MORE PEOPLE than ever before can make the most of one of the UK’s largest free LGBT+ festivals this summer, thanks to support from a leading pharmaceutical company. 

The Northern Pride Festival, sponsored by Barclays, returns to Newcastle’s Town Moor and Exhibition Park from 19 to 21 July, kicking off with a Bongo’s Bingo launch party on the Friday night.

And, this year, Northern Pride has teamed up with GSK as accessibility partner, to make sure festival-goers with extra needs are catered for over the weekend. 

GSK’s support will allow the LGBT+ charity to supply British Sign Language interpreters on stage during the entertainment, raised platforms for those who need them, track matting and a Mobiloo – a specially adapted mobile toilet with a hoist and changing bench. 

Ste Dunn, chair of Northern Pride, hopes that the new features this year will benefit a wide range of people over the weekend. 

“We are always looking for ways to improve and after feedback from last year’s event, we have implemented a number of changes to create a more positive environment for all of our festival-goers,” said Ste.

“The Northern Pride Festival is something that we strive to make as inclusive and accessible as possible and we’re really grateful to GSK for their help in making this happen.

“We have some fantastic things planned over the weekend and I’m confident that this year’s festival will be one of our best yet.”

Those with access needs can use the Accessibility and Platinum Pass entrance over the weekend for easier access to the Festival Arena but must register in advance at info@npride.org.uk

Suzanne Angus, Employee Resource Group Lead at GSK said: “Our sponsorship commitment not only supports the inclusion ethos behind Northern Pride, but GSK Barnard Castle will specifically be the Accessibility Partner.  

“This will enable full access to the main arena for those people who need ramped or raised access, along with British Sign Language interpreters on the main stage and the Curious Arts stage.”

Music fans can enjoy a range of performances on the Town Moor’s Manchester Airport Los Angeles stage over the two days, including Fleur East, Saara Aalto and Liberty X, along with a second stage at nearby Exhibition Park which will feature acts curated by non-profit organisation Curious Arts.

Other features across both sites include a fun fair, Health and Wellbeing Zone, Family and Youth Zone, the Rainbow Village and a range of food outlets and bars.

The event is free to attend but those looking to secure a prime viewing position and access to a separate bar and toilet area can purchase a Platinum Pass at www.northern-pride.com/box-office, which starts at £37.71. 

For more information on Northern Pride, visit the website or search northernprideuk on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.