A HUGE LGBTQ+ festival is set to return virtually next month (July), with UK club scene royalty revealed as its headline act.

Music fans can tune into Northern Pride Online 2.1, sponsored by Barclays, on 24 July for a packed programme of entertainment from 12 noon, hosted by Newcastle comedy queen Miss Rory and award-winning presenter Gok Wan.

Organisers will be broadcasting a sneak peek of the action with a trailer releasing on their social media on 11 June, along with announcing that renowned DJ Jodie Harsh will take top billing at the virtual event. 

And the festival has also teamed up with NE1’s Screen on the Green, beer garden Central Park, Times Square and a number of LGBTQ+ venues who have agreed to stream the event across the day, with more locations to be announced in coming weeks.

At the same time employees at Ikea Gateshead will also be able to watch the broadcast, after bosses agreed to stream it in their staff areas.

Known for her famous blonde beehive, Jodie has been a staple of the UK club scene for more than a decade, regularly touring across Asia, Australia, North America and Europe, supporting the Spice Girls on their comeback tour and playing sets at world famous festivals including Glastonbury and Bestival.

The event will also shine a spotlight on local performers, including dance and house duo Ibiza Soul, singer-songwriter Sophia Flanaghan and Afro-Latin percussion and brass duo Ladies of Midnight Blue.

Also taking to the virtual stage are indie rock band St Buryan, rapper Kay Greyson and singer-songwriter Michael T Ogilvie.

Not-for-profit LGBTQ+ arts organisation, Curious Arts, are supporting the event with dance performances from Jesse Salamon and Toi Toi Guy, along with Love_Dance by Adam Russell Dance and spoken word pieces, including Bridget Hamilton’s love poem to the North East, ‘Proud Geordie’.

And local drag artists will also take centre stage this year, including Drag Idol 2021 winner Frida Sapphic, her 2019 predecessor, Choriza May, and Penni T.

Ste Dunn, Director of Northern Pride, is confident the virtual event will be one to remember.

“We made an early decision to take the event online this year and all that extra time to plan has let us create something really special,” he said.

“We’ve got an excellent line-up performing throughout the day, with a whole host of local artists and drag performers and even queen of the club scene Jodie Harsh performing a headline DJ set at the end of the night.

“Our whole team has been working round the clock to make sure we can pull this off and, although we can’t all celebrate on one site this year, we’re confident our streaming partners will create an amazing atmosphere across the Newcastle venues and the wider region.”

The eight-hour event has been filmed at a specially built studio and is being produced by award winning entertainment production company ISG, which supplied a full 360 production service, including stage, sound and a full video recording media suite.

For more information, search northernprideuk on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, or visit www.northern-pride.com