COMING UP: The countdown to Liverpool Pride, 4 Aug 2012

With just days to go, the countdown has begun to Liverpool Pride 2012. The UK’s biggest FREE Pride event outside of London, Liverpool Pride 2012 is going nautical for its third annual celebration of all things LGBT to be held this Saturday 4 August. The festival will take place at Liverpool’s iconic pier-head and throughout the city’s Stanley Street Quarter.

The day begins with the undoubted highlight of the festival; the March. The Liverpool Pride 2012 March will make history. For first time ever, two Premier League football clubs; Liverpool and Everton Football Clubs will be represented in a Pride March, they’ll be represented by staff, supporters and members of the LFC women’s team. It will also be the first year that Liverpool Pride will March with Patron Angela Eagle MP at the helm of the procession.

The Pride March gives the LGBT community, their friends and their families the chance to parade through Liverpool’s streets in a tide of colour, music and celebration, all in line with the ‘nautical but nice’ theme. The March, sponsored by Homes for Everyone, will leave William Brown Street at 12pm, participants are asked to muster from 11am. It will then process along Lime Street before taking in Queen Square Bus Station and Whitechapel. From here, the March will make its way along Lord Street and North John Street before turning down James Street, crossing The Strand over Mann Island and ending in front of the main stage at the Pier Head, where the afternoon’s rally and entertainment will begin.

Hosted by Desperate Scousewives’ Layla Flaherty, the Stanley Street Quarter stage’s exciting line up features DJ sets and performances from each of the Stanley Street Quarter’s bars to keep the crowds dancing from day to night. Layla, alongside local artiste Silk Tray will present a wealth of local talent including DJs and Drag Acts from the Stanley Street Quarter bars and clubs, talented singer songwriter Craig Cavanagh, dance diva Nikki Belle who will perform a number of her biggest club hits including ‘Teardrops’ and ‘Trippin on You’. The Stanley Street Quarter Stage is sponsored by The Liverpool Community Healthcare Trust (LCH), partnered with Gaydio

At the Pier Head the ‘It’s Liverpool’ stage will keep revelers entertained between 1pm – 8pm with headliner performances from Marcus Collins, Liz McClarnon, TOWIE’s Jessica Wright and 2 Shoes alongside some great acts including girl bands Concrete Rose and The Bon Bonz, plus boy bands Concept, Futurekicks and On The Line and solo artists Sarah Whatmore (Pop Idol), JNAY (X-factor), Neighbours heartthrob Sam Clark, Bradley Johnson (X Factor), Thomas Teago and Armstrong. Local dance sensations Dance Dynamix will open the stage in addition to supporting the artists throughout the day. The ‘It’s Liverpool’ Stage will be hosted by Juice FM’s Leanne Campbell and Baz Todd, Desperate Scousewives’ Chris and Mark and the cast of Hollyoaks.

Other highlights of the day include the LGBT market, 2 for 1 tickets on Mersey Ferry river cruises and a Health and Wellbeing Zone with activities including interactive games where you can race against Usain Bolt. Food and drink stalls will be posted around both festival sites. Eberle Street will have entertainment from the GBar and Garlands DJs throughout the day from 2pm -11pm

On Sunday 5 August there are several exciting events taking place including the Big Gay Brunch at Tate Liverpool and Gay Gardens at the Bluecoat. The Pride Weekend will be brought to a fitting close with the Love Music Hate Homophobia event at Leaf on Liverpool’s Bold St. This chilled out evening of music and entertainment will comprise of purely homegrown talent and will raise funds for the Michael Causer Foundation. Continuing throughout the month of August is the Liverpool Pride Film Festival at Fact and the Liverpool Pride arts and culture programme.

Zoran Blackie, Chair of Liverpool Pride said: “This has been the most ambitious and most diverse Pride we’ve ever developed for the city. We’ve come from humble beginnings, responding to prejudice and homophobia, now we can celebrate in a city that is proud of its LGBT community. We know that Liverpool is the most up-and-coming gay destination in the country and we want everyone to come on board and join us for the biggest party of the summer!”

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