Pride in Trafford: what’s on at the festival celebrating LGBTQ+ arts, when it is and how you can get tickets

Five days of performances ranging from comedy and cabaret to photography and theatre are taking place around the borough.

Pride in Trafford, a five-day celebration of LGBTQ+ people and culture, is back.

Now in its third year, the festival has a diverse range of performances ranging from drama and storytelling to photography, comedy and cabaret take place at venues around the borough on its programme.

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Established artists are sharing the schedule with up-and-coming names, and the whole thing gets under way with a public ceremony on the day devoted to speaking out against homophobia and transphobic hate.

Here’s your guide to what’s on at Pride in Trafford, when it is taking place and how you can get tickets.

The opening flag-raising ceremony to mark the start of Pride in Trafford. Photo: Jason Lock

When and where is Pride in Trafford taking place?

Pride in Trafford runs between Tuesday 17 May and Saturday 21 May.

It takes place at a number of venues and public places around the borough of Trafford, including the Waterside arts centre in Sale.

The festival gets under way on the Tuesday with the flag raising ceremony at Sale Town Hall at 11am.

The leader and chief executive of Trafford Council will join the festival organising ceremony to raise the flag, with local school pupils also attending.

What else is happening?

One of the highlights of the programme is Mancunian artist Allie Crewe having her award-winning photography exhibition Your Own Light staged at Waterside.

It features a striking series of portraits of transgender and non-binary people and opens for Pride in Trafford before being available to view for a couple of months until July.

Photographer Allie Crewe at the unveiling of her photography exhibition at Waterside. Photo: Jason Lock

Other visual arts on the schedule include Interstice, based on artist Paul Scott Bullen’s experience of homophobic resistance.

Live cabaret and comedy also features prominently with highlights including musical theatre diva Vivienne de Vil in her new show With One Look.

The stand-up comedy evening Laugh Riot returns for 2022 with MC Jonathan Mayor introducing the likes of comic and improviser Kate McCabe, stand-up, drag queen and live streamer Red Redmond and headliner Bethany Black.

This event is also a fund-raiser for charity The Proud Trust.

Pride in Trafford also celebrates up-and-coming LGBTQ+ talent from across Greater Manchester thanks to Waterside and Creative Industries Trafford’s Making Waves programme.

Making Waves is celebrating up-and-coming LGBTQ+ talent from Greater Manchester at Pride in Trafford. Photo: AdobeStock

Dancer and choreographer, Rowena Gander presents her experimental new work Barely Visible which brings together contemporary dance, pole dance and the spoken word to shed light on common issues that queer women face, including sexualisation, the male and female gazes and what it feels like to live in the shadows.

The festival concludes with two immersive events. Wildflower is a fun and floral pop-up performance that celebrates being your vibrant, colourful self even under the harshest conditions and involves the Wildflowers riding by on their flowery trikes, handing out and creating a welcoming environment where everyone can thrive.

The Wildflower trike

Throughout the afternoon, Pride in Trafford and local eaterie Mano a Bocca will also host a free outdoor celebration on Waterside Plaza, with family friendly activities and a chance to find out more about some local organisations.

What else is there for younger festival-goers?

Pride in Trafford says it has gone to extra lengths to ensure there is plenty for younger festival-goers to enjoy at this year’s event.

Local groups Gorse Hill Studios, Rainbow Reflections and Cooking Club are coming together to create a free special Pride event for young people in Trafford which will include cooking sessions, quizzes, music and arts activities.

Author Emmy Clarke

Avid younger readers and lovers of all things gothic and vampires are also invited to a very special Meet the Author event with Emmy Clarke, writer of Vampire Hunter Jess which is partly influenced by her own experiences of growing up with autism.

Emmy, who turns 26 in September, is reading excerpts of her new book which is told through a mix of prose and unanswered text messages and covers light LGBTQ+ themes while exploring grief, friendship and found family.

What has been said about this year’s Pride in Trafford festival?

Producer for Pride in Traffford and manager of Waterside, Darren Adams, said: “We are really thrilled with this year’s line-up for Pride in Trafford.

“There is a real sense of ‘coming together’ weaved throughout the programme, not just because all the events are live in person, but in terms of the themes, the artists and the collaborators involved.

“Through their work, all our performers celebrate inclusivity, love, diversity and togetherness and one thing that really stands out and encapsulates this year’s programme is that our differences can unite us and that it is something to embrace and celebrate.

“We cannot wait to see the community back celebrating Pride in Trafford for five days of queer joy, fun and pride.”

How do I get tickets for the Pride in Trafford events?

Tickets for Pride in Trafford went on sale on Thursday 31 March and the individual shows and performances can be booked through the festival’s website.