Manchester Pride 2011: MM’s top picks

By Emma Nicholls

As the clock ticks towards Manchester Pride 2011 MM takes a look at the delicious menu of entertainment to provide you with our Top Pride Picks of this year’s festivities.

Manchester’s biggest annual LGBT event is drawing ever closer and the excitement leading up to Pride Fringe events is rapidly building.

Culminating in ‘The Big Weekend’, this year Pride is celebrating its 21st Birthday and is set to provide the thousands of visitors with a provocatively shameless good time!

Celebrating all that Canal Street has to offer, you can expect theatre, art, poetry, comedy, drag, drink and much, much more.

With acts such as Alexandra Burke and Pixie Lott headlining ‘The Big Weekend’, Pride celebrates the theme of ‘Best of Britain’ showcasing the wonderful talent Britain has to offer.

This year’s celebration promises to be as big and entertaining as ever as Manchester Pride once more of lends a huge amount of support to the LGBT community.


Manchester Pride Fringe 19th-25th August


Pride (Dis)guise: Mythologies,

 4 Piccadilly Place, Aytoun Street 19th-25th August, 12:00-18:00 daily, FREE:

This exhibition helps kick off the first day of the Pride Fringe. The contemporary portrait photography from Manchester based artist Jez Dolan is in keeping with prides 21st Birthday asking the question ‘What did you want to be when you were 21?’.  Dolan expresses the hopes, dreams, ambitions, fears, heroes and heroines of the LGBT community at the age of 21 and portrays their individual (dis)guise they held at that age.


LGBT Family Fun Day,

Sackville Gardens 20th , August 12:00-15:00, FREE:

If you thought Manchester Pride was just for the LGBT youths, you thought wrong! In the run up to the Big Weekend there will be fantastic opportunities for LGBT parents to bring along their kids and enjoy a great day out. The Family Fun Day will be packed with activities for the whole family including sports, crafts and circus skills. Celebrating the fabulous diverse families out there, the day will allow you the chance to find out more about LGBT parenting groups working with the LGBT community.


The Pink Dog Show,

Sackville Gardens 21st August 12:00-16:00, £3 to enter your dog, FREE to watch:

Gaining a crowd of over 1,000 people last year, The Pink Dog Show will parade your Bitches and Butches in the campest dog show in town. The theme for this year is ‘Fairy Tails’ and if you think your doggy has what it takes get them along and join in.  The categories in this year’s show include Best in Theme, Most Handsome Butch, Prettiest Bitch and Best Trick and your pooch will have the chance to be crowned King or Queen of the entire show. All winners will receive a prize!


Fetish Knights,

John Thaw Studio Theatre 22nd-24th August 19:30, Tickets £6/£8:

This new play by Rob Ellis promises to be the most outrageous comedy of the decade.  Join a star-studded cast from some of your favourite soaps, buckle-up and get ready for the ride of your life.  At men-only bar ‘Associates’ there are many secrets to what goes on in the dark basement but to find them out you’ll have to go in and see for yourself! A top pick and a must see!


Bend Your Gender, Via, Canal Street 23rd August 19:00-23:00. FREE:

So we have all heard of eccentric Drag Queens; now let’s celebrate Drag Kings.  Hosted by UK’s number one Drag King Valentino King, ‘Bend Your Gender’ is a workshop giving the women from the LGBT community a chance to explore their masculinity.  Everything you need to complete your transformation will be available on the day although you may want to bring a change of clothing to complete your new gender-bending look.


Manchester Pride Big Weekend 26th-29th August


‘Best of Blighty’ Pride Parade-

Throughout the city centre 27th August 13:00, FREE:

The biggest event of The Big Weekend; Manchester Pride Parade!  Starting at 1pm on Liverpool Road in Castlefield the parade winds its way through the city centre in a magnificent spectacle of bouffanted hair, extravagant costumes and floats set to blow your colourful minds! The theme ‘Best of British’ echoes through the parade, celebrating good old Blighty with floats from the fabulous Blige Sisters, Manchester Prairie Dogs Line dancing club and the magnificent Pam Ann. All welcome – young, old, gay, straight, friends and family. No tickets necessary although you will need tickets to the Big Weekend site on Canal Street afterwards.

Click here to see a full list of participants in this year’s Parade:

Pam Ann-

Gaydar Main Arena 26th August

Hold tight and brace yourselves for a rocky journey with air hostess to the stars, Pam Ann. From check-in to landing the Australian comedienne kick starts ‘The Big Weekend’ with her outrageous comedy show at the Gaydar Main Arena.  So fasten your seatbelts, be sure to store your finest handbags in the overhead locker and be prepared for the ride of your life.


Village Square

All Weekend

With all the palaver surrounding the main events at ‘The Big Weekend’, you may appreciate a little time-out. Shimmy you way on down to the Village Square and enjoy some fantastic up-and-coming musicians from the LGBT community as well as a line-up of comedy, drag and numerous activities.


Gaydar Main Arena

Friday 26th – 29th Sackville and Bloom Street

The big stage boasting big names;  Pixie Lott, Sugar Babes, Blue and a recently announced Alexandra Burke are the familiar faces headlining Pride’s party central area this year.  Each promises not to disappoint with a performance of all your pop favourites. 

Sunday night looks set to be the most varied and exciting with a list of up and coming acts making pride appearances before Ms Burke takes to the stage. 

MM are particularly looking forward to Patrick Wolf, the singer-songwriter from South London who has notched up appearances at T in the Park and Leeds and Reading festivals this year to name a few. The ridiculously catchy chorus to ‘The City’ should be the highlight of the weekend!

More related stories:

Pride People: Manchester Pride Director Jackie Crozier

Fetish play brings Desperate Housewives-style scandal to the Manchester Pride Fringe

Pride portraits to portray the diversity of the LGBT community


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