‘Best ever’ Liverpool Pride Festival attracts more than 50,000 people

Family and friends of Michael Causer, who was killed in a vicious homophobic attack in Merseyside in August 2008, led the Pride March through the streets. Tony McDonough reports

Sophie Ellis-Bextor
Sophie Ellis-Bextor performing at Liverpool Pride 2018. Picture by Bryan Fowler

 

More than 50,000 people attended the Liverpool Pride Festival 2018 with 10,000 people taking part in the march – making it the most successful Liverpool Pride ever.

Thanks to the organisers and their army of volunteers the two-day event, on Saturday and Sunday July 28 and 29, welcomed a record number of visitors. This year’s theme #AllTogetherNow was chosen to promote unity for the LGBT+ and wider community.

The weekend’s programme began on the Saturday with the ninth annual Liverpool Pride March, in association with the Mayor of Liverpool, led by family and friends of Michael Causer, who was killed in vicious homophobic attack in Merseyside in August 2008.

Rainbow flag

A crowd of 10,000 LGBT+ supporters – including groups from Merseyside Police, Liverpool City Council, and Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service – gathered at St George’s Hall before weaving their way through the city streets to Moorfields while flying the Rainbow flag. 

The programme of Pride fun then continued across three stages at the Tithebarn Street festival hub – located near the city’s iconic Superlambanana sculpture – taking the event back to its roots and into the city’s Gay Quarter.

Crowds were entertained throughout the day by a vast array of talent, flocking to stages presented by headline sponsor Barclays with the Barclays Main Stage; the Manchester Airport San Francisco stage; and the Manchester Airport Boston Bar hosted by sponsorManchester Airport and curated by the Liverpool Queer Collective.

Entertainment included international drag star and Celebrity Big Brother winner Courtney Act; House of Suarez; Rogue Minogue; Queen Zee; headlined by pop icon by Sophie Ellis-Bextor.

Pride Sundae

Liverpool Pride events continued on Sunday with the Pride Sundae festival hub at the Bluecoat.

Liverpool Pride Festival co-chairs, John Bird and Andi Herring, said: “What an incredible weekend for putting the Liverpool Pride Festival on the map and more importantly, what a fantastic celebration of our LGBT+ community.

“So much hard work has gone into developing this year’s event with planning for the new site, and we’re delighted to see it work so well.

Liverpool Pride 2018
More than 50,000 people attended Liverpool Pride 2018. Picture by David Munn

 

“To watch the crowds grow and grow as we gathered at St George’s Hall before our biggest ever Liverpool Pride March made its way through the city was extremely emotional for everyone. The atmosphere was truly special throughout the day.”

Lit up

The success of this year’s Liverpool Pride was complemented by a number of events which ran alongside the festival during the month.

In its third year, Come Out of the Shadows campaign saw a number of iconic and public buildings across Liverpool City Region being illuminated in the colours of the Rainbow and Trans flags in solidarity for the LGBT+ community.

Buildings lit up include St John’s Beacon, Anfield, St Georges Hall and Liverpool Town Hall and the project will continue until August 2.

Liverpool Pride 2018 was supported by a number of businesses including headline sponsor Barclays; sponsors Manchester Airport; Homes For Everyone; The Liverpool City Region Combined Authority; Mayor of Liverpool; and Media Partners Radio City, DIVA Magazine, The Guide Liverpool and Gay Times.

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