturday 27 August Feel Good Fest is taking place at queer-owned venue, Feel Good Club, in the Northern Quarter. There will be an all-day celebration for people of all ages with no ticket needed and a line-up including talks, live music and flash tattoos as well as award-winning trans activist, author and media personality, Charlie Craggs, Ghetto Fabulous founder Darren Pritchard and Manchester music legend DJ Paulette.
Other events being held across the weekend include a Queer Kids Music Workshop for 13-to-18-year-olds using Ableton Live software and equipment, The Untold Orchestra presenting ACT UP at Contact theatre and Fatty Acid, LAD$ Collective and Pride Punx presenting Queercore at Niamos in Hulme.
Some of the events are limited in capacity so to book for these, or to find out more about any of the Superbia line-up, go online here.
How much are tickets and how do I get hold of them?
The events at Manchester Pride 2022 are going to be free with the exception of the Gay Village Party, which has low income, family tickets and VIP options available in addition to the standard day and weekend tickets.
A total of £2.50 from every ticket will be ringfenced as a donation to the Manchester Pride Community Fund, with the money going directly to LGBTQ+ causes and projects in Greater Manchester through the distribution of grants.
The full weekend ticket for the Gay Village Party is £32.50, with tickets for Friday 26 August priced £17.50 and Saturday and Sunday both £27.50.
The Gay Village Party on the Monday is accessible for a £2.50 donation.
There are also two full weekend VIP passes available, with the diamond one costing £150 and the gold one coming in at £100.
Family day passes, which are made up of four tickets including up to two adults, are £49 for Saturday and £40 for Sunday.
To buy tickets go to the Manchester Pride website.
Manchester Pride has also released a breakdown of where the ticket money is going.
Some 12% of each ticket price goes towards production of the other events in the festival, which the organisers say ensures they are free to attend.
The other costs are health and safety and crowd management (24%), event production and infrastructure (22%), the stage, lights and sound (8%), event staffing (8%), licences and legal fees (7%), artists’ fees (6%), event communications (6%), waste management and cleaning (5%), accessibility (1%) and the volunteer programme (1%).
What has been said about Manchester Pride 2022?
Manchester Pride has previously announced it was be making changes for this year’s festival, which included axeing the MCR Pride Live music event and refocusing its attention on the LGBTQ+ community, its activist roots and the Gay Village around Canal Street.
Mark Fletcher, CEO at Manchester Pride, said: “We’re delighted that after a couple of years restricted by Covid, we’re able to announce the exciting schedule of events that will make up this year’s Manchester Pride Festival, with six out of seven of our events being free to attend.
“We know how important it is for those buying tickets for the Gay Village Party to know that money is going directly to the causes and charities in Manchester that mean the most to our communities.
“This is why we are introducing the £2.50 donation element, with every penny of this going directly to the Manchester Pride Community Fund.
“Community is at the heart of everything we do at Manchester Pride, and it’s important for us to close the event with a moment of reflection as Sackville Gardens are transformed into a sea of flickering candles to remember those we have lost to HIV/AIDS and unite us in the worldwide fight against the epidemic and the stigma which sadly still exists.
“We look forward to making this year’s Manchester Pride Festival more community-led, more diverse and more accessible than ever, and through working more closely with our communities we truly believe we have a programme of events that includes something for everybody supporting our activist roots.
“We’ve worked closely with our communities to provide a line-up that platforms the amazing, diverse queer talent that Manchester has become famed for.
And, we’ve invited a few well known friends and allies along to join them on stage as we celebrate LGBTQ+ life and embed a true sense of community across the weekend.”