“A celebration of inclusivity.” First ever Thurrock Pride to be a feast of colour, comedy, drag and discussions

Graham Robson April 30, 2024

Thurrock’s first ever Pride event will take place on Saturday, 8 June starting at 9.30am with a Pride Celebration Walk commencing at Purfleet Station, joined by the wider community to walk along the river front and Gray’s High Street.

Events will take place throughout the day, ending with the Great Big Queer Cabaret at Thameside Theatre. Thurrock-born comedian and singer Jordan Gray will officially open the day, and artist and drag performer Sirena Hart will also be taking part.

Organisers hope Thurrock Pride Festival will be a celebration of inclusivity with a powerful statement of visibility, acceptance and solidarity. There will be a Pre-Pride Party on 30 May with a host of events leading up to the official Thurrock Pride Day on Saturday, 8 June, most of which are FREE.

Events include live music, comedy, film, art workshops and drag performances. At the start of the day walkers will be holding vibrant, bespoke silk flags created by Purfleet-based, arts organisation and event partner, Kinetika, alongside members of the LGBTQ+ community. The walk will be led by event partner, T100 Festival – Thurrock’s Walking, Talking and Making Festival.

Human Library

The Festival is also working with Essex Book Festival to include LGBTQ+ stories in the Human Library event at Grays Library on the same day. Co-created by festival directors Arts Outburst, Thurrock Pride Festival 2024 is the first of its kind locally and a historic moment for LGBTQ+ and wider communities of Essex. They wish to welcome the local people of Thurrock and people across the Southeast of England to join in, celebrate and be part of acceptance and equality at the event.

“Arts Outburst are super proud to be delivering this historical moment in Thurrock. We believe that representation and equity are hugely important and play a massive part of the work we do. To be taking the lead of Thurrock Pride, using Arts and Culture to shape and tell that story, is very exciting for us and we can’t wait to welcome everyone to the Thameside.” Daryl Branch, Artistic Director and CEO Arts Outburst.

The Thurrock LGBTQ+ Community Network has secured funding and support to host this colourful community celebration funded by the National Lottery Community Fund, Arts Council England, Start Thurrock and Riverside Community Grays Big Local, with additional support from rail company c2c. The Thurrock LGBTQ+ Community Network has been running monthly peer support drop-ins and social events for the last 18 months, which attracted up to 80 attendees.



Pre-Pride Party at Thameside Theatre Foyer on Thursday, 30 May at 7.30pm, £5: Bring on the sequins and get ready for the main event. Hosted by Ruby Violet this is a LGBTQ+ social evening where allies and all are welcome, 16+.

Flag Workshops from Wednesday 1 – Sunday, 5 May, FREE: Contact LGBTQ+ Community Forum for a place:


Riot Act by Alexis Gregory at Thameside Theatre Foyer on Thursday, 6 June at 7.30pm, £5, 18+: Hard hitting, hilarious and heart-warming exploration of the history of the LGBTQ+ movement in this solo show. It’s going to be a riot ’funny as well as moving, honest and truthful…theatre at it’s simplest and at it’s best’ – British Theatre Guide.

PRIDE at Thameside Theatre Foyer, Friday, 7 June, 7.30pm, £5, 18+: Watch the iconic and award-winning British film, which is a story of class and sexuality intersecting. Two communities come together during a time when division was strong and solidarity was needed. Based on the inspirational true story.

Thurrock Pride Festival on Saturday 8 June from 9.30am, FREE. Join T100 Festival on their Pride celebration walk leaving Purfleet Station at 9.30am to walk along the riverfront. Jumeaux will perform their infectious melodies, playful rap and wavy the Walk and throughout the day. Book your place on the walk HERE

Sirena Hart

Pride Brunch from 11am-12.15pm There will be a pit-stop at the Wharf Pub for performances by Sirena Hart and mocktails. Heading to Thameside Complex from 12.15pm.

Human Library from 9.30am-12.30pm A living book unique experience. Hear real life stories and embrace LGBTQ+ communities. Grays Library part of Thameside Complex.

Allan Jay. Pic by Simon Pepper Photography

Raising of the Pride Progress Flag & Street Party 1pm An afternoon of family-friendly workshops, performances, panel discussion and a delicious food court. Performances from LGBTQ+ superstar Allan Jay, Steps tribute act 5,6,7,8 and plenty of laughs with Classic Connee. Sirena Hart will run a Drag Art Masterclass and Paul James from Kryolan will deliver a Make Up Workshop for the trans community.

Panel discussions include Diversity in the LGBTQ+ Community with Yogesh Taylor, Vinay Jobanputra (Bolly Queer), Women in the LGBTQ+ Community with Kelly Jones, Disability and the Queer Community with Martin Roberts, Daryl Beeton, Parenting in the LGBTQ+ Community with Thurrock Fostering Team, Paul Mc Gingle-White c2c Rail, Hate Crime with Essex Police, Thurrock Council, Transgender Awareness with Claire Prosho.

Sports and representation featuring Colchester Kings, Rochester Hawks, Pride of Irons and Television, Film and Stage Queer Representations. Plus VideoClub present a curated selection of short films by LGBTQ+ filmmakers in and around the Thameside Complex foyer.


Great Big Queer Cabaret at 8pm, £5. Party time with local born celebrity and funny person Jordan Gray, joined with friends to bring you night of fabulous fun. Acts include Cortina Ford performing Burlesque, with more acts to be announced. This will be followed by Thurrock Pride After Party from 10.30pmuntil late (free if you purchase a ticket to the cabaret), which is hosted by Mamabear in the Thameside Theatre Foyer, 18+.