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Birmingham Pride kicks off a weekend of celebration with free community event

Birmingham will be awash with all of the carnival this weekend as the city's Pride festival takes centre stage.

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The Pride march will be a highlight of the weekend

Starting today (Friday) with a free community event in Smithfield the annual LGBTQ+ festival, supported by HSBC, will see stars from music, screen and stage perform across multiple venues in the city.

On Saturday the traditional march will take place through the city centre and gay quarter on Saturday amid three days of celebration, reflection, and activism across two sites and six stages.

The Main Stage, sponsored by Jaguar, will be headlined by The Sugababes with Cat Burns, Samantha Mumba, Drag Race UK winner Danny Beard and then Gabrielle and Bwitched on Sunday.

The theme for this year's festival is ‘Power in Pride’ in response to rising LGBTQ+ hate crimes, especially against those in the Trans community, in the UK, and the introduction of anti LGBTQ+ policy and legislation across the globe.

Event organiser Lawrence Barton commented, “It is now more important than ever, that we unite with the wider community and seek proper justice and equality for our community. There should be no room in society for hatred and inequality,

"Birmingham Pride seeks to challenge the injustices faced by our community and stands in solidarity with our global LGBTQ + family. Our parade this year is ground-breaking and will be represented by over Eight thousand people from our community and seen by around a hundred thousand people in the heart of the City. I hope everyone attending have a safe and happy Pride.”

Jennifer Strybel, chief operating officer of HSBC UK, said: "As a business which calls the West Midlands our home, we’re exceptionally proud to support Birmingham Pride once again.

"As one of the country’s largest banks, we’re committed to use our position in society to support diversity and inclusion in all its forms. We’re building HSBC UK into a place where we can all bring our whole selves to work and where all our customers feel comfortable banking with us. We look forward to coming together in celebration and solidarity with Birmingham’s LGBTQ+ community this bank holiday weekend.”

Francois Dossa, Executive Director of Strategy and Sustainability at JLR said: “I am delighted the Jaguar brand is supporting the Main Stage of Birmingham Pride for a second year and that JLR will again have a large presence with over 100 employees and two of our vehicles in the parade.

Our JLR PRIDE employee network has taken part in the event for five years now and its of significant importance to me, as a member of the LGBTQ+ community and co-sponsor of the D&I initiatives at JLR.

“I feel particularly proud to be working for a company that encourages employees to bring their authentic selves to work. Together with our colleagues and our 14 employee-led networks & allies, we are transforming into a truly inclusive place of work.”

For more information about Pride, and for Saturday and Sunday tickets, which cost from £44 per day, visit

Today's Big Free Community Event at the Main Stage sees the return of free entertainment at Pride, which was free all weekend before becoming so popular organisers needed to cover security costs and ensure everyone who attends is safe.

A spokesman for Pride said: "We are delighted to see the return of the Big Free Community Event on the Main Stage at Smithfield Live, including performances from Queer performers, keynote speakers, live music, and the candlelight vigil.

"The Big Free Community events, along with the parade and other free activity within the city ensures that Birmingham Pride remains inclusive and accessible."

Life+ charity founder David Kuczora said: "It is great there is still a free element to Pride, a lot of us remember when it was a totally free event but it grew so big security costs obviously went up.

"But the free community event means people who can afford tickets can still experience Pride."

The fun starts at 6pm but revellers will have to get their free ticket from the Birmingham Pride website.

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