Manchester Pride will return for the first time in two years over August Bank Holiday weekend.
Organisers for the event, which was 'postponed' in 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic, announced on Friday (26 February) that this year's Pride parade and accompanying festival will take place from Friday 27 August until Monday 30 August.
Manchester Pride's announcement comes following the release of prime minister Boris Johnson's 'road map' out of lockdown, which indicates that nearly all coronavirus restrictions could be lifted in England from 21 June.
However, Manchester Pride has confirmed it has also indicated it has "alternative exciting plans which can be activated if the proposed dates for the roadmap out of lockdown change."
🌈MANCHESTER PRIDE FESTIVAL 2021!🌈— Manchester Pride (@ManchesterPride) February 26, 2021
We’re delighted to announce our plans to host our world-class Manchester Pride Festival over the August Bank Holiday Weekend 2021.
Find out everything you need to know 👉 https://t.co/jkn2ZWZlIg#ManchesterPride2021 pic.twitter.com/xIwOW4JZpK
Mark Fletcher, CEO of Manchester Pride, said; “Manchester Pride is proud to part of a global Pride movement that celebrates advancements in equality and challenges discrimination faced by LGBTQ+ people. As both a charity and organisers one of the UK’s largest Pride festivals, we had to fight for our survival throughout 2020.
“Having to postpone the Manchester Pride Festival in 2020 was necessary but extremely hard for myself and the team and I am so pleased that we are able to plan for an event in 2021. Naturally there is some uncertainty over what will happen in the coming months but we have to plan now in order to be able to deliver a festival of this scale.
“We are confident that by reducing the capacity of MCR Pride Live we can deliver the event, as long as the government’s plans for vaccinations and reopening of events and hospitality remain on track. With the health and safety of everyone involved our key priority, we remain cautiously optimistic and have plans in place to respond to a number of potential scenarios.
“Whatever happens Manchester Pride will deliver a celebration of LGBTQ+ life in Greater Manchester this August and we will do everything we can to make it a Covid safe, live, in person event across the city.
"If this just isn’t possible then we will host an alternative, innovative, world class celebration that incorporates socially distanced events and digital elements to ensure that LGBTQ+ people in Greater Manchester can come together to celebrate and ensure that our campaign for greater LGBTQ+ equality continues at this vital time."
For those who bought tickets for the events due to take place in 2020 tickets were automatically rolled over to 2021. Should the event be cancelled or rescheduled, all tickets will be automatically rolled over to 2022. Anyone who does not wish to roll forward their ticket will have the option for a refund of the face value of the ticket.