A new look to the festival site, a unique training opportunity and the delivery of the postponed Ouseburn Family Pride are among the plans for Northern Pride 2023.
At a recent sponsors and supporters breakfast, Northern Pride director, Ste Dunn, outlined the exciting and ambitious plans for the year ahead.
And although a new festival logo, designed by queer artist Russell Atkinson, will be introduced for 2023, the mission statement remains the same – Remember Resist Rise Up.
Speaking at an event at Newcastle’s Crowne Plaza Hotel on Tuesday, November 29, Ste revealed the main changes that will take place next year and highlighted the success of Northern Pride 2022 which was also UK Pride.
This included around 25,000 people taking part in the Pride march and more than 70,000 people visiting the festival over the three-day weekend.
Those unable to attend were able to watch Live at Pride via social media, which attracted more than 20,000 views.
Ste thanked the volunteers and supporters who helped make the event a huge success – and then unveiled the proposals for 2023.
The biggest change will be a “flip” of the Town Moor site with visitors having to pass through the Community Village, with its various zones and market stalls, before reaching the Festival Arena which will include the main stage.
Wanting to stay true to the grass roots reasons for Pride, the aim will be to grow main stage activism and the number of speakers and will also require all performers to provide information so that BSL will be enabled throughout the weekend.
The market stalls and health zone will now run over both days of Northern Pride rather than just the Saturday and, after seeing more than 30,000 website hits over the course of the festival weekend, the plan is to introduce a mobile app to provide festival attendees instant access to information.
The Platinum Bar and Garden, sponsored by Bobby’s Newcastle, will be larger than previously to cater for the bigger demand and the aim will also be to bring back the LGBT Northern Social Group and Sports Zone.
“We have a huge number of exciting plans some of which will be subject to us raising the necessary funding, and to help keep the festival free to attend,” said Ste.
“So it’s crucial for us to continue to get as many supporters on board to help us achieve this ambitious programme.”
Plans already in place include a Proud Allies training programme in conjunction with Curious Arts, which will support businesses gain a greater understanding of the LGBTQ+ community and their needs.
Guests also heard from Izaak Gledhill from Curious Arts regarding the partnership with Queer Youth Music and how the young people will be helping with the programming of the event and performing on the main stage.
Nimerta Virdee, Family and Youth Manager at Northern Pride, also revealed that Ouseburn Family Pride, sponsored by Opencast – which had to be postponed because of the death of Queen Elizabeth II – will now take place on 28 May 2023.
“All of these exciting plans will take place in the run-up and during Northern Pride 2023,” said Ste.
“We have some really exciting and ambitious ideas and we are hoping that we will continue to get the support we need to turn these ideas into a reality.”
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