One of Birmingham’s largest events is set to dramatically expand in 2019, organisers have announced.
Next year will mark the start of a brand new era for Birmingham Pride, supported by HSBC UK, with the event’s main entertainment stages and areas being expanded and moved to a new location close to the city’s gay village.
The organisers’ decision to grow the festival is a direct result of major redevelopment taking place within the gay village, including the privately owned car parks which have historically housed the main entertainment stages. These will no longer be available for the festival to use.
While the gay village will remain an integral part of the festival by hosting the popular ‘street party’, the event’s main stage, cabaret marquee, dance arena and funfair will be situated in a new location that will become Birmingham Pride’s new home. Organisers have already finalised a shortlist of potential locations within the city.
Birmingham Pride Festival Director Lawrence Barton commented: “Whilst the gay village will remain at the heart of the event as an integral part of the celebrations, crucial meetings will be held in the coming weeks with various stakeholders - including the city council leader, Councillor Ian Ward - to finalise the new location for all the festival’s entertainment stages.”
He added: “In recent years, Birmingham has been undergoing an exciting major regeneration, now including the city’s gay village, and it’s one that we very much welcome and embrace. Through all the redevelopment, the positive outcome is that Birmingham Pride will be able to present to its tens of thousands of visitors its biggest ever festival in 2019.”
Commenting on the proposals, Birmingham City Council leader, Councillor Ian Ward, said: “Pride is a hugely important and much-loved event in the city. Birmingham, like Pride, is growing, and we want to find a new home for Pride that allows it to be the amazing celebration that it is. The gay village will continue to be the heart and soul of the party, but it’s the right time for us to find somewhere bigger and more suitable to make sure that Pride can continue to grow.”
Birmingham Pride, the UK’s largest two-day LGBTQ festival, will next year be held over the Spring Bank Holiday weekend of Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 May 2019. The festival annually attracts tens of thousands of visitors from all over the UK and makes a significant contribution to the local economy. Its economic impact is reported to be in the region of £30million.
The event’s carnival parade, which attracts over 5,000 participants and represents more than 150 LGBTQ organisations and groups, is enjoyed by in excess of 75,000 spectators lining the streets of Birmingham. The parade makes its way from Victoria Square through the city centre to its final destination of the gay village.
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