Newcastle Pride, now one of the largest, free LGBT festivals in the UK, returns to the city from Friday (July 17), with three days of live music and activities celebrating the anniversary of the first Pride marches.
This includes a parade from the Civic Centre to the Town Moor at noon on Saturday (July 18), led by three members of the Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners (LGSM) group, who were recently immortalised in the blockbuster movie, Pride.
This will be followed by Main Stage performances at the moor by a host of stars, including X Factor icons Joseph Whelan, Kitty Brucknell and Lucy Spraggan, with chart toppers B*Witched and 80s songstress Belinda Carlisle headlining the event on Saturday and Sunday respectively.
A host of stalls and themed entertainment zones will also be operating throughout the weekend, including a health zone offering free STI testing, a youth and family zone with activities for younger visitors and a dance tent.
There will also be a funfair and a variety of refreshment areas purposefully created by experts at 1879 Events Management.
Newcastle Pride 2015, which has a One Love theme, will close with a candlelit vigil at the Civic Centre on Sunday (July 18), offering visitors a chance to reflect on the fight for equally and how the struggle continues in some areas around the world.
Leader of Newcastle City Council, Cllr Nick Forbes, said: “Newcastle Pride is a fantastic event that underlines the important contribution that the LGBT community makes to the vibrancy of Newcastle.
“I am truly proud to be speaking at this year’s event and look forward to record numbers of visitors coming from all over the country to see what the city has to offer day and night, and experience our warm Geordie welcome. Newcastle is a city where everyone can feel at home and I am confident that this event will be a great success.”
Newcastle Pride 2015 is free to attend, though a limited number of VIP and Gold Circle passes are available for those who wish to get closer to the action. All proceeds from these tickets, which start from £10 per person, will be used to help keep the event free in future years.
The Parade runs from the Civic Centre at noon on Saturday, with all participants being asked to arrive by 11.30am. Entertainment runs at the Town Moor from 12.15pm to 7pm on Saturday and from 2pm until 8pm on Sunday, with the Candlelit Vigil being held back at the Civic Centre at 9pm.
Mark Nichols, Chair of Northern Pride, which organises the annual event, said: “Newcastle Pride 2015 holds a particular significance as it marks the anniversary of the first Pride marches and offers the opportunity to reflect on how much has been achieved in the fight for acceptance and equality and, unfortunately, how much is still to be done.
“We hope that people from across the North East and wider UK will come together to mark this momentous occasion and to enjoy three days of live music and entertainment completely free of charge.”
For more information and full listings, visit www.northern-pride.com, search Northern Pride on Facebook or Twitter or download the free Newcastle Pride app from ITunes or Google Play.