Liverpool Pride holding out for a hero

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©Eric the fish/flickr Liverpool Pride festival 2012

©Eric the fish/flickr Liverpool Pride festival 2012

This year’s Liverpool Pride is holding out for a hero, as thousands will take to the streets for a superhero themed parade.

The fourth annual celebration for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, has become the country’s largest completely free Pride event outside London.

The superhero themed festival, chosen by the public, will take place on 3rd August this year and around 50,000 caped crusaders are expected to attend.

Zoran Blackie, chair of Liverpool Pride, told JMU Journalism: “The superhero theme is voted for by the general public, either through our website or through voting slips we get people to complete when going round the gay scene in Liverpool and Merseyside.

“What I feel makes our Pride unique is that we are hosting a celebration of the LGBT community where everyone is welcome. We have been a free event when many similar events have been ticketed, which makes us popular, but we need public support and sponsorship to keep us going,” he said.

The event is hoping to attract a repeat record attendance of 50,000 people that was achieved in 2012, with 10,000 watching the procession. In three years Liverpool Pride has established itself as one of the largest city centre-based events and was presented with a Juice FM Culture Award last year.

James Davies, Festival Manager for Liverpool Pride, said: “Every year brings new challenges and often it’s our community that come up with the most creative ideas – that’s why we’ve always asked the public to choose their theme.

“Last year’s Nautical But Nice theme was taken to heart by the community with thousands dressing up as sailors, pirates and all kinds of sea creatures and at least two boats. With Bonnie Tyler as this year’s UK Eurovision contender I’m delighted that our Pride community will bring her over 50,000 heroes this August.”

Other themes suggested included Over the Rainbow, Get Hitched and Bollywood.

The festival, which is part funded by the city’s Arts and Cultural Investment Programme saw festival-goers spend over £2 million in 2011, according to an independent report from the Mersey Partnership (now Liverpool Local Economic Partnership). UK Government estimates Merseyside and Halton have a community of over 90,000 LGBT, and 27,000 live in Liverpool.

About Kate Molyneux, JMU Journalism