Bristol Pride Festival to return in July

Graham Robson April 21, 2021

Photo by Dan Regan.

Organisers of Bristol Pride Festival have today confirmed that the annual event will return to the city again this year in a slightly different format, after 2020 saw the event, like many others, move online.

The popular festival’s planned return will span two weeks from Saturday, July 3Friday, July 16, supported by returning headline sponsor Unite Students, which provides purpose built student accommodation across the UK.

During the two weeks, favourites from the festival’s usual programme of events will take place in venues across the city. Bringing the city alive with Pride as the charity also helps to support one of the hardest hit sectors, especially hospitality venues that are serving the LGBTQ+ community.

Pride Day, which will take place on Saturday, July 10 in Castle Park, will be a day that will focus on bringing people back together. The LGBTQ+ community and its allies have spent so much time apart over the last year, that organisers want to create an event that will help people gather, be proud and to celebrate safely.

For this year, the special event in Castle Park will host a food market, family and youth areas and roaming live performances, all delivered with some Bristol Pride flair.

Photo by Dan Regan.

Eve Russell, Festival Director, Bristol Pride said: “We are so excited to be working on delivering this year’s festival in person again and to be able to bring everyone back together to celebrate safely. It’s been an incredibly challenging year for everyone, and the LGBTQ+ community has been disproportionately affected, so it feels right that we create events that will focus on community, giving us all the chance to reconnect but also to be loud, proud and visible once more. 

“We’ve received a huge amount of support over the last year but without government backed insurance a last-minute cancellation of our festival in its usual format would risk the future of Bristol Pride and we are not prepared to do that. We have loads going on in July and almost all of it can happen with social distancing if required, we can’t wait to see you all there and we will be back on The Downs in 2022.”

The highly anticipated Pride Parade March will also make a physical return this year, filling the city with colour and encouraging the LGBTQ+ communities to not only celebrate but also remember to continue to push for equality. Further details of the route and times will be released soon.

Victoria Rooms. Photo by Jess Augarde

Other events to look out for across the two weeks of the festival include the return of Pride Night, including the official afterparty at O2 Academy; the ever popular Dog Show; a spectacular drag Cabaret Night, featuring queens from RuPaul’s Drag Race UK; Comedy Night; Circus Night; Theatre Night; and Queer Vision Film Festival. Further details of the planned programme will be announced over the coming weeks.

The organisation has taken a robust approach, ensuring that planned events can be delivered in accordance with any guidelines that may be in place at the time.

While the event in Castle Park is open access, where a ticket or wristband will not be required, organisers are encouraging attendees to purchase a Supporter Wristband, which are priced at £5 and will enable future events like Pride Day to remain accessible to those, who for socio-economic reasons, may not be able to afford to attend an exclusively ticketed event. Supporter Wristbands include various offers and discounts and will be on sale from next week.

For more information about Bristol Pride, how you can support the Festival, and all the latest news and events, CLICK HERE