Get ready for the glitter cloud to descend upon the city; Brighton Pride is back and it’s set to be bigger than ever. Planning your first Pride in Brighton and Hove? As the biggest LGBTQ celebration in the country, it can be quite a lot for any newcomer to take in, so we’ve come up with a guide to help you on your way to having the Best. Weekend. Ever. Read on for everything you need to know about Brighton Pride.
So, what exactly is it?!
Is it a festival? Is it a parade? Is it a street party? Actually, it’s a bit of all three - and then some. Brighton Pride weekend is a celebration of LGBT+ culture, which naturally manifests itself in a number of forms to be fully inclusive - whether you want to party until the sun comes up or not.
Hmm, tell me more…
The main event of Brighton Pride is its parade on Saturday 3rd August 2019. Several kilometres long, it takes up a fair chunk of the day, and last year attracted more than 400,000 people to our city centre. Everyone gets involved - from local charities to dance groups to banks to political parties - and everyone has a great time.
Then there’s the Pride Village Party which takes place from St James’ Street to Marine Parade across the weekend, featuring live performances from cabaret starlets, DJs, drag artists, and many more across a number of venues for an unforgettable weekend of fundraising celebrations.
Of course, there’s then Pride in the Park up at Preston Park - a bonafide festival with massive acts such as Kylie Minogue, Clean Bandit and Bjorn Again, plus newcomers Rina Sawayama, Fleur East and Alice Chater.
There’s also a number of celebrations spread across pubs and venues in town (look out for special Pride pizzas or cocktails), and day two of music and festivities at Preston Park carrying into Sunday 4th August with LoveBN1Fest.
Where/when does it all kick off?
Some celebrations will begin on Friday 2nd August, but the bit that brings everyone together - the parade - begins at 11am on the Saturday.
So I can march in the parade?
Unfortunately you’re too late for this year! Registration filled up yonks ago - but if you’re able to convince a company already with a float to adopt you for the day, we tip our hats to you. Otherwise get in there quick and put your name down for next year.
What should I wear?
If there was ever a time to don your most elaborate costume, or something completely outrageous, this would be it. Take inspiration from Madonna, Gaga and Mercury. Glitter is mandatory.
Do I have to pay?
In short, no. The parade is completely free, as are many of the pub celebrations across the city. However, you will pay a premium for certain events across the weekend, for example the Village Party, which is currently £20 for both days, or £12.50 for the Sunday only, and Pride in the Park, which comes in at £37.50. Tickets to LoveBN1Fest are £32.50 each.
I’m from out of town; how do I get there?
Check National Express, Stagecoach Buses and Govia Thameslink Railways for your closest connections. Following the news of partygoers getting stranded in the city due to issues with rail transport last year, the rail service have been working with Sussex Police and Pride since the beginning of this year to ensure more trains will run across the weekend, with particular heightened capacity as Pride in the Park ends on Saturday.
Where can I stay?
Do yourself a favour and get an AirBnB. The weather may be good enough that the beach will seem like a viable option when you’re ten shots down, but you’ll be far better off in a real bed. Failing that, there’s a Pride campsite just off the A27 at Patcham.
What should I know before I go? Is there anything else I need to bring?
You’ll be outside all day; sun cream is imperative, as is access to water (take your own bottle) and a healthy supply of snacks/food. Everyone will flock to the supermarkets and/or Easy Hours both during and after the parade, and that half-hour long queue can be savage when your thirst levels are at an all-time high. Incorporate a hat into your outfit (‘sunburnt lobster face’ isn’t a good look on anyone) and be the person with the glitter - you’ll make more friends than you started with.