Words: Alastair James; Pictures: provided
While the Covid-19 pandemic still means a lot of uncertainty for large-scale events, some are finding new ways of adapting to the ever-changing circumstances. One instance is Brighton & Hove Pride, which has recently announced the first wave of performers for their ‘Pride at the Ironworks’ supported by Tesco, which takes place this August and September.
After 2021's parade and festival (widely considered one of the best in the UK) had to be cancelled earlier this year due to the issues raised by ongoing coronavirus restrictions, this extensive season of small events supporting LGBTQ artists and the wider community aims to act as an alternative.
Now, a two-month festival of showstopping cabaret, comedy, theatre, dance, film, activism, and politics, will take place live from the Ironworks Studios in central Brighton. And it sounds like there's something for everyone!
"The crème de la crème of Brighton’s queer talent"
Things will kick off with a Gala Launch Night on 31 July. Here, you’ll be able to find a mixture of cabaret, drag, and live music hosted by the winner of Drag Idol UK 2018, Felix le Freak.
Former Blue member (and former Attitude cover star) Duncan James, Hannah Brackenbury’s Victorious - the award-winning musical comedy tribute to Victoria Wood - and the UK’s only gender-diverse pan-Asian cabaret collective, Bitten Peach are just some of the acts people will be able to enjoy.
LGBTQ icon, Heather Peace; the over-the-top LipSinkers; and local Brighton hero Boogaloo Stu with his Big Quiffy Bingo will also be there and much, much more.
Paul Kemp, the director of Brighton & Hove Pride says, “Although we’ve not been able to deliver our main Pride events for the last two years we are thrilled to be able to adapt to present a local cultural programme that can bring our communities together as well as supporting local LGBTQ organisations and community groups who do such essential work all year round.
“We are delighted that Pride at the Ironworks will allow us to continue our fundraising efforts by ensuring that every ticket sold will include a charitable donation to The Brighton Rainbow Fund.”
Paul Diello, a queer artist and curator of the Gala Launch, said “There’s such a huge amount of talent within the LGBTQ+ community here in Brighton and Hove and it’s been such a joy putting together this amazing selection of performers for our opening night.
“I can’t wait for everyone to see this fantastic new performance space for the first time and what better way to introduce Ironworks Studios than with the crème de la crème of Brighton’s queer talent.”
Brighton & Hove Pride has raised almost one million pounds for local LGBTQ and HIV charities, community groups, social impact organisations, and cultural activities in Brighton & Hove.
Every ticket sold for ‘Pride at the Ironworks’ will include a charity donation to The Brighton Rainbow Fund, which will help make a difference in the lives of hundreds of people.
Tickets are on sale now at brighton-pride.org