Liverpool Pride 2012: Countdown begins as festival prepares to set sail
With just 4 days to go, the countdown has begun to Liverpool Pride 2012.
The UK’s biggest FREE Pride event outside of London, Liverpool Pride 2012 is going nautical for its third annual celebration of all things LGBT to be held this Saturday, 4 August. The festival will take place at Liverpool’s iconic pier-head and throughout the city’s Stanley Street Quarter.
The day begins with the undoubted highlight of the festival; the Liverpool Pride March, which gives the LGBT community, their friends and their families the chance to parade through Liverpool’s streets in a tide of colour, music and celebration, all in line with the nautical theme. The March, sponsored by Homes for Everyone will leave William Brown Street at 12pm, participants are asked to muster from 11am. It will then process along Lime Street before taking in Queen Square Bus Station and Whitechapel. From here, the March will make its way along Lord Street and North John Street before turning down James Street, crossing The Strand over Mann Island and ending in front of the main stage at the Pier Head, where the afternoon’s rally and entertainment will begin.
The Liverpool Pride 2012 March will make history. For first time ever, two Premier League football clubs; Liverpool and Everton Football Clubs will be represented in a Pride March, they’ll be represented by staff, supporters and members of the LFC women’s team. It will also be the first year that Liverpool Pride will March with Patron Angela Eagle MP at the helm of the procession.
The Stanley Street Quarter is set to flood with of fabulous entertainment throughout the day (from 2pm – 8pm) on a much larger scale then ever before. Stanley Street will be closed to traffic throughout the day to allow for Pridegoers to celebrate in safety. Bars will be open from 1pm.
Hosted by Desperate Scousewives’ Layla Flaherty, the Stanley Street Quarter stage’s exciting line up features DJ sets and performances from each of the Stanley Street Quarter’s bars to keep the crowds dancing from day to night. Layla, alongside local artiste Silk Tray will present a wealth of local talent including DJs and Drag Acts from the Stanley Street Quarter bars and clubs, talented singer songwriter Craig Cavanagh, dance diva Nikki Belle who will perform a number of her biggest club hits including “Teardrops,” “Trippin on You” and “Sex Shooter”. Nikki is followed by Jem, who will close the day on a memorable note. Jem has sung with everyone from James Brown to Elvis Costello!
The Stanley Street Quarter Stage is sponsored by The Liverpool Community Healthcare Trust (LCH), partnered with Gaydio.
At the Pier Head meanwhile, the ‘It’s Liverpool’ stage, partnered with Juice FM will keep revelers entertained between 1pm – 8pm with headliner performances from Marcus Collins, Liz McClarnon, TOWIE’s Jessica Wright and 2 Shoes alongside some great acts including girlbands Concrete Rose and The Bon Bonz, boybands Concept, Futurekicks and On The Line and solo artists Sarah Whatmore (Pop Idol), JNAY (X-factor), Neighbours heartthrob Sam Clark, Bradley Johnson (X Factor), Thomas Teago and Armstrong. Local dance sensations Dance Dynamix will open the stage in addition to supporting the artists throughout the day. The it’s Liverpool Stage will be hosted by Juice FM’s Leanne Campbell and Baz Todd, Desperate Scousewives’ Chris and Mark and the cast of Hollyoaks.
Other highlights of the day include an LGBT market, 2 for 1 tickets on Mersey Ferry river cruises and a Health and Wellbeing zone, with activities ranging from interactive games where you can race against Usain Bolt, engage with a sports science exhibition, take part in experiments to find out how your body produces power and what to do to beat your personal best. There will also be open Zumba classes for all the family to enjoy! Food and drink stalls will be posted around both festival sites.
Eberle Street will have entertainment from the GBar and Garlands DJs throughout the day from 2pm -11pm.
On Sunday 5 August there are several exciting events taking place including the Big Gay Brunch at Tate Liverpool and Gay Gardens at the Bluecoat. The Pride Weekend will be brought to a fitting close with the Love Music Hate Homophobia event at Leaf on Liverpool’s Bold St. This chilled out evening of music and entertainment will comprise of purely homegrown talent and will raise funds for the Michael Causer Foundation.
Continuing throughout the month of August is the Liverpool Pride Film Festival at Fact and the Liverpool Pride arts and culture programme.
Zoran Blackie, Chair of Liverpool Pride said: "This has been the most ambitious and most diverse Pride we’ve ever developed for the city. We’ve come from humble beginnings, responding to prejudice and homophobia, now we can celebrate in a city that is proud of its LGBT community.
"We know that Liverpool is the most up-and-coming gay destination in the country and we want everyone to come on board and join us for the biggest party of the summer."
Liverpool City Council Cabinet Member, Councillor Nick Small, said: "This year’s Pride Festival is set to be the biggest and best yet and we’re expecting tens of thousands of people to descend on the city centre for the celebrations. It’s wonderful to see how the festival has gone from strength to strength to become a major highlight of our cultural calendar.
"Liverpool Pride represents the qualities we value most highly in this city – diversity, friendship and togetherness. And of course it shows that we really know how to throw a good party!"
Liz McClarnon who will perform on the day said: "I can't believe that Liverpool Pride is just days away, its come around so fast! I'm really excited to perform and to see everyone singing and dancing along, not just to my songs but also to the other talented acts that'll be on both stages throughout the day. Lets make it the biggest and best Pride Liverpool has ever seen and the biggest and best Pride in the country for 2012!"
Thomas Teago, who will also perform said: "I'm really looking forward to Liverpool Pride this weekend and performing some of the tracks from my debut album in front of the Liverpool crowd. I've been rehearsing with my dancers from Dance Dynamix and promise to give everyone a great show! I'm excited to be part of what is going to be the best Pride event in the country!! Let's do this Liverpool!"
In just three years, Liverpool Pride has established itself as one of the major highlights in the city and the wider LGBT community’s summer calendar. Bursting onto the scene, the inaugural Liverpool Pride festival attracted over 20,000 people, which was doubled to over 44,000 in 2011.
For 2012 festival organisers are promising the best event yet, a festival which Liverpool’s LGB&T community is proud of, attracting people from across the country to experience the diverse culture of one of Europe’s most exciting cities.
The festival came about following the launch of the LGB&T Network, at which the public voted for a Pride festival to engage, empower and involve the LGB&T communities within the city. This was fully endorsed by Liverpool City Council in January 2009. Following a number of high profile attacks in the city, the event was established in 2010 and now takes place each year to coincide with the anniversary of murdered gay teenager Michael Causer.
Liverpool Pride 2012 will take place at Liverpool’s iconic pier-head and throughout the Stanley Street Gay Quarter. In addition to this, there will be a weekend of cultural events taking place at some of Liverpool’s most influential arts and cultural establishments. The festival’s ‘Nautical but Nice’ theme, chosen in a ballot by 700 members of the local LGBT community, gives a nod to the city’s commemoration of the 100 year anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, whilst at the same time, celebrating the city’s rich maritime history and taking advantage of the main festival site, which sits on the banks of the River Mersey.
Make sure you check out liverpoolpride.co.uk, @LiverpoolPride on Twitter and search Liverpool Pride on Facebook to have your say and for all of the latest pride news.