Tips for Visiting Manchester Pride

It’s Manchester Pride Festival later this month, when people from across the city, region and country come together to celebrate LGBTQ+ equality and challenging discrimination. With our support team being based on Manchester we decided to ask them for their tips on what to include for anyone travelling into Manchester to enjoy the pride festivities.

If we’re talking pride specifically, the parade through Manchester is always key to check out. The atmosphere is amazing and it’s family friendly. You’d need to get there early to get a good viewing spot but there’s usually a route map on the Manchester Pride website. Plus, it’s free and you tend to leave with some great freebies too.
I always just get a village ticket and end up stood outside GAY on the street. If the weather is nice, most people stay outside rather than in bars. New York New York usually has a stage outside and they always have performances on from tribute acts or drag race contestants which is always good, or outside Vanilla there’s usually a DJ. Anywhere in the village is great though. There’s the parade too in the morning of the Saturday; this year’s theme is “March for Peace”. Probably worth mentioning that the parade is more family appropriate than the village party
Pride itself takes place in The Village, which is easily accessible by Piccadilly and Oxford Road stations if you’re travelling in by train. Overlooking Canal Street are Sackville Gardens, which has the Alan Turing memorial in and one of our ‘Manchester Bees’, from the 2020 Bee in the City art trail. Just down the road you can find Refuge at the Kimpton Clocktower hotel – even if you’re not staying over, they do amazing food and cocktails, in stunning Art Deco surroundings. If you’re looking to move out of the Village, I’d recommend taking a wander into Northern Quarter – again brilliant food and drinks. Pen and Pencil, Trof and Man with The Fish are excellent, depending on what vibe you’re looking for. And if you’d like to soak up a bit of history/culture then the Manchester Art gallery, Science and Industry Museum and John Rylands Library are gorgeous if you’d like something a bit slower paced.
Gosh, there’s plenty of good stuff going on around Pride but one thing I would like to highlight would be their Superbia programme, which is not as well-known as the main event. It’s a fantastic series of arts and culture events that celebrates local queer artists and people from all walks of life. The best places to eat around the area I would say are No.1 Canal Street and Richmond Tea Rooms, which is a quirky place to have afternoon tea. Bars wise, there’s tons to choose from around Canal Street but personal favourites are Oscars, which is a bar that plays songs from Musicals and serves Musicals themed cocktails, and Via, which is host to several drag acts throughout the week, not only at Pride.
If you’re looking for somewhere to eat that doesn’t take you far from the party, get yourself to Refuge on Oxford Road. From 24th-26th August, the venue is hosting its ‘Come As You Are’ weekender with DJs playing throughout the evening and intro the early hours. The regular menu will still be running so you can look forward to an eclectic mix of small dishes from around the world; I’d recommend the lamb shawarma, beer-braised mussels and green lentil daal.

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