Newcastle Pride, which was extended beyond one day for the first time in its seven year history, brought more than 68,000 visitors the city’s Town Moor and Times Square – making it officially the largest free, three-day, LGBT event in the UK.
Among the many highlights of the event was a parade from Newcastle Civic Centre to the Town Moor, which featured more than 7000 participants – around 2000 more than in 2013.
Councillor Nick Forbes, Leader for Newcastle City Council, said: “Newcastle Pride is a fantastic event for the city and the North East as a whole, contributing not only to the economy but to the overall sense of community and inclusion.
“We’re absolutely delighted that this year’s event was so well attended and it was fantastic to see record numbers setting off from the Civic Centre as part of this year’s Newcastle Pride parade.”
The biggest audiences for the three-day festival were recorded at the Town Moor, where visitors were able to enjoy a whole host of stalls, themed entertainment zones and live music, including headline performances by Shayne Ward and Sinitta on Saturday (July 21) and the Vengaboys on Sunday (July 19). This attracted record audiences of 35,000 and 18,000 respectively.
Sean Bullick, Chief Executive of NE1, which sponsored the Main Stage, said: “We’re delighted to have been a part of Newcastle Pride 2014, the biggest and best yet. The event shows Newcastle off at its best; as a modern, welcoming and cosmopolitan European city.
“Pride attracts tens of thousands of visitors over the three days, including many young people and families and the impact of their spend in the bars, shops, restaurants and hotels of the city is very significant.”
Newcastle’s Pride second stage, which was held for the first time this year, also drew large crowds to the city’s Times Square, with around 7,000 people enjoying performances by acts including Faye Tozer, Kelly Wilde and Nicki French across the weekend.
Event organisers, Northern Pride, had originally estimated attendance at around 65,000 for the festival and are delighted at this year’s results.
Mark Nichols, Chair of Northern Pride said: “This was the biggest Newcastle Pride we’ve ever staged and we’re absolutely delighted with what has been achieved.
“The Times Square stage was a great success and really added to the festival atmosphere, while the extended activities at the Town Moor, including the range of stalls and entertainment zones, also helped to boost this year’s numbers and ensured there was something on offer for every taste and age.
”We’re extremely proud to be one of the only Pride events in the UK that is still free to attend and I would like to thank all of this year’s sponsors and volunteers for helping to make the event such a success.
For more information and to see pictures from Newcastle Pride 2014 please visit www.northern-pride.com or download the official festival app, which includes a variety of offers that are redeemable throughout the year.
Photo by Richardson Photo