Thousands of joyful and proud participants made the Bristol Pride 2017 Festival the biggest and most colourful event to date. The extended weekend saw 80s icon Belinda Carlisle headline Friday night and pop-rock band Busted close the festival in spectacular fashion on Saturday. The main festival was the culmination of 11 days involving 19 events across the city celebrating Pride and championing the LGBT+ community.
Saturday 8 July saw record numbers attending the festival with many travelling from all over the country, and overseas, to join the celebrations. The day started with the parade march through the city streets with an unprecedented 7000 people taking part in the march, with hundreds more lining the streets to watch it.
The Pride Day festival again took place on the Bristol Harbourside filling the Bristol Amphitheatre, Waterfront Square and At-Bristol’s Millennium Square with an atmosphere that was electric while showcasing diversity and happiness. A record 30,000 people joined in to soak up the vibrant performances, family crafts and drag queen story time, visit the bustling market and community stalls area, which had over 80 organisations represented, and of course enjoy the incredible music throughout the day.
Along with the headline acts other artists performing on the Main Stage this year included The Voice’s Jordan Gray, Sonia, Jennifer Paige, Saara Aalto, Union J, Katrina of The Waves, Avec Sans, and Bristol’s own Dr Meaker. Over on the Cabaret Stage over 27 of the nation’s drag artists flocked to Bristol to perform including Britain’s Got Talent Semi-Finalist Danny Beard, Mary Golds, the crowd surfing Drag With No Name and Ru Paul Drag Race season 9 entrant Charlie Hides.
Event Organiser Daryn Carter Said:
“This year has been absolutely incredible. The support we have had, from businesses like our Headline Sponsor: Unite Students, down to the public and our volunteers have all made Pride 2017 the biggest and best event to date. Whilst all the performances were incredible the Parade March was a particular highlight for me this year, seeing so many young people, and those of all ages, able to come and celebrate themselves freely was emotional. Whilst we marched for our own rights and freedoms we also remembered our LGBT+ brothers and sister from around the globe who live in fear.”
Unite Students Chief Financial Controller, Ryan Mahoney took part in the parade with his family and said:
“Unite Students was founded in Bristol over 25 years ago and provides homes for students from all over the world, so it seems very fitting that we were lead sponsors this year. The parade presented a brilliant occasion to give my children an opportunity to see just how important it is to celebrate inclusiveness. We were incredibly proud to join together with the wider Bristol community on Saturday to support such an important event. The atmosphere was really energetic, positive and inspiring; the children loved it.”
Over 150 volunteers helped make Bristol Pride 2017 happen and while we are still busy closing this year’s event we’re already taking feedback and stock on this year and started plans for Bristol Pride 2018 which has been announced to take place from the 6-15 July with the Pride Day festival on Saturday 14 July.