Image © Lisa Browne via Flickr

Your Guide to Bristol Pride

Maisy Farren

Whilst Pride month might be coming to an end, the party is just beginning. Pride events in London, Brighton, Manchester and even Bristol are yet to take place. Starting next week (1 July) Bristol’s community will be showcasing an impressive two weeks of LGBTQ+ shows, talent and performances, including the city-wide Pride Parade. Last year saw 36,000 people flock to the city in celebration of LGBTQ+ love and equality, and this year they’re upping the game to create an even bigger party. Here’s where we think you should spend Pride in Bristol. 

Image credit: Christian Adore and Eaton Messe's Dragprov Revue via Facebook
Enjoy some theatre 
In a city teeming with creative minds, actors and performers, it’s no doubt that Pride’s the perfect time to enjoy some LGBTQ+ theatre. Head down to the Wardrobe Theatre to see the Tic Tac Toe Theatre Company present The Scandalous Love of Oscar Wilde, a one man play about the trials and suffering of the famous gay novelist, or check out the stunning Riot Act, another solo theatre piece recounting six decades of queer history. Fancy something a little bit more laugh out loud? Murder, He Didn’t Write is an entertaining murder mystery raising money for Pride, or head to Bristol’s Improv Theatre for your drag fix with Dragprov Revue! Still not got your Drag fix? Drag Me To Bottomless Brunch is offering, you guessed it, bottomless prosecco brunch with all profits going to charity, the perfect start to your Pride Parade day. 

Head to a meet up 
For members of the LGBTQ+ community it’s often tricky to meet people in your area without feeling at risk. In celebration of Pride, Bristol’s The Pheonix and The Bear Bar are offering a Trans and a Trans Masc meet up respectively, both on 6 July. These relaxed social events are the perfect place for trans, non-binary and intersex people to meet and enjoy Pride together in a space devoted to them. Feel free to bring friends and family along for support, it’s all about creating a safe space for every member of the trans community. 

Image credit: Myk via Flickr 
Experience the parade 
2019 sees people across the world celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, an important turning point in queer activism and the precursor of the Pride celebration itself. Join the Parade, where thousands will troop through the streets on 13 July in celebration of acceptance and fight for a future of true equality. The parade begins in Castle Park and ends in the amphitheatre, before the party continues at Pride’s new Bristol home of The Downs. Whilst both party and parade are free to attend, a low-cost wristband (available here) offers free shuttle buses and selected free bus travel on 13 July, as well as fast tracks through queues and reduction in drinks prices - all money goes back into making Pride free for 2020. 

Party in the park 
The relocation to The Downs has offer Bristol the chance to grow their Pride event massively. At this years Pride in the Park party you’ll find five stages, a silent disco, a family area and a whole load of food and drinks stalls. Catch the big names on the main stage, the glam gals on the cabaret stage, something impressive in the circus tent, new talent in on the new stage and a real show on the dance stage. This year’s headliners include Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Mel C with Sink the Pink and performer of Bristol Pride 2010, Sonique. Fans of Ru Paul’s Drag Race be sure to get down to the cabaret tent in time to see headliner Peppermint, runner-up in the show’s 9th season. 

Image credit: Bristol Pride via Facebook 
Head to an after party 

The day’s official after party is hosted at the cities 02 Academy on Frogmore Street, and all proceeds from ticket sales go into making next year another free festival. Expect a club night filled with glitter, glam and a powerful smoke machine. This year’s dress code is Elemental Eleganza Extravaganza (apparently that means primal, periodical and meteorological) however that isn’t compulsory. Sink the Pink will be doing a DJ set alongside Guilty Pleasures, KIKI Bristol and DTYM+ friends. Don’t fancy that? You’ll find alternative Pride afters at Queenshilling, Punka and Lakota

Note: Pride is, at its very heart, a celebration of inclusivity and acceptance. We do, however, request that allies of the community who don’t identify as LGBTQ+ recognise that this festival is a celebration of queer identity. It’s not just a music festival, or a reason to get drunk, and to be an ally you must be one 365 days a year, not just on Pride weekend. 

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