OutUK for more than 20 Years
    First Published: July 2003
       This is an OutUK Archive Item and so some of the links and information may be out of date.
After London and Amsterdam, the Pride spotlight is turning to Manchester which is hosting EuroPride. This event is in a different European city every year, and after Manchester's triumph with the Commonwealth Games in 2002, everyone's hoping they can do the same for the gay community. If there's any city in the UK that could do it, it is probably Manchester which an official report recently concluded was the UK's most friendly for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
EuroPride started on the 15th August but the highlight will be this August Bank holiday which is a non-stop party weekend. The Big Weekend focuses around the city’s gay village and is accessible by pre-purchased ticket only. It kicks off on Friday 22 August with an opening ceremony from 9pm and then headline pop acts, international stars and musicians will entertain audiences on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Four-day tickets cost £15.00.
Apart from special nights in Manchester's clubs there's a big circus-themed Tent sponsored by Manchester's top local station Key 103 who are also sponsoring the Parade on Saturday 23rd. That's also the date for what promises to be the biggest gay dance event the UK's ever seen at the MEN Arena, one of the promoters being none other than Nigel Martin Smith, creator and manager of Take That.
Manchester's City Council have always been great supporters of the gay community as Pat Karney who's lead Councillor for Gay Men’s issues told us:

“Manchester City Council has a long history of supporting lesbian and gay people and campaigning on issues to secure equal treatment for all. As a council we are proud of the diversity of our communities and we celebrate the rich tapestry of differences that make up the successful collective whole."

Christopher Hodgson, EuroPride Joint Festival Co-ordinator, says: “EuroPride is Europe’s most popular lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender festival and we are honoured to have so many visitors come from all over Europe – and even further afield – to celebrate this Pride event with us here in Manchester."
By buying a ticket, you'll be contributing to Operation Fundraiser, a community fundraising venture that aims to raise up to £300,000 over EuroPride for HIV and LGBT charities in Greater Manchester.
The whole event is ten days long and there's a host of arts, cultural and music events. Here at OutUK we're sponsoring a a festival of gay and lesbian film as part of this year's LLGFF On Tour. EuroPride is also aiming to raise cash Michelle Reid, Chief Executive of George House Trust and joint operator of Operation Fundraiser along with the Lesbian and Gay Foundation says:

“EuroPride 2003 is unique amongst UK Pride events. Not only will it be the longest, biggest and best celebration of LGBT life this country has ever seen, but by working in partnership with Operation Fundraiser, it will also raise £300,000 for HIV and LGBT charities in the process.

“No other Pride event in Europe can claim to have done this, and for me it puts back the ‘Pride’ into ‘EuroPride’. But tickets for the Big Weekend are selling fast, both here and abroad. Without one you will not be able to get into the event site, so make sure you buy yours early to avoid missing out on the party.”

You can get more details and booking information at www.manchestereuropride.com. If you want to check on available gay-friendly hotels try our online service with Bookings. Photography of Manchester Pride events courtesy of marketingmanchester.com.

Full Guide To EuroPride 2003 Events

 

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