Pride 2011 puts Bristol on the gay map
Thousands turned out this weekend to celebrate the LGBT community. The day started at 12 with a march from Queen’s Square to Castle Park and despite the Brizzle drizzle people turned out in force to show their support for equality and to be heard. Leading the march was Peter Tatchell, an inspirational campaigner for human rights, along with the Lord Mayor of Bristol and the key organisers of Pride Bristol, Directors Daryn Carter, Dr. Anna Rutherford and Amy Wilson. This was followed by a vast fifty metre rainbow flag carried by volunteers. Bristol Samba led the way with a fantastic display of Brazilian-inspired drumming and dancing.
Pride marches give the LGBT community a chance to commemorate and remember the people who have campaigned for this freedom to live and love as they choose. There was a fantastic atmosphere, both on the march and in Castle Park and the sense of community was at the forefront of this one-day event.
Over in Castle Park, Pride-goers were treated to a jam packed line-up of entertainment across a number of stages and tents. The hard work and planning of the Pride Bristol team was evident and there was so much to see and do that it was impossible to cover everything in our review.
There was something for everyone and we saw people from all ages and walks of life all having the best time imaginable. We spoke to a number of Pride-goers and everyone agreed that Pride 2011 exceeded their expectations.
The main stage had a great line up with performances from Sing Out Bristol, Boogaloo Stu, Dr. Meaker, Bright Light Bright Light, Clare Maguire and Kelis and many more. The atmosphere was electric as the sun shone on Castle Park and gave a true festival feel.
The organisers of Pride wanted to show support for emerging talent this year and the Showcase Stage was a great platform for this. There was such a diverse line-up on this stage, culminating in a headline performance from Emily Breeze & The Daily Tremors. Emily has been dubbed “The bastard child of P.J Harvey & Johnny Cash” by the Sunday Times.
The Queer tent was curated by the amazing team from PSYCHO:DRAMA, a popular alternative night which is based here in Bristol. They offered an amazing line-up of live music, performance, art and DJs.
Pride would not be pride at all without drag queens and the dedicated Cabaret stage hosted a line-up of the best entertainers from the South West & London.
We were hugely impressed with the quality of the headline acts on the main stage. Newcomer, Clare Maguire was outstanding and her vocals drew people into the crowd to dance and sing-along. She is destined for big things, with her debut album “Light After Dark” recently hitting the top ten.
Our highlight of Pride Bristol had to be Brit award winner, Kelis, whose energy and dance beats brought all the boys (and girls) to the park. Her mashup of Milkshake and Madonna’s Holiday was a stroke of genius and a perfect way to get everybody dancing.
Pride Bristol has to go down as the Best Event of 2011. We are already looking forward to 2012. With a new benchmark set, it will be incredibly hard to beat. We would love to hear your thoughts. Please comment on this post to offer feedback or follow us on Twitter.
Vu Guide would like to take this opportunity to thank Daryn J Carter, Dr Anna Rutherford, Amy Wilson and all of the Pride Bristol volunteers for making this event such a huge success. Without the hard work of these people, and in a year where there were so many cuts, we would not have had an event like this at all.
We would also like to thank Louise Trimby for her kind hospitality, both in the lead up to Pride and on the day itself.
Picture of Kelis kindly provided by Matt Seow. All other images provided by Hannah King