Team GB have had their turn, now it’s time for Team LGBT to have theirs. Next weekend will see Brighton host Pride on the event’s 20th anniversary year.
After London’s poor hosting of World Pride in July, we can have higher hopes for Brighton and Hove’s Pride event on Saturday 1st September; thanks to a new bid recently made to rescue the charity from previous debts. The events come in a poignant year of progress for LGBT rights, as Uganda held its first gay pride earlier this month, despite the life imprisonment threat faced by its citizens.
With United Colours of Pride as its theme, this year’s event is set to be a party filled weekend with the likes of Alexandra Burke, The Freemasons and Fat Boy Slim headlining. The Main Park event will open at 12pm, offering an exciting mixture of entertainment; including a 5,000 capacity Wild Fruit Dance Tent, a Girls on Top Pop tent with female DJs entertaining to its biggest audience ever, market stalls for those who can’t resist a spot of shopping, a fun fair and a big screen so you can’t miss any parade footage! It’s a no-brainer that LGBT events are all about inclusion, and the wide variety of entertainment will prove just that. All tastes are set to be catered for; not forgetting house music for the boys in the Bears Tent and the Paul Wilde Line Dancing Tent, where there will be pro’s teaching, so there’s no excuse not to join in! Also expect to see many local and national organisations’ stalls in the Community Village and the Calabash Tent, raising the profile of the black and ethnic minority LGBT community.
Over 100,000 people of all ages attended last year, when it became ticketed to secure its future and guarantee donations to LGBT charities. Pride is expected to be a hugely popular success again this year, despite previous concerns over funding. The parade will follow the same route, beginning at 11am in front of the Brighton Wheel and tickets can still be purchased online, students pay £8.50 or £10 on the day. (Please note you will need to collect tickets on the day, 9am onwards at the Box Office in Preston Park – and don’t forget your student ID!)
Parking is highly restricted, with NO parking at Preston Park or its surroundings; public transport seems the best option. National Express coaches are currently selling student-budget tickets from London Victoria to Brighton Coach Station, starting at £3.50 for a single. Trains also run from London Victoria to centrally located Brighton Station (but not to Preston Park station – closed on 1st September). Last trains back are around 11pm, or for the hard-core party goers, the first train out to London is just after 5am and 6am to Southampton.
Without our own Pride here in Southampton, Brighton & Hove’s event is the biggest and closest LGBT celebration to us students. And, as a generation that speaks much more openly about sexuality than ever before, this is our chance to support the progress and promotion of rights – and there’s plenty of fun to be had doing so!