Marking 50 years since the Stonewall uprising, Brighton & Hove Pride 2019 was a weekend celebrating diversity and inclusion in our great City with highlights including the LGBTQ+ Community Parade, performances from Kylie Minogue, Jessie J, Grace Jones, a surprise appearance from Emeli Sande and more.
8th August, 2019 (Brighton) It’s was another fantastic year of celebration, campaigning and reflection for Brighton & Hove Pride. Our campaign this year We Stand Together is a call to action for all in the LGBTQ+ community and allies to unite and stand together against all types of discrimination and to defend the advances in equality and inclusion over the last five decades, since Stonewall. The campaign has been highlighted throughout the city with banners on lamp posts and led our LGBTQ+ Community Parade on Saturday.
The Pride LGBTQ+ Community Parade continues to be one of the undisputed highlights of the Brighton & Hove Pride Festival weekend and is a glorious showcase of the city’s charities, and community groups who make up two thirds of the parade alongside small businesses and our invaluable blue light services and statutory partners. It is one of the biggest and brightest events in Brighton & Hove’s events calendar, with over 300,000 people pouring out onto the city’s streets to participate in and watch as the colourful carnival wends its way from the Hove Lawns to the main Pride festival site at Preston Park.
This year’s Pride in the Park saw 55,000 people turn out to watch a show-stopping performance from global superstar and pop icon, Kylie Minogue. Wowing the crowd with a ninety minute show of hits from across her career including I Should Be So Lucky, Spinning Around, Slow, Can’t Get You out of My Head, Especially for You – which celebrated same-sex marriage – she also surprised the audience with a rendition of the LGBT anthem Your Disco Needs You. Commenting that Pride was a day for reflection and celebration and wearing a custom rainbow dress to close the show as the fireworks began to spark, it was a triumphant finale to her tour and end to the day.
Prior to Kylie’s performance, there was a surprise appearance from Brit-Award winning artist Emeli Sande who sung hits including Heaven, Highs & Lows and Next To Me. Clean Bandit, Fleur East, Bjorn Again, Zak Abel, Rina Sawayama and Alice Chater kept the crowds warmed up throughout the day and across the park, there was entertainment from the Legends Cabaret Tent, BAME Stage with the Cocoa Butter Club, He She They Dance Big Top, Diva Dance Tent, Queer Town Stage, fun fair, community village and more. There was also an on-stage cheque presentation by The Pride Solidarity Fund to The Peter Tatchell Foundation and Kaleidoscope Trust who both received £5000 to support their work with the LGBTQ+ community, here in the UK and internationally.
Carrying on the celebrations, late into Saturday night, Mel C and Sink The Pink, dressed in drag as Mel’s Spice Girl band mates, treated fans at the Pride Pleasure Gardens in the Old Steine to a mix of Spice Girls songs, her solo hits and covers as Mel waved the rainbow and transgender Pride flags. Over the weekend the Pleasure Gardens played host to a variety of fun, frolics and frivolity with Boogaloo Stu and his Boogaloo Bingo, Queer Town and line dancing with the Cactus Club. In Kemp Town the Pride Village Party returned with businesses coming together to celebrate Pride and raise additional funds for the Rainbow and Social Impact funds.
As Saturday’s festivities came to an end, our cleansing team continued to work tirelessly overnight to prepare for the next day’s events. This year’s effort was the culmination of months of planning to encourage less waste over the busy weekend and to continue to improve cleansing operations. Streets were clean and free from litter sooner in an effective, co-ordinated clean-up campaign.
As well as cleansing all our event sites, with the threat of potential industrial action by the GMB union, this year we paid for additional contractors and road sweeping machines to clean London Road, jet wash the streets of the Pride Village Party and follow the Pride Parade through the city.
Although Pride does not organise any events on the beach, this year as a first, Brighton & Hove Pride sponsored the inaugural Big Pride Beach Clean, delivered by Oceans8 Brighton, which saw the beach transformed on Sunday morning. All the refuse collected was sorted on site, ready for recycling which has highlighted the scale of the challenge of keeping beaches free from materials that cause great harm to marine life and the environment. Pride will continue to engage with the businesses on the seafront to share the responsibility of the clean up after a bumper weekend for their businesses.
This work is part of our ongoing mission to encourage residents, visitors and businesses to take Pride in the City. Earlier this year, we launched our City Angels campaign to engage and support these local businesses, bars, restaurants and organisations in the effort to share this benefit and responsibility . 100% of the profits from City Angels memberships is reinvested in to city and community.
In addition to the cleansing effort, this year we worked with a sustainability expert in a bid to reduce single use plastic waste and carbon emissions, across the Preston Park and Pleasure Garden sites. As a result, on sale bottled water was replaced with Aquapax cartons, additional taps were installed for people to use refillable bottles, plastic straws were banned from all our on-site bars and food concessions provided compostable serving trays and cutlery. We recognise that this is the beginning of our sustainability journey and will be gathering & analysing data from this year’s events that will help us set realistic improvement targets for future years.
On Sunday, the family and community focused LoveBN1Fest, celebrating all things Brighton & Hove, returned for the second year to Preston Park. Pop sensation and The Voice Kids judge, Jessie J headlined the main stage, delighting an audience of all ages with hits including Do It Like A Dude, Bang-Bang and Price Tag. Earlier in the day, the iconic Grace Jones lit up the arena with a thrilling set full of costume changes, unique style, humour and crowd favourites Pull Up To The Bumper and Slave to The Rhythm. Rak Su, Nina Nesbitt, House Gospel Choir and Grace Carter also provided main stage entertainment whilst elsewhere in the park, Guilty Pleasures kept people dancing to 80s, 90s and 00s classics alongside Baby Loves Disco, The Circus Project, Swing Patrol, Boogaloo Bingo and more.
Brighton & Hove Pride is a time to come together to celebrate and embrace diversity and inclusion in our great city. Our sole ethos is to promote respect within our community and support local charities, causes and organisations through fundraising. All ticket revenue raised from across our events goes directly to the operational and running costs of producing the Pride Festival, LGBTQ+ Community Parade, Pride Village Party and community fundraising. In the last six years, we have raised over £705,000 for local charities, projects and community groups through The Brighton Rainbow Fund (who have a remit to receive donations and use them to give grants to local LGBT, HIV and AIDS organisations,)Pride Social Impact Fund and The Pride Cultural Development Fund. This number will increase thanks to the support and generosity of ticket buyers and supporters of this year’s events. Details regarding the funds raised in 2019 will be released later this year.
Pride would also like to express their thanks to the 300+ volunteers who gave their time and helped facilitate the safe delivery of the weekend events