Birmingham Pride 2013

Peter Tatchell Birmingham Pride 2013In a week that saw parliament vote in favour of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill, it was fitting that Birmingham Pride 2013 kicked off from Victoria Square, led by the inimitable LGBT activist Peter Tatchell. Modern UK prides are hardly hotbeds of political discussion but the parade that wound its way around the city centre’s streets took the theme message to the thousands of onlookers lining the route: “Say I Do, to Equal Love”. The parade had contingents from the gay venues in Southside, large companies with a presence in Brum, LGBT football and rugby teams, gay walking groups, Selfridges Naked Men Birmingham Pride 2013support organisations, unions, and loads more. The floats were of course colourful and over the the top, and there were a fair few mostly-naked men as eye candy for onlookers. Everyone seemed to be getting involved with rainbow flags on the council house flagpoles, in apartment windows, and on restaurants.

It’s the first year that entry to the Pride area in the gaybourhood has been ticketed and I Grannies Birmingham Pride 2013think it had a really positive effect on the atmosphere. At £10 for the day or £15 for the weekend (cheaper in advance), it was enough to keep out the riff raff – those people that in recent years have been there to cause trouble – but not too much to deter those who genuinely wanted to go out and celebrate their diversity. In fact I simply didn’t see any of the trouble that I have in previous years. The ticketing enabled Pride to donate about £26k to local charities.

As we knew we’d be there for the whole weekend we splashed out on the VIP tickets which basically gave access to a penned off section at the side of the stages in the cabaret tent and main stage. I don’t enjoy being jostled and I think they were a good investment and meant we could come and go as we Kiss Birmingham Pride 2013pleased without fighting through crowds. On the main stage we saw the fabulous Bananarama, an ageing S-Club 3, Rylan (isn’t he tall?!), Lucy Spraggan, and a few others I’m unsure of. On Sunday evening we stayed in the cabaret tent and watched: Kelly Wilde (she sang the hit Gloria), Jacquii Cann, Drag With No Name, Baga Chipz, Sandra (filthy!), Miss Penny, and Norma Lewis. The singers were great, and the drag acts very good – there is nothing worse than having to endure bad drag!

One thing that would’ve been nice with the VIP tickets would have been our own toilets, Aussie Bum Naked Men Birmingham Pride 2013because as in any large event there are never enough, and they quickly get yucky. For the record, trying to pee in a urinal whilst being heckled by a dozen ladies who are queuing 4 inches away to use the cubicle is more of a challenge than you may think. They were also doing handwash inspections, there were certainly no walkers on their watch.

We thoroughly enjoyed showing some of our friends some of the, erm, more colourful venues and watching their horrified faces as we looked at some of the merchandise on offer from a fetish stall – leather, rubber, and stainless steel oddities featured heavily! There were a bunch of peoRubber Pups  Birmingham Pride 2013ple walking around in outrageous costumes. Some were head to toe in leather, some in morphsuits, others dressed as rubber “pups”. I’m sure some of the boys must have caught a chill given the very small amount of clothing they were wearing!

It’s a massive event, I think the gate figures last year were in excess of 100,000 people, March Birmingham Pride 2013and every year it gets a bit better, a bit more organised, and a bit more enjoyable. Thanks must go to the myriad bar staff, security, police, charity volunteers, artists, and the organisers who even managed to sort out the weather this year. We had a wonderful time, and I’m counting down to Pride 2014 already.

The website for Birmingham Pride can be found here:

Some more pics…

Unison Birmingham Pride 2013 Village Inn Footballers Birmingham Pride 2013 Selfridges Birmingham Pride 2013 Say I Do March Birmingham Pride 2013 Lawrence Barton and Peter Tatchell S Club 3 Birmingham Pride 2013 Robin Birmingham Pride 2013 Rhino Birmingham Pride 2013 Pimms Bus Birmingham Pride 2013 Parade Drag Birmingham Pride 2013 Nandos Birmingham Pride 2013 Morph Suit Birmingham Pride 2013 Leathermen Birmingham Pride 2013 Kelly Wilde Birmingham Pride 2013Foxy Ladies Birmingham Pride 2013 Flag Birmingham Pride 2013 Fell From Heaven Birmingham Pride 2013 Eden Float Birmingham Pride 2013 Dressed Down Birmingham Pride 2013 Cabaret Tent Birmingham Pride 2013 Birmingham University Birmingham Pride 2013 Beetle Birmingham Pride 2013 Barclays Float Birmingham Pride 2013 Bananarama Birmingham Pride 2013 Baga Chipz Birmingham Pride 2013 Aussie Bum Naked Men Birmingham Pride 2013AB Plus Birmingham Pride 2013

About outinbrum

Find out where to eat, drink, and be merry in Brum.
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4 Responses to Birmingham Pride 2013

  1. Jay says:

    Pride was expensive, some clubs and tents were still charging entry fees after paying for wrist bands, Queues were poorly managed and took hours of waiting to get into hurst st. I was constantly being asked if I wanted to buy drugs during the day and night and I found the atmosphere quite aggressive compared to a regular night out there. The staff at the gates were obviously tired and over worked as I found then rude! The whole feel was more corporate rather than fun. Felt disappointed and let down. the main headliners (JLS & Paloma faith) just did a DJ set, other acts such as stooshe were much better. a lot of people I spoke to felt the same way. Sorry organisers but it just wasn’t the same as previous pride events

    • outinbrum says:

      Sorry to hear you didn’t enjoy it Jay, but my experience was very different, and I can only call it as I see it.

      The wristbands were entry in to Pride, not to the venues in the evening. In fact after 11 you didn’t need a wristband to get in to the pride area at all. During the day venues weren’t charging entry, including the tents.

      I guess getting 60,000 people in to one area over the space of a couple of hours is going to cause a bit of a problem, especially when police and security are being necessarily vigilant. We pre-purchased our tickets so were able to short cut that queue. We also headed in an hour or so after it opened to avoid the main rush.

      While I’m sure there was a drugs presence, I’ll go out on a limb and guess it was probably centred around certain venue types. I didn’t see any myself other than a bottle of poppers.

      The JLS and Paloma Faith acts were advertised as DJ sets from the start, and that’s not my cup of tea either. I preferred Bananarama, Rylan, Lucy Spraggan. Scoff if you will, but I want cheese and cheer, that’s what Pride is all about as far as I’m concerned.

      Definitely not the same as previous Pride events I’d agree – not once did I feel like I was going to get knifed or feel the need to go home at 7 because of the atmosphere.

      Hope you have a better time next year / at other Prides!

  2. Pingback: Le Drunch @ Le Truc | Out In Brum

  3. pete says:

    Yeah, there was a lot of drugs going around this year and I think this was down to security only had strictly stringent searches at main entrance, I left and came back in at another entrance and had my bag open expecting another strict search but just a quick peer into my bag and straight in. It wasnt like the entrance was even busy.

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