On a weekend when multiple pride events are being held across the UK - Oldham, Norwich, Sheffield, Nottingham - the city that was given the title of ‘European Capital of Culture’ back in 2008 hosted their own, rejuvenated by Orb Events Management after doubts about funding cuts.
Liverpool Pride is another of the big LGBT celebrations here in the North West and is ‘an entirely volunteer-led charity seeing to combat homophobia and trans*phobia across the Liverpool City Region and beyond.’ With a variety of bars across the city getting in on the action with offers, rainbow strewn streets and clubs, it was sure to be a weekend to indulge and remember that the community of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people is so strong when it comes to standing together and certainly know how to have a good time.
With comments that is was smaller and quieter than expected on the main day, St George’s Square, outside the hall, was buzzing with rainbow flags and outlandish outfits and drag designs, as those from all over enjoyed entertainment from the likes of Sonia, Lucy Spraggan and Dorian Reland.
With the introduction of a dedicated Youth Zone, supported by Awards for All, providing a day of support and activities for people under 25 in partnership through GYRO, The Action Youth Trans* and Wirral Brook Work It Out, music and performances were spread across three stages.
The Main Stage acts were scheduled between 1 and 9 pm and proceeded with The Lotharios, Ruby Slippers, Paul Culshaw, Clare Sophia, Dorian Reland, Karl William Lund, Beth Sherburn, Christopher Haul, the team from Superstar Boudoir, Girl Talk, Butch Boiz, Jo Samuels, Miss Stylie, Mason Noise, a rather interesting contortionism spectacles from House of Suarez, The Vivienne, Trash Bang Love, 4th Intake, numerous sets by Mark Armstrong, before Sonia from 7pm and Lucy Spraggan concluding a day of fun and fabulousness.
The Garden Stage programme featured a variety of genres such as Batala, Jack Woodward, Anthony O’Sullivan, Eleanor Nelly, YPAS, Tabitha Jade & Band, The Brook Speeches, Splintered Ukes, What’s Your Pride Story, Jade Tremarco, and Chris Callender before 5pm.
The Plateau Stage hosted: Sing Me Merseyside, Emma McGann, Steve MacFarlane, Liam Halewood, Night and Days, Gerry Potter, Masquerade, Millie Dollar and Friends, George Gallagher, Alan Cross & The Snazzy Swing Band, Lisbon, Ukulele Club, finishing with a DJ.
With the theme ‘Liverpool Icons’ and a ‘Come Out From The Shadows’ campaign to show the city, both in- and out-wardly, as an inclusive, diverse and tolerant LGBT friendly one, while at the same time helping to educate, raise awareness and normalise LGBT+ in all its forms - supported by the Police Commissioner’s Fund as a Hate Crime initiative - ‘We Are Family’ took place between 10am and 5pm on Sunday in St George’s Plateau and in St John’s Gardens and featured fun activities, workshops and entertainment throughout the whole day. Music, dance, children’s activities fairground rides, choral performances and an alternative fashion show were amongst the activities and attractions on offer for the new addition to the 2016 festival - the highlights of which included tribute singers, as well as stilt walkers, acrobats and many other surprises.
More and more of these ‘local prides’ are popping up in a bid to show LGBT people that it is, or at least should be, ok to be who you are or want to be in your own hometown, on your doorstep without being persecuted for being different to the status quo. Long may they reign, despite the aim for no need for them in the future as we fight for all around equality.
Reviewer: Chris Oatway
Reviewed: 30th July 2016