BRIGHTON & HOVE PRIDE 2019 A Look Back

The countdown to this year’s Brighton & Hove Pride is on and preparation is well underway for what is sure to be the biggest and best event yet.  The August weekend is firmly cemented on the calendar as a time for everyone to come together and celebrate diversity and inclusion in our great coastal city.  Community and fundraising are at the heart of Brighton & Hove Pride and in the last six years, over £700,000 has been raised for local charities, projects, community groups and LGBT and HIV organisations, through The Rainbow Fund, Pride Social Impact Fund and The Pride Cultural Development Fund. On top of that, Pride creates an average £20,500,000+ boost to the city’s economy every year! To promote the shared benefit and responsibility Pride brings to the town, a brand new initiative called City Angels has been launched to recruit and encourage local retailers, restaurants, hotels and other businesses to engage their civic pride and help everyone experience a cleaner, greener and safer Pride.

This year’s event is particularly meaningful as it commemorates the 50 year anniversary of the Stonewall Inn uprising that ignited the Pride movement in New York’s Greenwich Village in 1969.  The riot against a police raid of the bar and club lead to six days of protest and served as a catalyst for the gay rights movement in the United States and across the world. In honour of the demonstration and its subsequent action, the theme for Pride 2019 is “Generations of Love” .

Official festivities remain the highlight for locals and visitors from all over the country and the main fundraising event, Saturday’s Pride in the Park festival at Preston Park will see global superstar, Kylie Minogue, fly the glittering rainbow flag for this year’s ceremony as she plays her end of tour finale. From soap actress to music phenomenon, Kylie is a true icon who has performed her infamous, flawless pop classics including I should Be So Lucky, The Locomotion, Especially For You, Step Back In Time, Can’t Get You Out of My Head, Love At First Sight, Slow, Wow, All the Lovers and many more to audiences all over the world.  Whilst Kylie has played to many high profile and Pride lead events, from Australia to the UK, this is the first time she will headline the Brighton Pride stage.  Performing hits from her Step Back In Time collection, the crowd (who will no doubt be dressed in an array of Kylie costume classics!) can expect a host of fan favourites, surprises and some very special guests.

Supporting Kylie are one of the most successful British bands of the past decade, Clean Bandit, who will bring their mix of cool beats, elements of classical music and big name collaborations to the stage.  Expect to hear number ones and chart hits including Rather Be, Real Love, Tears, Rockabye (which hit the Christmas top spot in 2016) and more.  The band have been at the forefront of LGBT+ visibility with the video for their top five song Baby which featured Marina and the Diamonds in a bittersweet same sex storyline.  In addition, powerhouse X Factor and I’m A Celebrity finalist, Fleur East will storm the stage with explosive performances of her monster hit SAX and new single Favourite Thing.  Abba tribute phenomenon Björn Again will perform the Swedish pop group classics; pocket rocket Alice Chater brings her modern pop and on point choreography while North London singer/songwriter Zak Abel who garnered over 3 million streams on Soundcloud with his Say Sumthin and These Are The Days EPs shares his tastemaker cool.  As if that wasn’t enough, seven piece, black male dance troupe and All4 reality stars, The Prancing Elites will fly in from their native Louisiana and Alabama to perform at the park and open the Community LGBTQ+ Parade.  Aside from the main stage, the park has ten areas of diverse talent including this year’s BAME and QueerTown stages, the Legends Cabaret Big Top, Pride Dance Big Top with He.She.They, the Diva Dance Tent, Brüt Mens Tent plus a whole host of burlesque, speakers and performance art.

On Sunday 4th August, the family friendly LoveBN1Fest returns to Preston Park for its second year with international pop star sensation, Jessie J and the legendary LGBTQ+ icon, Grace Jones taking to the stage.  With her deep soulful vocals and a sharp pop sense, Jessie has had a trio of UK top five albums as well as chart-topping singles including Pride Tag, Domino, Bang Bang and the brilliant Laser Light featuring David Guetta.  The Voice judge, Jessie is known for her show stopping performances, having performed at the London Olympics, Glastonbury and the Diamond Jubilee Concert and we can’t wait to see what she has in store for Sunday at Pride.  Like Jessie, supermodel, Studio54 superstar and muse to Andy Warhol Grace Jones has headlined almost every major festival across the world and has create more iconic ‘looks’ than almost any other artist out there.  She famously hula hooped at the Queens 90th Birthday celebrations and we can only hope she hula’s her way in to Preston Park to deliver critically acclaimed dance club hits such as Slave To The Rhythm, I Need A Man, La Vie En Rose and Love on Top of Love (Killer Kiss) produced by C&C music factory.

Bringing the warm up entertainment, X Factors first male band winners, Rak Su – which stands for ‘tracks vs suits’ and the juxtaposition of carefree youth and adult responsibilities – will perform their no.2 hit Dimelo which features Wyclef Jean and Naughty Boy alongside tracks from their forthcoming debut album.  Singer-songwriter Nina Nesbitt will play her pop-inspired melodies and Pride favourites, House Gospel Choir, will uplift the park with their authentic house meets gospel sound while 21 year old Brighton resident, Grace Carter showcases her emotionally exposing songs in this, her breakout year. The fun continues throughout the park with pop club night Guilty Pleasures, the crew from Swing Patrol Brighton, The Glory cabaret, BN1 Magazine tent, BIMM live stage, Boogaloo Bingo and family focused entertainment for parents and children of all ages. Baby Loves Disco, Alice’s Theme Party and Bubble Inc. will all be in attendance to entertain our younger attendees.  Both Preston Park festival events are supported by TTK welfare to ensure accessibility to all.


Before the park events begin, the infamous eye-popping, technicolour magic of the Pride LGBTQ+ Community Parade featuring an array of city charities, community groups, local businesses, blue light services and official Brighton & Hove Pride partners, will kick start Saturday’s Brighton & Hove Pride in flamboyant, spectacular style.  Campaign placards this year will feature LGBTQ heroes who have devoted their lives, passions and energies to advance LGBTQ+ rights.  Starting at 11am at Hove Lawns, the colourful carnival will take a revised route through North Road, for one year only, due to the Valley Gardens regeneration scheme. Over 300,000 people pour onto the streets to participate in and watch as the all singing, all dancing fanfare winds its way to the main festival site.  For the best place to view the colourful carnival, head to Kingsway on the sea front, West Street, Queens Road, St Peters Church and the London Road leading to its destination point of Preston Park.

Other official Pride sites include, The Pride Pleasure Gardens on the Old Steine which will open the weekend once again on the evening of Friday 2nd August at 4pm and play host to three days and nights of free entertainment.  The opening party on Friday evening will see Brighton favourite Dynamite Stu take residence with his Boogaloo Bingo followed by a night of disco dancing as only the Boogaloo crew know how.  There will also be stunning performances from Epicene and the amazing Prancing Elites.  Saturday will see a day packed with fierce fun, saucy wonders, camp pop, cabaret and the return of  Sink The Pink with an all new show, featuring the one and only Sporty Spice, Mel C.  Sunday picks up where Saturday evening left off with a boot-stomping session of Line Dancing from the Cactus Club followed by an afternoon and evening of queer cabaret before Brüt take the reins for the BearFest T-dance!

The Pride Village Party in fabulous Kemptown also makes a comeback with businesses from across St James St and Marine Parade coming together to celebrate and raise additional funds for the Rainbow and Social Impact funds.  Entertainment zones, bars and venues, live performances, cabaret, DJs, drag artists, singers, performers, musicians all join forces for an unforgettable weekend of fundraising  celebration.

Alongside the weekend festival, various events will take place locally in the lead up to Brighton & Hove Pride. Following the launch of the Pride Cultural Development Fund in 2018 which engages with organisations and groups across the city to present diverse exhibitions featuring an LGBTQ+ narrative, two new exhibits will open this year. Nexus at the Jubilee Library runs from 29th July-11th August and features artists from Brighton and Bloemfontein in South Africa exploring real and imagined social, political and cultural connections.  RIOT at the BMECP centre celebrates the Stonewall Uprising from 2nd-31st August.

For all you hound lovers, the much-loved Pride Community Dog Show will take place at Preston Park on Sunday 7th July from 12-5pm and feature judged events, family entertainment, face painting and a whole lot of canine fun.

With such a vast array of activity across the city, drawing revellers from near and far;  Brighton & Hove Pride have made a commitment to improve their environmental impact and are working with a sustainability expert to execute a three year plan.   Focusing on the official Pride sites: Preston Park and Old Steine, they will be introducing reusable non single use plastic cups and working with the venues in the Pride Village Party footprint to lower plastic and carbon emissions. Their aim is to reduce the volume of single use plastic deriving from festival bars and expect that the adoption of the reusable cup scheme will decrease 30% the volume of waste that has historically gone to incineration. Pride will also be sponsoring a Silent Disco Beach Clean on the morning of Sunday 4th August, with partners Oceans8, Pier2Pier, Brighton Watersports and the Bird & Blend Tea Co. To get involved, volunteers can sign up via the official Pride website and will receive a free ticket to LoveBN1 fest in return.

As the countdown to the weekend continues, remember to plan your journey in advance.  Pride have been working with Event Travel Hub to create a network of pick up locations across the South, London and selected cities to transport Pride visitors safely to and from Pride 2019.  Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) have also confirmed enhanced services with extra Saturday train services running late into the night.

Brighton & Hove Pride is, above all else, a time to come together, celebrate, embrace diversity and inclusion and we can’t wait for the weekend to begin.

For further information, visit brighton-pride.org

(BREAKOUT BOX)

CITY ANGELS

City Angels is an initiative to promote a closer working partnership between Brighton & Hove Pride with local retailers, restaurants, hotels and other businesses.  The year-round campaign will see Pride promoting the local retail and hospitality economy, whilst asking those businesses that benefit from the £20.5m+ that is spent over Pride weekend to engage their civic pride and get involved through the Pride City Angels programme.

100% of the proceeds of City Angels memberships is reinvested into the city and community projects.  Whether it is through reducing waste in events supply chains, silent disco beach cleans, sponsoring bins, or consumer focused campaigns to reduce litter – there is plenty for everyone to do – and focused effort means greater benefit.

Founding members include Brighton & Hove Albion FC, Brighton & Hove Buses, Hilton Metropole, Legends and Shoosh.

To sign up and become a member, visit WeAreCityAngels.org