Manchester Pride 2018: Everything you need to know about The Big Weekend and LGBT parade

Manchester Pride is set to return on the August bank holiday weekend, with some of the biggest stars set to appear.

Rita Ora will headline this year’s celebration of LGBT life in the North-West, alongside the likes of Scissor Sisters’ star Jake Shears, Sigala and Alexandra Burke.

Tens of thousands of people are expected to line the streets for the pride march, with different campaign groups, charities, businesses and activists taking part in the four day extravaganza.

The main attraction of Manchester’s pride season is The Big Weekend, which this year takes place from Friday 24th August to Monday 27th August.

Here’s what we know about the event so far.

Who’s performing at The Big Weekend 2018?

Rita Ora will headline – performing her aptly named song Proud.

In the unlikely event that you’re not familiar with her already, Ora rose to prominence in February 2012 when she featured on DJ Fresh’s single “Hot Right Now”, which reached number one in the UK.

Her debut studio album, Ora, released in August 2012, debuted at number one at the UK. She has also sat in as a judge on The Voice and X Factor and become a huge star in the US, recently performing at Coachella.

Jake Shears, best known as lead singer for the Scissor Sisters, is also in town.

Jake Shears (Getty)

He’s back on stage on his own for the first time in 2018 and his performance at The Big Weekend will be one among his first solo shows in the UK.

Singer and Strictly Come Dancing star Alexandra Burke is releasing her first new music in six years with her third album, The Truth is.

Burke made chart history as the first British female solo singer to score a million-selling single after soaring to fame as winner of the X Factor.

Lucy Spraggan is a fellow X Factor star who has sustained a devoted fan base since appearing on the show in 2012. Before she appeared on the ITV talent contest Spraggan was already a manchester Pride favourite, so will be marking her 10th year at the weekend in 2018.

Manchester Pride 2018 line up

The Thomas Cook Airlines stage:

Rita Ora

Jake Shears


Alexandra Burke

Lucy Spraggan

Guilty Pleasures

Sink The Pink

Nadine Coyle


Gok Wan

Bright Light Bright Light



Angie Brown

Big Freedia

The Gaydio Dance Arena:


Big Freedia

Jon Pleased Wimmin

Darren (808 State)

DJ Paulette

Jamie Bull

Kriss Herbert

Pete Tong

Danny Howard

Dave Pearce

Nicky Siano

Jellybean Benitez

The Sackville Boutique Stage:

Proms In The Park

Heather Peace Presents

Bongos Bingo

A Taste of Our Gay Village

How to get tickets to Manchester Pride

Big Weekend tickets are already on sale for £28 for all four days or £20 for day tickets.

Tickets will remain available right up until the weekend itself, when you can still buy access. However the cost for day and weekend tickets will increase, so it’s cheaper to purchase them in advance.

Tickets provide guests with access to the full event site – including the Main Arena, Sackville Gardens Boutique Stage, the Gaydio Dance Arena and the Expo.

‘Eclectic’ Big Weekend

Mark Fletcher, Chief Executive for Manchester Pride, said: “This year we’ve curated the most eclectic, yet musically credible, line-up The Big Weekend has ever seen.

“From international artists like Rita Ora and Jake Shears, to underground stars such as Big Freedia and TCTS, we feel that this is a selection of artists that only Manchester Pride could present. It’s going to be an incredible celebration!

“The line-up for the Gaydio Dance Arena is huge. Disco legends Nicky Siano and Jellybean Benitez are flying in especially to give us a taste of Studio 54. It’s not to be missed!”