ONE OF the UK’s largest free LGBT+ festivals will have double the entertainment this year, with a whole host of activities on offer at a second site.
The Northern Pride Festival returns from 19 to 21 July, sponsored by Barclays, with the Festival Arena setting up at the Town Moor and the Community Village taking place at nearby Exhibition Park.
And organisers have now revealed a packed programme across the Community Village site, with plenty for all ages to take part in.
The popular Family and Youth Zone returns this year, sponsored by Tesco, with a sensory tent offering a range of activities created with input from creative specialists Sensory Spaces.
Seven Stories will be showcasing a selection of LGBT+ children’s books in the tent and youngsters can take part in a cardboard city workshop facilitated by Thought Foundation.
There will also be a photo booth caravan, arts and crafts themed around the Dippy the Dinosaur exhibition at the Great Museum of the North and messy church from Northern Lights MCC, with a range of activities for children to get creative with.
New for this year, the Community Village will also be home to the Stonewall Remembrance Village, sponsored by EDF, with a range of information and images highlighting key moments in LGBT+ history.
Elsewhere on the site, festival organisers are taking steps to make sure a range of services are available in the Health and Wellbeing Zone, sponsored by Co-op, for those who may otherwise be unable to access them.
There will be free on-site STI testing on Saturday, supplied by sexual health services MESMAC and SHINE, along with information stands from a range of other organisations including the Albert Kennedy Trust, REACH and Talking Helps.
Then, the following day, a range of workshops and classes are on offer in the tent to encourage a healthy body and mind, including yoga, Zumba, meditation and appearances from life coach and spiritual guide, Char Bailey.
Festival-goers will also be able to browse stalls from a range of exhibitors, businesses and charities at the Rainbow Village, sponsored by Enterprise Rent-A-Car.
And not for profit organisation Curious Arts have curated a second stage, sponsored by video game company Ubisoft, showcasing a diverse line-up of LGBT+ performance art across the weekend.
Ste Dunn, chair of Northern Pride, said: “We’re shaking things up a bit this year with a second site and this has allowed us to bring back all the festival favourites, while adding a few new additions too.
“We have some really exciting things planned over the weekend and it is looking to be one of our best events yet.”
Over at the Town Moor, music fans can enjoy top stars on the Festival Arena’s Manchester Airport Los Angeles stage, including Fleur East, Saara Aalto and Liberty X, along with a fun fair and the platinum bar and garden.
And the weekend will kick off with a Bongo’s Bingo launch night on Friday 19 July, hosted by Jonny Bongo and with performances from Big Brovaz and Booty Luv, with tickets starting at £22 plus booking fee.
To purchase Bongo’s Bingo tickets or to buy Platinum Passes for a prime viewing position at the Festival Arena, visitwww.northern-pride.com. For more information, search northernprideuk on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.