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Your guide to Birmingham Pride 2015

Written by
Becky Homer

If you happen to be knocking around town during May Bank Holiday weekend to find that you’ve become trapped amidst a cloud of rainbow glitter and neon confetti, please don’t be alarmed. Birmingham Pride will be entirely to blame for the ruckus.

On May 23 – 24 Birmingham Pride, the UK’s biggest gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender festival, will make its annual return to take over the city centre. A much anticipated event for people across the Midlands, Pride is a celebration of the city's diverse LGBT community and offers a warm welcome to all, regardless of sexuality, faith or gender.

The theme for Pride 2015 is ‘Freedom’, and there's no doubt that this year it’ll be even louder, even brighter and even more flamboyant than ever before. Starting in Victoria Square at 12pm on Saturday May 23, the parade will make its way down New Street, into High Street, Carrs Lane, Smallbrook Queensway and Hurst Street, before finally entering the main Pride festival site in the heart of the Gay Village. The parade comes complete with the most elaborately decorated floats (and people) you'll have probably ever seen; when it comes to Pride, absolutely nothing is done by halves.

Time Out Birmingham is here to give you the details of all you need to know about Birmingham Pride this year. Whether you're a well-seasoned Pride aficionado, or this will be your first time, we’ll be sure to leave no rhinestone unturned...


Carnival Parade Route 

On Saturday May 23, many of the roads in the city centre will close to make way for the parade, starting at Victoria Square at 12pm and finishing on Hurst Street at roughly 2pm. Whether you're involved in the festivities, or just a spectator, it’ll definitely be worth a watch. 

Main Stage

Birmingham Pride’s main stage is situated just behind The Nightingale in a tent that spans the entire length of the street, and acts as a central hub for Pride-goers.  When it comes to artists and acts, the main stage always promises an eclectic bunch – and this year the organisers have really outdone themselves. Confirmed acts include Neon Jungle, Example and Fuse ODG, as well as old favourites Boney M and Jimmy Somerville on Saturday, plus Jess Glynne, Union J and Ms Dynamite on Sunday. 

See the full line up here

Village Cabaret Tent

To fully immerse yourself in the ultimate Pride experience, the Cabaret Tent at The Village Inn is a must. Outrageously camp and completely fabulous, The Village throws open its floor-to-ceiling glass windows and doors to let the festivities spill out into the adjoining gazebo. It’s the perfect haunt to enjoy some light-hearted daytime fun with friends old and new, as well as drag and cabaret performances from resident host Charlotte the Harlotte and favourites Twiggy and Baga Chipz (plus many, many more). 

See the full line up here.

The Fox Women’s Area

As the only venue in Birmingham to market itself to gay women and their friends, the party at The Fox heads outside with a dedicated on-street tent. With an outdoor stage graced by some of the most talented female musicians in the Midlands, The Fox Women’s Area offers women, men, gay, straight, transgender, and pretty much anyone and everyone, a laid-back space complete with park benches to partake in some daytime drinking and music. 

Also worth a mention, The Fox is organising its very own wet t-shirt competition on Saturday - so expect to get soaked (every pun intended).

Chic Dance Arena 

As dusk descends on Birmingham Pride, it’s likely your thirst will have been quenched after a successful six-plus hours of drinking. It’s equally likely that you’ll want to find somewhere to throw some shapes, celebrate life and just revel in the rhapsodic atmosphere that is Pride. 

Cue the Chic Dance Arena. With the promise of all the very best in deep house, electro and dance, it’s a favourite every year and you can two-step well into the small hours of the morning – the ideal way to end the day and night on a high. 

Weekend tickets start from £25 online, and are much more expensive on the day- so grab yourself one in advance.

Have a fun, happy and safe Pride!

Read Time Out's guide to Birmingham's best gay bars, clubs and venues.

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