The hub of England's second-largest metropolitan region (population 2.6 million), Manchester is also home to the country's second biggest gay scene, an area that's only continued to thrive and grow in recent decades (the popularity of the Manchester-based TV show Queer As Folk gave the neighborhood an international boost in the late '90s). The city is home to the fabulous and hugely attended Manchester Gay Pride celebration in late August - the dates in 2016 are August 26 through August 29, but there are a number of events taking place the week leading up, including some provocative and engaging queer arts programs during Superbia, formerly known as Manchester Pride Fringe.
Manchester Pride comprises a series of events and parties, including cultural and arts presentations, a parade with more than 100 floats, a continuous weekend festival, and a concluding HIV Candlelight Remembrance Vigil on the final day, Monday - it's held at Sackville Gardens. Few Pride celebrations in the world have more going on, and a more impressive lineup of entertainers, than Manchester Pride, which also features a slew of big-name singers and bands.
Much of the cultural and arts component of Manchester Pride takes place during Superbia, which used to be known as Manchester Pride Fringe. Throughout August, you can attend more than 40 events during Fringe, including photography, theater, a fetish-themed comic performance, art exhibits, adult urban dance workshops, an LGBT family fun day, Women's Pride, stand-up comedy, jazz supper club, and much more - here's a full calendar of Superbia events.
The Manchester Pride Weekend - or "Big Weekend" as it's referred to, kicks off on Friday and lasts through Monday. Events take place largely in and around Manchester famed Canal Street Gay Village and include a Main Arena where a slew of outstanding musicians and bands will be performing, including Heather Small of M People, MNEK, Shura, Karen Harding, Anne Marie, Lucy Spraggan, Imani Williams, Danny Beard, Seann Miley Moore, Frankmusik, Eli Cripps, and Will Young.
The celebration also centers around the Sackville Gardens Stage, which includes a Women's Stage; the Gaydio Dance Arena; a Lifestyle Expo and Village Markets with exhibitors and vendors; and - of course - countless parties and events held at village gay bars and restaurants.
During Manchester Pride Weekend, the Manchester Gay Pride Parade takes place on Saturday, August 27, commencing at Deansgate, and following St. Anne Street, Cross Street, Albert Square, and Princess Street to Whitworth Street, by the Gay Village.
Manchester Gay Resources
Manchester's many gay bars and restaurants will have more going on than usual during Pride week. Check online resources about the Manchester gay scene, such as the the NightTours Gay Guide to Manchester and ManchesterBars.com's Gay Village Nightlife Guide. Also take a look at the excellent GLBT site produced by the city's official tourism organization, Tourism Manchester.