Birmingham Pride 2021 takes place this weekend (25 & 26 September) (Photo from Birmingham Pride)
Birmingham Pride returns this weekend after last year’s festival was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The event has become one of the most important LGBTQ+ festivals in the UK, having previously attracted around 40,000 people over the course of the weekend to the festival site, with 75,000 participating in or watching the annual event through the streets of Birmingham.
Since the first paid for Birmingham Pride event back in 2015, the festival has awarded in excess of £380,000 to local community and support groups, providing much needed funds for essential services within the community.
The theme for this year’s event is ‘Stronger together’ - demonstrating the commitment to standing in unity and campaigning against any form of transphobia, biphobia, homophobia and hate.
Here’s everything you need to know about Birmingham Pride 2021.
When does Birmingham Pride take place?
Moving from the May Bank Holiday weekend to the end of September due to the pandemic, the two-day celebration takes place on Saturday, September 25 and Sunday, September 26.
Birmingham Pride Parade
The vibrant parade is one of the most important aspects of the weekend, often enjoyed by thousands of participants walking and marching for equality and justice through the city.
Birmingham Pride officially gets underway on Saturday with the free to attend parade, which starts in Victoria Square at 11am.
The parade will then begin through the city centre at 12pm, with marchers making their way to the gay village in and around Hurst Street where the festival activities will begin.
Birmingham Pride Festival
This year organisers have introduced Smithfield Live – located on the site of the former Birmingham Wholesale Markets just off Pershore Street – to be the home to the festival’s main stage, dance arena, and cabaret stage.
And with a street party and community event taking place in the city’s gay village; for the first time ever, Birmingham Pride will be operating over two different unique and exciting safe areas.
This year’s festival line-up features some exciting acts, including former Girls Aloud singer Cheryl who will be performing on the main stage on Saturday, along with Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Boney M, Ms Banks, Baga Chipz, and Andrea Di Giovanni.
Sunday’s main stage acts include Sister Sledge, Clean Bandit, Jax Jones, Raye, Tom Aspaul and Foxgluvv.
You can see the full line up, including those performing on the dance arena, cabaret stage and future stage here.
The area around Hurst Street, just down from the Birmingham Hippodrome Theatre, Bromsgrove Street and the surrounding streets will be the home of the Birmingham Pride street party.
The street party gives organisers the opportunity to introduce more affordable tickets, subsidised by Birmingham Pride, whilst still maintaining a welcoming and safe environment for all.
The street party includes LGBTQ+ bars and clubs such as Equator, the Fox, the Loft, Missing Bar and the Nightingale Club. Each venue will host Pride events this weekend including cabaret and live entertainment.
What else is happening at Birmingham Pride?
Although Birmingham Pride officially gets underway with the parade on Saturday, a free event will be held on Friday, between 7.30pm and 10.30pm.
The Free Community Pride event will take place in the gay village with live entertainment, community-focused stalls, street food, bar, acoustic music, LGBTQ+ performers, speakers and a candlelit vigil.
‘Really excited to be back’
Lawrence Barton, who has been the director of Birmingham Pride since 2009, expressed his joy at being able to once again host the iconic event.
“It’s almost two and a half years since the city had a pride so I’m tremendously excited and a little bit apprehensive,” Lawrence told BirminghamWorld.
“We have a larger site this year with the two areas and if people are feeling a bit mindful about being a bit too close to other people then we have got the space so people can feel safe.
“But overall I’m really buzzing about it, and to make the events more inclusive this year we have also introduced the street party at a lower price starting from £16 so for those on a lower income can also get into the gay village and also access the community stage.”
Tickets for events at Birmingham Pride this weekend are still available. Click here to see availability.