Organisers of the third Bolton Pride festival are hoping to further promote equality after recent statistics showed attacks on gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in the town have more than doubled.
Pride, which has the full support of Greater Manchester Police, will take place over four days in late September with headline acts including chart-toppers Stooshe, Phats and Small, dance star Angie Brown and West End star Kerry Ellis.
A key feature of Bolton Pride is the diversity carnival parade on Saturday September 30th which will see an explosion of colour in the town as hundreds of people march before finally arriving in Victoria Square. And it comes as figures show hate crimes within the LGBT community in Bolton have risen 135%.
Co-Founder of Bolton Pride, James Edgington, who featured on ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent in a moving performance with his dad Graham as Father And Son, said: “I urge the whole community to get involved in Bolton Pride in a show of unity to defeat homophobia." “We’ve put together an amazing line-up so far and more and more acts now want to join us – it’s going to be amazing.
“Growing up I experienced some bullying on a low level and thought that by the time I was in my 30s this kind of prejudice would have been eradicated. But it hasn’t and even in some places the discrimination is worse than ever.
“The events currently taking place in Chechnya are horrific with scenes in some other countries being devastating. People may ask the question as to why and how this affects the UK or indeed Bolton however these atrocities affect many people who find it difficult to deal with their sexuality in their particular environment.
“Fear of isolation, discrimination and prejudice can be a huge contributor to mental health and something we can all help to eradicate.”
Friday 29th September will see Bolton Pride launched at Victoria Square with a vigil for people affected by hate crime and the official lighting of the Town Hall in rainbow colours while people to take part in a candlelit walk from Victoria Square to The Market Place.
Then a film night at The Light cinema will show a short film, Tellin’ Dad starring Ricky Tomlinson and feature The Pass starring Russell Tovey followed by a celebration in The Light cinema bar until midnight.
Saturday 30th September kicks off with the Bolton Pride Diversity Carnival Parade sponsored by Russell and Russell solicitors. Businesses, organisations, charities and individuals are encouraged to enter the parade dressed in a carnival style as their own theme and registration can be done via the website. BoltonPride.co.uk
The parade will come to an end in Victoria Square where the main stage event will be opened by The Mayor of Bolton. Bolton Pride is pleased to announce that we have confirmed a variety of brilliant performances for the Main Stage in Victoria Square. Included in a growing line-up are Divina De Campo, Father & Son, Olivia Archbold, Joe Keegan, Saytr Play, Stillia and headliner’s Stooshe. The winner of “Sing Bolton Sing” will also be given a slot on this year’s Main Stage.
The Venue will play host to the Bolton Pride party themed as “Back to the 90s”. Doors open from 7pm and the night will include performances from Phats and Small along with Bizarre Inc. vocalist Angie Brown.
Sunday 1st October, Victoria Square will play host to the Bolton Pride Community Expo from 10am with specialist market stalls, LGBT organisations and live acoustic music, everything needed for a relaxed Sunday afternoon in the town centre.
On Monday 2nd October, Bolton Pride return to The Octagon Theatre for an evening of live music and spoken word celebrating the diversity within the LGBT community. In 1969 Freddie Mercury joined a band from Widnes called Ibex and on 23rd August 1969 Ibex played an intimate gig at The Octagon Theatre in Bolton before playing Queen’s park for an Open Air Festival making this appearance one of the Freddie Mercury’s first UK performances.
With a supporting cast to be confirmed this event will star west end leading lady Kerry Ellis who recently released the album Golden Days with Queen guitarist Brian May. Voices & Lyrics starring Kerry Ellis will showcase some of the iconic music making up the LGBT landscape alongside extracts from plays and personal stories.
Bolton Pride 2017:
Friday 29th September 6pm Victoria Square 8pm The Light Cinema – Tickets £5 10pm The Light Cinema bar
Saturday 30th September 11am Bolton Pride Carnival Parade sponsored by Russell & Russell Solicitors 12pm Bolton Pride Main Stage with headliners Stooshe, Victoria Square 7pm “Back to the 90’s” with Phats & Small and Angie Brown The Venue, Bolton – Tickets £5
Sunday 1st October 10am Bolton Pride Community Expo, Victoria Square
Monday 2nd October 7.30pm Voices & Lyrics starring Kerry Ellis, Octagon Theatre – Tickets £10