Community News

Busted draw record crowds to Bristol Pride

Besi Besemar July 12, 2017

Thousands journey to Bristol making Pride 2017 the biggest and most successful yet!

Thousands of revellers made the Bristol Pride 2017 festival the biggest and most colourful event staged in the city to date.

The extended weekend saw 80s icon Belinda Carlisle headline Friday night with pop-rock band Busted closing the festival in spectacular fashion on Saturday July 8.

Saturday, July 8 saw record numbers of visitors from all over the country and overseas, attend the festival to join the celebrations.

The main festival on Saturday, July 8, was the culmination of eleven days involving nineteen events across the city, celebrating Pride and championing the local LGBT+ communities.

The day started with 7,000 people marching through the city centre with thousand more lining the streets to watch and cheer them on.

Businesses across Bristol decked themselves out with rainbow flags and special window displays. Trees and lamp posts of the infamous Bristol Gloucester Road were adorned in rainbow ribbons and the iconic Victoria Rooms of the University of Bristol were lit up in the colours of the rainbow for the whole of Pride week.

The main Pride Day festival (July 8) took place on the Bristol Harbourside, filling the Bristol Amphitheatre, Waterfront Square and Bristol’s Millennium Square where a record 30,000 people joined in to soaked up the vibrant diverse atmosphere.

The bustling market area had more than eighty stalls featuring representatives from statutory organisations, LGBT+HIV groups and craft and arts retailers.

Along with the headline acts other artists performing on the Main Stage this year included Jordan Gray from The Voice, Sonia, Jennifer Paige, Saara Aalto, Union J, Katrina of The Waves, Avec Sans, and Bristol’s own Dr Meaker.

On the Cabaret Stage over 27 of the nation’s top drag artists flocked to Bristol to perform, including Britain’s Got Talent Semi-Finalist Danny Beard, Mary Golds, the crowd surfing Drag With No Name and Ru Paul Drag Race season nine entrant Charlie Hides.

Daryn Carter
Daryn Carter

Event organiser Daryn Carter, said: “This year has been absolutely incredible. The support we have had, from businesses like our Headline Sponsor: Unite Students, down to the public and our volunteers have all made Bristol Pride 2017 the biggest and best event to date. Whilst all the performances were incredible the Parade March was a particular highlight for me this year, seeing so many young people, and those of all ages, able to come and celebrate themselves freely was emotional. Whilst we marched for our own rights and freedoms we also remembered our LGBT+ brothers and sister from around the globe who live in fear.”

Unite Students Chief Financial Controller, Ryan Mahoney took part in the parade with his family, said:  “Unite Students was founded in Bristol over 25 years ago and provides homes for students from all over the world, so it seems very fitting that we were lead sponsors this year.  The parade presented a brilliant occasion to give my children an opportunity to see just how important it is to celebrate inclusiveness. We were incredibly proud to join together with the wider Bristol community on Saturday to support such an important event. The atmosphere was really energetic, positive and inspiring; the children loved it.”

Over 150 volunteers helped make Bristol Pride 2017 happen and while organisers are still busy closing this year’s event they have already started planning for 2018 when the Festival will run from July 6-15, 2018 with the Pride Day Festival on July 14.

Bristol Pride is a registered charity: run by volunteers and works all year round to challenge homophobia, biphobia and transphobia and to promote equality and diversity, for all, through various events and activities which include school visits, campaigns, talks to business, consultation services and lobbying.

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