Manchester Pride Festival 2023: Dates, tickets and what’s on

Heartstopper star Yasmin Finney at Manchester Pride on the Alan Turing stage

Manchester Pride Festival 2023 is set to take place over the August bank holiday weekend, with free events and the renowned Gay Village Party making a return. 

The much-loved festival will once again bring thousands of people to the streets of Manchester. 

Tickets for almost all of Manchester Pride 2023’s events are free this year, with the exception being the Gay Village Party.

This four-day street party around the LGBTQ+ hub of Canal Street that will see a host of performances from LGBTQ+ artists. Tickets for the Gay Village Party went on sale on Wednesday, 8 March at 12pm GMT.

When is Manchester Pride Festival on? 

Manchester Pride will kick off on Friday, 25 August with celebrations rounding off on Monday, 28 August 2023.

All events scheduled on the final day, Monday, 28 August, are free to attend. 

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How do I get Manchester Pride Festival 2023 tickets?

Six out of the seven events are free to attend. Tickets to attend the Gay Village Party can be purchased through Ticketmaster.

Low income, family tickets, and VIP options are available, while £2.50 from every ticket will be donated to the Manchester Pride Community Fund. 

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The money collected for the Manchester Pride Community Fund will go towards LGBTQ+ causes and projects in Greater Manchester through the distribution of grants.

Manchester Pride parade
Tickets for Manchester ride Festival’s Gay Village Party are on sale now, with all other events free to attend. (Manchester Pride)

All tickets are subject to a 10 percent booking fee, fee is applied to the ticket only and not the £2.50 fixed donation. 

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How much are Gay Village Party tickets?

The events of Manchester Pride Festival 2023 are free to attend with the exception of the Gay Village Party. These can be purchased through Ticketmaster.

Ticket options and prices include:

  • Weekend: £37.50
  • Friday ticket: £21.00
  • Saturday ticket: £31.00
  • Sunday ticket: £31.00
  • Monday ticket: Free plus £2.50 donation
  • Diamond VIP (weekend): £182.50
  • Gold VIP (weekend): £122.50

Manchester Pride Festival say: “To ensure the event is accessible and inclusive, in response to the cost of living crisis, more Low Income Tickets have been made available.”

These are available at the following prices:

  • Weekend: £20.00
  • Friday ticket: £11.75
  • Saturday ticket: £16.75
  • Sunday ticket: £16.75
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Plus, family tickets are available priced at £57.00 for Saturday, 26 August and £53.00 for Sunday, 27 August. These tickets give access to a family of up to four people.

What’s on at Manchester Pride?

Friday, 25 August will see the Human Rights Forum bring together activists and leaders to discuss challenges that the LGBTQ+ community continue to face. 

On Saturday 26 August, the Manchester Pride Parade will return to the city’s centre with a loud and colourful march for equality. 

The renowned Gay Village Party, which provides a space for the community to enjoy live music performances, will be held across the four-day celebration. The ticketed event will include a host of performances from queer artists and performers.

A person at Manchester Pride holding a sign that reads 'Not a Sin'
The Manchester Pride parade 2023 will take place on Saturday, 26 August. (Manchester Pride)

A candlelit vigil will be held on the closing day of the festival on Monday, 28 August in Sackville Gardens to remember those lost to HIV and persecuted for being who they are. 

Superbia Weekend is part of Manchester Pride’s year-round arts and culture programme and will offer creative space with a series of alcohol-free events and premiers of new work from LGBTQ+ performers. 

Providing a space for all ages, Family Pride MCR will be held across the four days with a programme of events designed for little ones, while Youth Pride MCR offers a free events for those aged 14 to 18. 

What is Manchester Pride? 

Since the late 1980s, fundraising events have been held over August bank holiday weekend in Manchester in a bid to raise money for the LGBTQ+ community. 

It all began in 1985, Manchester City Council was awarded a £1,700 grant to hold a two-week celebration which went on to become Manchester Pride Festival, according to Manchester Pride.

The first pride began as the Gay Pub and Club Olympic, complete with events such as tug of war and egg and spoon races. 

At the time of its birth, homophobia remained rife, and in 1988 an anti-Section 28 protest was held in Manchester against the law that prohibited the “promotion of sexuality”. The law was in effect until 2000 in Scotland and 2003 in England and Wales. 

Manchester Pride takes place throughout Canal Street.
Manchester Pride’s Gay Village Party takes place in and around Canal Street. (Jonathan Nicholson/NurPhoto/Getty)

In the summer of 1991, the Village Charity formed the Mardi Gras festival, which raised £15,000 for HIV and AIDS. This event grew over the years and in 1999 the council took control of it, introducing ticketing and fences. 

Keen to run the event themselves, the LGBTQ+ community retook control of the event and in 2000 and 2001 it was known as “Gayfest”. 

It was in the closing ceremony of EuroPride, which Manchester hosted in 2003, that it was announced that all subsequent events would be known as “Manchester Pride”. 

In 2007 Manchester Pride became a registered charity and it campaigns all year to improve the lives of LGBTQ+ people in Greater Manchester. Last year, in 2022, the charity raised a staggering £120,062.38 for LGBTQ+ good cause in the area. 

Why should I attend Manchester Pride? 

In 2022, the Manchester Pride was named as the “Best Large Festival” at the UK Festival Awards. 

Across the August Bank Holiday the events held make a £34 million impact and contribution to the economy of the city of Manchester. 

Manchester Pride provides the chance for LGBTQ+ people and allies to gain skills, and is a way to ensure talented members of the community have the platform and audience they deserve. 

CEO of Manchester Pride, Mark Fletcher, said: “We’re delighted to announce the return of Manchester Pride Festival 2023 with an exciting schedule of events and our partnership with Booking.com

“We know how important it is to make the festival as accessible as possible, which is why six out of the seven events are free to attend.”

To get tickets for the Gay Village Party at Manchester Pride 2023 head to Ticketmaster.

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