THE PEOPLE of Newcastle are invited to paint the town rainbow this weekend with the return of the city’s 12th annual Pride event.
The Northern Pride Festival, which is sponsored by Barclays and takes place at the Town Moor and Exhibition Park, returns from 19 to 21 July, kicking off with a Bongo’s Bingo launch party on Friday night.
The following morning, festival-goers are encouraged to join businesses and community groups in the Stonewall Remembrance March, supported by business partner NE1, which will begin with a minute of applause and was attended by more than 20,000 people last year.
Setting off from the Civic Centre at 12pm, the parade will head through Newcastle with an array of colourful costumes and placards, before finishing at the festival site, where there will be a wide selection of entertainment across both locations.
Those looking to see big names this weekend can make the most of the Manchester Airport Los Angeles stage at the Town Moor’s Festival Arena, with performances from Saturday’s headliners Fleur East and Saara Aalto.
They will be joined on the line-up by DJ Michael Maddison featuring Soraya Vivian, Janice Robinson, Katherine Ellis, Baby D, Sonia, the stars of Drag Idol, Lorraine Crosby, Marcella Woods and LGBT+ choir, Northern Proud Voices.
On Sunday, music fans can enjoy sets from headline act Liberty X, along with cabaret club Boulevard, Jaymi Hensley, Michael Rice, Khalysis, Felix Sheppard, Maria, Dylan Wood and Trilogy.
And LGBT+ station, Pride Radio, will be broadcasting from the festival throughout the weekend, with special guests, Love Island’s Elma Pazar and Callum MacLeod who will be doing on-air interviews, presenting and appearing on the main stage on Saturday.
Elsewhere at the Festival Arena is the platinum bar and garden, a range of fairground rides and a selection of food and drink outlets.
Across the moor, Exhibition Park hosts the Community Village, with a number of stalls and organisations set up at the Rainbow Village, sponsored by Enterprise Rent-a-Car, and a whole host of free activities for all ages in the Health and Wellbeing Zone, sponsored by Co-op, and the Family and Youth Zone, sponsored by Tesco.
And new for this year is the Stonewall Remembrance Garden, sponsored by EDF, an installation marking significant moments in LGBT+ history from the Stonewall riots to the present day.
The Community Village also offers festival-goers even more performers with the Curious Arts stage, hosted by not-for-profit organisation of the same name and sponsored by video game company Ubisoft, featuring spoken word, music and even children’s stories read by drag artists.
Ste Dunn, chair of Northern Pride, said: “We have really pulled out all the stops for this year’s festival, to create a diverse event with a whole host of activities across both sites.
“There’s something for people who enjoy the performance aspect, lots on for anyone bringing their families and a really amazing community atmosphere, so it’s set to be a fantastic weekend.”
The Bongo’s Bingo launch night on Friday is hosted by Jonny Bongo and features performances from Big Brovaz and Booty Luv, with tickets starting at £22 plus booking fee.
The weekend festival is free to attend but those looking to get a prime viewing position at the Festival Arena and access to the platinum bar and garden can purchase Platinum Passes, with prices starting at £37.71 for one day.
To book tickets or for more information, visit www.northern-pride.com. For more information, search northernprideuk on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.