Funfairs, attractions and live performances are just some of what visitors can expect when Derby Pride returns bigger and better than ever this September. After two years of cancellations due to the pandemic, the much-loved LGBT+ festival will take place at Markeaton Park for the first time on Saturday, September 10.
The location change comes after the roaring success of Pride 2019, which attracted a record number of attendees in the city centre. Now, the annual event has not only outgrown its previous venue, promising a bigger turn out than ever, but has also secured a substantial national grant.
Derby Pride Chair Martin Carter believes that the scenic location is perfect place to hold the festival. The 40-year-old said: “It’s a beautiful park with plenty of space for everyone to celebrate Pride in safety, and it allows us to offer more attractions on the day.”
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“We used to have Curzon Street and Bramble Street closed off, but it [the festival] was just getting too big. We wanted to offer more – a bigger funfair, more stalls, an area for people to just sit and rest. Now, people will be able to stay a lot longer and it’s a brilliant park, and a brilliant opportunity.”
What’s more, Derby Pride has been given a helping hand by the National Lottery Community Fund to help cover the costs of the event. Martin, who has been the chair of Derby Pride for the past eight years, added: “We are so grateful to the National Lottery Community Fund for helping us to make this year’s Pride happen.
“It’s just given a great start and a massive boost. Now we can start booking in acts and getting the stage sorted….We’ve got 10 times as much space [compared to previous events]. People can sit on the grass and stuff like that, I think the biggest problem with having it on a street is that it’s a road, and nobody wants to sit on the road, and it was just to busy to just sit and relax.
“But obviously this year people can sit and watch the stage all day, and there will be plenty of food vans and bars. Touch wood it will be a nice day.”
While the line-up is yet to be announced, Pride’s organisers are promising a memorable day for those who attend, which will include main stage acts, the biggest funfair organised to date, a dedicated family area, and vibrant stalls. The Pride Parade is the highlight of the day for many, and the organisers will be announcing details on the event in the coming months.
Speaking on what visitors can expect from the line-up, Martin said: “At the moment, we’re advertising for anybody local, so drag queens, singers and bands. We always try to give local people the opportunity to perform.”
Martin also spoke of the importance of Pride Parades to the LGBT+ community. He said: “The Pride movement started with parades and marches and this year marks the 50th anniversary of the UK’s first Pride march.”
As well as the annual festival, Derby Pride has announced that its popular Rainbow Walk will return on Sunday. The sponsored event starts at the Derbyshire LGBT+ centre on Curzon Street and heads to Markeaton Park, before taking walkers back to The Crown Inn, Curzon Street, for a post walk BBQ.”
The Rainbow Walk is organised in partnership with Derbyshire LGBT+ and all money raised is shared between the two charities, supporting their vital work in the LGBT+ community. Anyone wishing to take part can register online at www.rainbowwalk.co.uk. This year also marks the return of Derby Pride’s singing contest, “The Voice of the Midlands.” Those interested can find out more information on the Derby Pride website at www.derbypride.co.uk or on the Facebook page @DerbyPrideLGBT
Derby Pride is also looking for added sponsors to help make this year’s event shine.
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