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Birmingham Pride

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Birmingham Pride is a weekend-long gay and lesbian festival held annually in the Gay Village, Hurst Street, Birmingham, England, over the Spring Bank Holiday weekend.

Described by its organizers as the largest gay and lesbian event in the United Kingdom, it usually features a carnival parade through the city center on the Sunday, but the 2008 parade was cancelled. plus dance and musical events, fun fair rides, a temporary village green, and street stalls and entertainments.

2008 Edit

Birmingham Gay Pride Festival 2008 took place on May 24 and 25 2008 in Birmingham's Gay Village.

Replacing the parade this year, the Lord Mayor opened Pride 2008 on the Saturday with a community launch event consisting of a showcase of community groups including Rainbow Voices supported by big name acts on the Main Stage. The color and atmosphere of the parade was retained with street performers and dancers located throughout the area.

An alternate march was held by campaigners led by the University of Birmingham LGBTQ association, who followed the same route as the original parade on the Saturday with a protest march.[1] The protest attracted between 350 and 400 people, and aimed to combat political apathy within the LGBT community. [2] As such, the placards carried a variety of messages, targeting many issues including the commercialization of LGBT spaces, homo, bi and trans phobias, and the gay blood ban.[3]

The organizers managed to get firm commitment from all relevant stakeholders including West Midlands Police, West Midlands Fire Service, Birmingham Highways Dept, and the City Center Partnership that discussions will commence immediately after this year’s pride to enable a parade to take place at 2pm on Saturday in 2009.

The roads around Hurst Street were closed to traffic for the weekend to make way for vibrant entertainment, market stalls, community information and activities. Several key roads were tented and there was a large indoor market and community area located on Hurst Street to ensure everyone could enjoy the weekend, whatever the weather. There were tents and marquees, including beer tents, cabaret tents and a women’s area.

There was a fairground located behind the Hurst Street car park providing rides and entertainment for all ages. Local bars and restaurants supported the festival and will be offering refreshments for attendees, as well as providing evening entertainment for revelers wishing to continue celebrating until the early hours.

The Main Stage located next to the Nightingale Club had a full program for the two days with big name acts alongside entertainment provided by the city’s gay venues. Acts currently billed for the main stage include Basshunter, B*witched star Ms Lynch, Brotherhood of Man, Katrina, Scooch, Cahill's Nikki Belle and Marcella Woods from Out of Office.

The cabaret marquee, complete with pink carpet, large bar and Champagne Corner, was located next to the Village Inn. The marquee boasted a phenomenal line up of the best cabaret artists and entertainment from across UK with visiting cabaret from Gran Canaria.

References Edit

  1. LGBT History Month UK: Campaigners Gather to Fight Birmingham Pride March Ban
  2. http://www.bbc.co.uk/birmingham/content/articles/2008/05/15/birmingham_pride_2008_feature.shtml
  3. http://www.bbc.co.uk/birmingham/content/image_galleries/unofficial_parade_08_gallery.shtml?9

External links Edit

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