2 minutes reading time | 5th September 2019
Manchester was filled with rainbow colours as the Manchester Pride Festival returned for 2019. This annual event took place on the August Bank Holiday weekend 23rd – 26th.
The celebration of everything LGBTQ+ was the biggest to date with the event growing across the city to new locations and for the first time had the main music event outside of the Gay Village. Pride announced a brand new format this year made up of Manchester Pride Live, the Candlelit Vigil, the Superbia Weekend, the Gay Village gathering, Manchester Pride Parade and Youth Pride MCR.
The new arena, Manchester Pride Live, took place over two days at Mayfield, a former railway station near Piccadilly and hosted 30+ artists of the likes of Ariana Grande, Cheryl, Years and Years and Emeli Sande. This was a ticketed event which saw our team searching on entrances, checking wristbands, performing routine patrols and securing facilities as well as delivering exceptional customer service. It was the parade on Saturday, however, with its over 10,000 participants, that formed the heart of the pride weekend. FGH deployed security staff to oversee the safety of the parade and at key sections along the route. Our team worked efficiently with local police and medical teams by providing crowd control and management at busy points. Thousands of onlookers cheered as over 200 floats travelled through the city’s streets.
Organisations taking part in the parade this year included Greater Manchester Police, the fire service, local businesses and charities. Our friendly and helpful team joined in the festivities, adorning pink hats and Hi-Vis jackets, and wearing face paint and stickers to show their pride and celebrate our positive relationship with the pride community.
Once the parade had finished the celebration continued in the Village & Mayfield. Ariana Grande made a return to the city; back on stage for the first time since the fundraising concert held after the terror attack at the Manchester Arena in 2017.
The event came to a close on Monday with an emotional Candlelit Vigil in Sackville Gardens; the gardens turned into a sea of candles as the party closed and gave people a moment to remember those lost to HIV and encourage LGBTQ+ people to come together and fight the stigma that still exists.
Managing Director, Peter Harrison said, “Amazing work by everyone this weekend. A big thanks from me. Especially to all those who went the extra mile. It’s good for me to see the team gelling so well, everyone looking after each other, working hard to make things work. Manchester Pride has been delivered by FGH safely for the 7th year with lots of great feedback.”