How to celebrate Birmingham Pride
Birmingham Pride is Britain’s largest 2-day LGBTQ+ festival and is expected to welcome more than 70,000 people to the city. For 2019, the location of the festival is shifting to a new site just outside the city’s Gay Village, providing more space for music, cabaret and a host of LGBTQ+ friendly events. An array of big name artists, up-and-coming stars and local talent will perform across the weekend of 25-26 May, as Birmingham celebrates its LGBTQ+ community.
Alongside three stages in the Gay Village – the Main Stage, Mixmag Arena and the Future Stage – they’ll also be a Los Angeles Cabaret Stage, a women’s area and an inclusivity-focused community village. A theme of ‘Love Out Loud’ accompanies Birmingham Pride 2019, encouraging individuals to celebrate the best of the LGBTQ+ community, while the Birmingham LGBT Centre will host spoken word sessions, acoustic shows and film screenings.
Street Fest will be home to a food court and beer garden, offering an abundance of craft ales and delicious street food, and numerous community stalls will provide crafts, gifts and other memorabilia.
A centrepiece of the Birmingham Pride celebrations, the annual carnival parade weaves its way around the city from midday on Saturday. Setting off from Victoria Square, more than 5,000 people are expected to participate, with thousands more lining the streets. Expect a wealth of colourful floats and brightly-dressed participants of all ages.
Chart-topping Sigala, new pop sensation Alice Chater and former BRIT Awards winner Kate Nash are among those taking to the main stage on Saturday, as well as Mabel, MYA and MOBO nominated all-female band M.O. Sunday will feature a DJ Set from Faithless and a performance from the iconic Human League.
The Black Madonna will bring the infamous We Still Believe party to the Mixmag Arena during the day on Saturday, before a closing set from Sam Divine. That will be followed by an all-female line up on Sunday, featuring Birmingham’s own DJ Hannah Wants, Monki, Jaguar and Fleur Shore, among others.
A host of bars and nightclubs have pledged their support to Birmingham Pride 2019, and all offer something different for partygoers. Eden, Clonezone, Nightingale Club, Missing Bar, Glamourous Cabaret Bar, The Fox and The Village Inn are among those hosting events during the Pride weekend.
What to wear
Although there is no dress code for Birmingham Pride 2019, the majority of those in attendance – and especially those taking part in the parade – opt for bright and extravagant clothing, often reflecting the LGBTQ+ community’s rainbow flag.
Where to stay
Occupying the 23rd and 24th floors of the distinct Cube building, the bedrooms of 4-star Hotel Indigo maximise their elevated status with private balconies and floor-to-ceiling windows. Alternatively, Staying Cool at the Rotunda offers serviced apartments on the top 4 floors of a Birmingham landmark, the Rotunda building. Available in 4 configurations, from studios to 2-bed penthouses, this funky self-catering option is recommended by British-based LGBTQ+ travel website FurtherAfield.com. Another option is BLOC Hotel. A budget choice that doesn’t compromise on style, BLOC Hotel describes itself as pared-down chic. The 73 rooms are stylishly efficient with the things you need, like powerful drench showers, comfortable beds with Egyptian cotton sheets, super-fast Wi-Fi and HD TVs.
Getting to Birmingham
Birmingham is around a 2.5-hour drive from London. Two direct train routes take around 90 minutes to 2 hours, going from London Euston to Birmingham New Street or from London Marylebone to Birmingham Moor Street. Birmingham Airport is served by an array of international carriers, and is a 15-minute train journey from Birmingham City Centre, with trains arriving into Birmingham New Street station.
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