Birmingham Pride 2015: The UK’s Largest LGBT Festival

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Last weekend, in the wake of Ireland voting for marriage equality, Birmingham Pride 2015 turned Birmingham’s Gay Village into a massive celebration of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community. Record breaking numbers of people turned up to show their solidarity and resulting profits were donated to LGBT and HIV/AIDS charities. It was amazing to say the least. Read on for my thoughts and you can see a highlight reel in the video above.

The Atmosphere

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Walking into the event from Hurst Street, there was a complete shift in energy. Everyone was having a great time, the music was perfect, and the positive energy was invigorating. Going into this event would have made anyone’s day; it was a carefree and perfect celebration with the theme of #FREEDOM- Together United.

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Though I missed the parade and Saturday’s events, Sunday was definitely not a disappointment. The only way that I can come close to describing the energy is that when I walked around, all I wanted to do was dance and participate in the celebrating.

 The atmosphere was colourful, happy, and it smelled delicious.

The Attractions

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Birmingham Pride 2015 was incredible and had so much to offer, including a Funfair, a Dance Arena, and a Women’s Arena. The streets were full of life as people walked between the stands and pubs, taking breaks to dance to the music blasting out everywhere. Stopping at the Funfair gave access to many rides including Bumper Cars, an Ali Baba, and different spinning rides of course.

The Cabaret Marquee showcased the talent of different drag queens singing to classic Cabaret songs, and the Women’s Arena played host to different musical groups as well as free hugs, which I took a few of. The Main Stage had performances from Karen Harding, Only the Young, Stereo Kicks, Example, and Jess Glynn to name a few, and the Dance Arena had the likes of Rob Cook, Jade Marie, and Martin Green.

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On top of the different tents and the Funfair, there were numerous food trucks, souvenir trucks, and many of the pubs and clubs taking part in the festivities. The food smelled delicious, and the souvenir trucks were doing face-painting and giving tattoos. Overall the atmosphere was colourful, happy, and it smelled delicious. Birmingham Pride was not short of activities to do, music to dance to, entertainers to see or places to hang out in and have a couple of drinks.

Pride was not short of activities to do, music to dance to, entertainers to see or places to hang out in and have a couple of drinks.

The Highlights

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It’s hard to say what the best parts of Pride were, just because there were so many different attractions that I didn’t even see a quarter of, but the Dance Arena had a great vibe. Everyone was enjoying themselves and having a blast dancing to the music playing.

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There were even a couple of people on stilts dancing and having a good time too. Everyone was carefree, full of energy, and living life; though I do have to say that all of the tents had so much to offer. The music and entertainment was constant, and the different tents catered to the many different musical and entertainment tastes people have.

#FREEDOM- Together United

Other themes of the night were clearly pride, celebration, and the acceptance of differences, going along with #FREEDOM- Together United, which was echoed through the different tents and just by everyone who attended. People of all ages were dressed how they wanted to be dressed, acted how they wanted to act, and were all just being themselves. Some of the ensembles people wore were amazing; there were people on stilts, people with beautiful wigs and costumes on, and people who decided they wanted to “screw the norm”, as stated on a few t-shirts in not so many words. Everyone here was indeed together united; everyone was just able to let go.

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The pride and celebration was contagious, and it was refreshing and relaxing to be able to be yourself and just have an amazing time. Birmingham Pride was definitely a hit, and it will be interesting to see what next year’s celebration will bring to Birmingham.

WRITTEN BY
BIO
I am a Masters of Antiquity student at the University of Birmingham.
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