Screen Shot 2015-07-20 at 15.10.39B*Witched and Belinda Carlisle were among the acts performing at a free event in the North East this weekend.

The chart-topping girlband and 80s songstress were both headliners at the eighth annual Newcastle Pride festival, which ran primarily at the city’s Town Moor from Friday to Sunday (July 17 to 19).

They were joined for the event, celebrating 45 years of world Pride, by a string of top acts and emerging talent, including X Factor stars Kitty Brucknell, Lucy Spraggan and Joseph Whelan, as well as actress and singer Heather Peace.

Other highlights in this year’s festival, organised annually by charity Northern Pride, included a parade from the Newcastle Civic Centre to the Town Moor led by members of Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners (LGSM) and a candlelit vigil, designed to raise awareness of the ongoing fight for acceptance and equality.

There were also a variety of stalls and themed entertainment areas open during Saturday and Sunday, including a family zone and the Steve Paske Health Zone, where visitors could receive free STI testing.”

Newcastle Pride is now officially recognised as one of the largest free, LGBT events in the UK, attracting 65,000 visitors in 2014 and boosting the regional economy by more than £8m.

Figures are still being calculated for this year’s event, but organisers are hopeful it will be even higher.

Mark Nichols, Chair of Northern Pride, said: “It was another fantastic weekend for Newcastle Pride.  Families came from across the UK to attend and thankfully the weather held out.”

“It was amazing to see so many people coming together in support for the LGBT community and enjoying a host of top entertainment at the same time.”

For more information, or to see pictures from Newcastle Pride 2015, visit www.northern-pride.com