If you thought Pride in London was the high-point in the UK's Pride season, get ready to have your mind blown.
Brighton and Hove Pride takes place this weekend (August 4-6), with sunshine expected after a rainy week. The annual “Carnival Of Diversity” attracts over 200,000 people and runs along the seafront and through the city centre.
Here's everything you need to know about this year's celebration of LGBT+ identity in Brighton and Hove:
When and where is the parade?
The 2017 Parade starts at Hove Lawns at 11am on Saturday 5th August and travels along King’s Road, West Street and North Street before heading north towards the Pride Festival at Preston Park, passing the iconic Royal Pavilion.
The Pet Shop Boys are headlining the Summer of Love festival with their full Super Tour set.
Years & Years are also performing in a UK Pride Exclusive. The main stage will also feature X-Factor winner Louisa Johnson, The Voice semi-finalist Becky Hill, M.O, Fickle Friends and KStewart.
The Wild Fruit Summer of Love Stage sees live performances from divas Jocelyn Brown, Angie Brown and Rosalla. There’s also the Urban World Dance Tent, the Legends Cabaret Big Top, The Shiela McWattie Women’s Performance Stage, Diva Girls’ World and the Bear & Men’s Zone.
The festival also has a Family Diversity Area, a Trans Community Area, and the Pride Community Village. Tickets are available in advance online
What’s the Pride Village Party?
St James Street and the city’s iconic seafront Marine Parade are closed to traffic for Saturday and Sunday as thousands descend to celebrate on the streets of Brighton. Entertainment will take place from 1800 until midnight on Saturday and 1300 to 2100 on Sunday.
Wristbands will be required: advanced tickets are sold out online but they will be available from the Pride Box Office and some venues may have additional door charges.
What are the Pride Pleasure Gardens?
They’re not (necessarily) as naughty as they sound. Following last year’s fabulous debut, the Pride Pleasure Gardens transform the Olde Steine and Victoria Gardens for three days and nights of music, cabaret and fun. Songsmith Lucy Spraggan kicks off the celebrations on Friday for Pride Unplugged in Victoria Gardens while the Olde Steine sees Pride Go Pop with the Official Pride Warm Up Party, featuring S Club 3 and DJ Claire Fuller.
Saturday sees Brighton’s own BIMM showcasing up-and-coming talent and DJ Sean Quinn presenting soul and club classics. Sink The Pink take the reigns from 10pm in the evening with a Club Tropicana Take Over (but this is ticketed separately and now sold out).
On Sunday, there’s the choice of Brüt’s Beefy Tea Bearstival (also ticketed) or drag and performances with LGBT+ Community Line Dancing and cabaret from Her Upstairs (hosted by Meth).
What’s on in the evening?
There are a variety of official evening events: Horse Meat Disco takes over Patterns (advanced tickets sold out) right on the seafront, with music on the terrace; Ohso Social hosts DJ Seamas Haji for the Pride Beach Party; and the Official Pride DIVA GirlsWorld Afterparty is at Concorde2. Tickets available here
What about Sunday?
The Pride Village Party and the Pleasure Gardens both have events on Sunday. Patterns presents the Sunday Sundae Pride Reunion and Ohso Social has a One Upon A Dancefloor Pride Party until late.
How do I get there?
From London, trains depart regularly from London Bridge, Victoria, Blackfriars and St Pancras. Return tickets start at £11.80 (Super Off-Peak Return). The parade route and the major events are within walking distance from the station. The latest trains back to London are at 2337, 0010 and 0350, with services starting again at 0536.
What about dogs?
Unfortunately, the Pride Dog Show took place last weekend, Sunday 30 July.
All bags will be searched.
You are not allowed to bring more than 100ml of any liquid into the event areas. This includes sun cream.
Any use of illegal drugs or controlled psychoactive substances (formerly known as ‘Legal Highs’) is not condoned by Pride. Police are also going to trial the use of drugs dogs on the entrances to both the Park and PVP event this year. There will be drugs amnesty boxes at the entrance to the park and PVP and you may also be searched at the entrance. Full details here
Full details are available at Brighton-Pride.org
The official Pride Guide is available here