York Pride Festival is on Saturday 9th June 2018. The festival is a free event and the parade will begin outside York Minster at approximately 11:45am. The official York Pride after party will be held in Mansion nightclub on Mickelgate from 8:30pm. The city is already adorned in pride flags in commemoration of the event which is set to be a big one.
The event features an array of artists and acts, ranging from Danny Beard, a drag star from Britain’s Got Talent (semi-finalist) to Cheeky girls, a Romanian-born British based pop duo. Other events include a screening of the film Pride in City Screen (8:30pm), including a Q&A with Jonathan Blake who is the portrayed campaigner in the film. York Pride is a registered UK charity that aims to promote equality and diversity for public benefit by raising awareness of the issues faced within the LGBT+ community in York and the surrounding areas.
York Pride takes place within a week long Pride Festival period and aims to be a platform to celebrate the diversity of the LGBT+ community by increasing visibility across the city.
The York Conservative Party have stated they will be boycotting the ‘nasty’ York Pride event. Last year’s York Pride event occurred shortly after the June General Election in which the Conservative Party formed a coalition with the DUP (Democratic Unionist Party) who oppose same sex marriage. York Conservatives have claimed it would not be safe for them to return due to conflict between themselves and organisers of the event. Last year, organisers claimed they would always welcome the party but that they had a right to free speech. Current organisers of York Pride have expressed their disappointment,
“York LGBT Pride strives to be fully inclusive, and this extends to politics…” (Spokesman)
Stuart Barnes, a Labour Councillor for the Acomb Ward who attended the 2017 event stated that he fully supported the events rights to campaign for gay rights and would condemn any attempt at violence or threats directed at the event and towards the LGBT+ community. Commenting on last years event he stated,
“What I saw last year was an entirely peaceful protest against the Conservatives’ coalition with a DUP party whose policies are regressive and outdated.”
Chairman of York Pride, Greg Stephenson, has stated that this year’s Pride will be the “biggest and best yet.” As well as entertainment acts, the city will be littered with hundreds of stalls, fairground rides and a new family areas. After the parade reaches Tadcaster Road at 1pm, the official festivities will begin and last until 7pm and will continue at Mansion Nightclub. Thousands of York citizens are expected to attend the event.
Anyone can attend the York Pride event and participate in the parade, £5 wristbands are available to purchase that offer discounts at 58 supporting retailers and attractions until Saturday 23rd June, the list of these discounts can be found here. Wristbands can be purchased online or from any of these locations across the city: