CONTACT US

The email form is here or send info and photos to pride2017@factsmcr.com. If you have video we have a page where you can upload it to us. Ask for details. Our pop-up Facebook group is online over this weekend.

LIVE BLOG - 2017

We want to ensure that Pride's security guards act within the law and respect our rights. What was your experience of getting through the gates and being served by businesses? If you're buying a ticket to get into the event areas let us know if you have any problems, as some people did last year. Apparently the police and guards may ask to search bags due to the terrorist situation. While we all understand why that is a good idea (though no one has reached out to discuss it with us), we want to make sure it isn't abused. You have every right to take food, soft drinks, professional cameras into the public streets (all of which they tried to prevent in the past) though restrictions can be imposed on the private event areas.

Monday 28 August 2017

22:45 as promised, an exclusive treat appeared here for a limited time.

19:00 on Twitter people are furious that Take That didn't sing. Calling Manchester Pride a "rip off" and a "con."

14:15 "A" writes "only one bar wouldn't let me in last night. Pride refused entry to ppl at Thompsons entrance in the early hours. I kept going back to get people in. Think they are only doing it there as the ticket box is near the gate.

13:10 from Gary: "10.05pm walked in from Taurus entrance. Heavy police presence from GMP and Merseyside. Told can't go in any bars. Said just walking through. No issues. 3am Gate 1 same. How times change. LOL."

04:30 another problem at about 4am at the Thompsons Arms this morning (Monday) caught on a livestream which we may publish later. Two men forced to discuss the right of way, wristbands and fundraising with security who wouldn't let them in. They knew their rights and argued the case well but shouldn't have to.

Three annual events since the ruling by the Local Government Ombudsman. It isn't credible to suggest that staff and security still don't know. Either this is incompetence or a deliberate tactic. The public should be subjected to neither.

00:00 We're going to dig into the video archive once again and bring you another unseen treat from years ago, later today, Monday. So do call back to see it.

Sunday 27 August 2017

19:40 Alex says: "just tried all gates. Got in all of them. A few told me that no bars would serve me." Which, as we know, is completely untrue.

19:40 Sarah says: "me and my girlfriend didn't have bands and had no hassle walking in..the only bar that I couldn't enter was naps..gutted but hey ho their loss."

17:00 from one of our campaigners: "just walked in without showing wristband carrying half a bottle of soft drink. Security just said 'alright mate'."

11:57 another personal experience via the contact form here on our website: "Went to pride yesterday through chortling st gate we wasn't even asked if we had a wristband. Got drinks from pop up bars and various pubs again not asked about wristbands.lets get this bigger."

00:16 a personal experience that was sent it through the website: "Went in by the main entrance where the ticket sales are. Was asked to show my wristband, I said I don't need one and he said "ok". Bought drinks in several bars with no questions. It struck me that if this is a "private event" why is there an 11oclock curfew on drinking in the street? but that's a seperste matter i guess."

Saturday 26 August 2017

20:40 BD tells us "four or us went in at the Bloom Street entrance after the parade, with no wristband and no problem once I'd explained that we were just going to stand near NYNY and we weren't wanting to go to the stage areas etc. Just a bag check."

20:30 Paul says "went in no problem and the security never asked me if I had a wristbsnd or asked to in look in my camera bag - a much more plesent experience and atmosphere."

20:20 in another live video stream a female member of staff at the Minshull Street gate is caught telling a member of that public that he can't come on the street without a wristband. She then backtracks. Two police officers seem to be standing within earshot.

17:00 CA streamed live video on Facebook as he walked in without a wristband at the New Union gate on Canal Street. One of the staff in a pink Manchester Pride shirt can be heard saying "got a wristband with you?" CA replied "Don't need one, thanks," and kept walking. Great to see brave young people like CA standing up to this. In a letter in January 2016 the police wrote that, in 2015, Pride's security were told that they could only make a "simple appeal for people to purchase wristbands."

16:30 From N: "just wanted to let you know that I had no problems this year getting into Canal St without a wristband. Last year they tried to stop me but I politely told them they couldn't. This year security said it was fine and just did a quick bag check.†Via also served us without bands although that was the only place we tried. One to visit!†Thanks for your info on all of this btw interesting that it's not mentioned on the Pride website haha."

13:20 One of our campaigners witnessed eight people being refused entry without a wristband at the gate near Thompson's Arms at around 4.15am this morning. Two are described as "goths" and the other six as "alternative."

00:36 We hear that Thompson's Arms are checking for wristbands into the bar. Another one to avoid this coming year?

00:20 People asleep on the pavement at 21:30. Coats rolled up as pillows.

00:10 a man has been accosted by security after buying alcohol to drink in his own home. We understand he's a resident within the fenced area.

Friday 25 August 2017

23:30 Manchester Pride has announced that Saturday day tickets have now sold out. But they're still selling weekend tickets. Last year there were complaints about tickets when it seemed some people were only being offered the most expensive option. Read more here (external site). Why should day tickets ever sell out? It can't be a capacity issue on Saturday if weekend tickets are still available. As those allow people to walk in on Saturday.

23:00 From one of our moles who is at the scene:

"A group of women queued up and the only reason was that one of them wanted a new wristband putting on because it was so tight it was making her hand purple. People are being asked their surname when buying a wristband too. No idea why."

Another person has posted saying they are allergic to the material the wristbands are made from and have come out in a rash!

22:20 "Security for entering the main stage or Sackville Gardens is extreme. They're opening tobacco pouches and looking in them. Sackville Gardens is even more thorough for some reason and it's really pissing people off. It's not practical to spend over a minute searching each person when only 2 people are searching. Turning pockets out onto a table. Coins. Phones. Patting everyone down.

"It seems that there is one queue and everyone has to wait behind anyone having their bag searched regardless of who has a bag or who doesn't. Even with short queues it is VERY slow getting into the stage areas.

"Ironically after the extreme search for Sackville Gardens they didn't ask to see my wristband! I saw several people in there with no wristband even in T shirts. They were searching everything but wristbands.

"I've bought half a dozen drinks and not been asked to show a wristband once so far but I've not been going in the bars themselves except [bar name removed]."

Note: we probably aren't going to report which bars don't ask to see a wristband, as we don't want them to be targeted for bullying. But we will name those which do ask for them.

"Search at the gates and into the car park and Sackville Gardens but the latter two are much more thorough. Mel C headliner on stage and the car park isn't full."

19:47 Anonymous has been in touch at 19:45 today and says "I was just served at the pride bar itself outside vanilla and not asked" [for a wristband].

15:35 OK the Live Blog is now up and running and will be here until Monday night!

Richmond Tearooms

Richmond Tearooms is one to avoid over Pride weekend and to think about boycotting in future (owned by a Pride trustee). They put out this misleading tweet which suggests a band is required to get into the streets. Their Facebook post is accurate.

Richmond Tearooms

We calculate that on average just 6% of Manchester Pride's total income has been earmarked for causes in recent years (Pride made a loss of more than £16,000 in 2013). With fundraising that low there is no need for this pointless virtue signaling.

 

NEW! Factsheet 2017

It's official! It's unlawful for anyone to block you from walking into the gay village and along the streets during Manchester Pride because you haven't paid for a wristband. For the last three years people have walked in without a band and have been served by some bars.

Here's our new factsheet for 2017 so you know your rights and can walk in with confidence and pride!

Click to download the 2017 factsheet PDF version.

And here it is as two images (handy for sharing on Facebook): page 1 | page 2

Our factsheet from 2016 can still be downloaded as a PDF here.

 

Important news about Manchester Pride tickets and wristbands 2017

Following a ruling by the Local Government Ombudsman (PDF) in April 2015, you DO NOT need to buy a ticket or wristband to walk along the pavements of the gay village during the Manchester Pride weekend this coming August. If you are a resident you and your visitors DO NOT need a pass to get to your home. It is UNLAWFUL to block you.

The Ombudsman stated that your right is to make your way to homes or businesses where no alternative route exists.

Please note that a wristband IS required to get into event areas on private property, such as car-parks, and access into some bars and clubs. Though other bars and clubs will let you in without a band, as has happened for several years now.

In fact campaigners first found out about the legal situation because in 2012 (and possibly in earlier years) Crunch Bar insisted that customers without bands should be allowed to reach their premises. Yes the gay village bars, Pride and City Council have known the true situation for a long time but chose to keep the public in the dark because it was profitable to do so.

SACKVILLE PARK
In 2016 the Citywide Highways Manager at Manchester City Council stated that entry to Sackville Park couldn't be denied to non-wristband holders. We believe there is an established right of way through the Park. However, people have continued to be blocked, perhaps because of the way the Local Government Ombudsman phrased the ruling? We can see no reason why members of the public should be denied access to this public park. More to come on this.

NEWS BLACKOUT
So far there is an almost total media blackout about the victory by campaigners and changed situation regarding access. This in itself is most interesting.

It shows what the mainstream and gay media are concerned about: not the legal rights of the public and unlawful behaviour of a gay pride organisation, but commercial profits, ad income being dented and political correctness. Yet note how they harp on endlessly about Stonewall in 1969 which was a street riot about civil rights!

Manchester Pride itself is staying quiet and not letting you know the wristband situation. Instead there is spin about how the community has been engaged with in recent years and (would you believe it?) transparency!

Don't believe the hype...

 

Questions over Manchester Pride day tickets being withdrawn (2016)

Some serious questions about ticket selling practices over the weekend, which seem to force members of the public to pay more. Read more here (external site).

LATEST: a 2002 pride planning meeting was told that charging to enter public streets was unlawful

Minutes of a pride planning meeting that was held at Marketing Manchester in 2002

Campaigners have uncovered the minutes of a pride planning meeting that was held in November 2002. The meeting was told that two methods could be used to close the roads but that a charge could not be made to enter either way.

Despite this, the following August, the public were locked out from the streets of Manchester's gay village if they didn't purchase a wristband for Europride. That continued every year until 2014 when the campaign group Facts About Manchester Pride blew the whistle on the unlawful practice. The following April the Local Government Ombudsman ruled (PDF) and the game was up.

Present at the meeting in 2002 were representatives of Marketing Manchester, Manchester City Council, George House Trust, The Lesbian and Gay Foundation (now known as the LGBT Foundation), Greater Manchester Police and the organising team of Europride (which was renamed Manchester Pride in 2004).

Why was the advice, which appears to have come from the representative of Greater Manchester Police (GMP), ignored? Why didn't GMP stand up for the rights of the public and defend the law?

The misery these people inflicted on residents and some members of the LGBT community is hard to measure. For 12 years those who could not afford to buy a ticket were unlawfully locked out from the streets of the gay part of Manchester during a so-called "pride" event.

From 2011, the campaign group Facts About Manchester Pride told you the truth about what was going on and what an onslaught of abuse it faced as a result.

And still it isn't over, as the current organisers of Manchester Pride stay silent about this. As do the cronies: GHT, LGBT Foundation, the Manchester Evening News and many others. Are these really friends of ordinary LGBT people? Whose interests do they represent?

 

26 years ago (video)

Published here with permission, these exclusive snippets show the bank holiday in 1991. They are from much longer footage which covers a number of events over the weekend. The video footage has been digitally remastered from the original SVHS tapes recently, with amazing results. However the clips here are from an older transfer. You won't see these at any Manchester Pride history event.

This first video shows the "street market" on Monday 26 August 1991. The stalls moved into Sackville Park instead of being on the road outside the Rembrandt Hotel. The original audio on the footage comprises of a frenetic selection of various classics played by Mike Coppock ("Big Bird" from Rockies) in the Park but that has had to be replaced here for copyright reasons.

Our second treat for you is "It's A Knockout" on the Bloom Street car-park on Saturday 24 August 1991 at 3.45pm. Revealing cycling shorts were the thing to wear at that time. The propaganda is that we were scurrying around darkened streets in terror in those days. In fact we were very out, proud and loud as this shows.

A touching speech by Paul Orton of Clone Zone on the Monday night. This was followed by a fireworks display which ended with "Manchester Cares" spelt out. That is what it was about in those days: caring and fundraising. It wasn't a pride, festival, tourist event, corporate money maker or smoke and mirrors trick charity to get people spending.

 

Welcome to our new website

We've had a redesign and this new site should work more effectively on a range of devices.

Please bookmark us and call back for updates in coming months.

 

Forum

As a result of a change of server we've removed the old forum. All the content has been saved and it could return in some form in the future. Forums and other PHP software are a security risk if not updated regularly and we would rather spend the time on more productive aspects of the campaign.

 

Live blog 2016

Once again we ran a live blog during Manchester Pride. Recording your experiences of walking to business premises and homes without a wristband purchase.

 

Live updates as it happened in 2015

The gates in 2015

During Manchester Pride we ran another live blog as members of the public insisted on their legal right to walk on the pavements of the gay village without paying.

The situation had changed somewhat since 2015! Read more...

 

Live blog 2014

Here's what happened as campaigners and other members of the public challenged the gates during Manchester Pride weekend in 2014. Despite clear written advice from the Department For Transport, officers of Greater Manchester Police stood and watched as people were unlawfully blocked from the public pavements by private security guards. GMP receives a payment of around £50,000 from Manchester Pride for policing each year! Read more...

 

Video evidence 2014

We've assembled video evidence with some notes at this link:

factsmcr.com/go/013

 

How FactsMCR exposed poor standards at the Manchester Evening News

Naked streak spoof

Our spoof press release about Manchester Pride, sent from a free email account, was published by the MEN, apparently without any fact checking. In this way, the once-proud newspaper, which celebrates its 150th birthday next year, allows itself to be a conduit for promotional propaganda.

The MEN's reputation adds weight to the "fake news."

There was a serious journalistic purpose to doing this. We were tired of seeing misinformation being published over many years and trust in the mainstream media now seems to be at an all time low. Read what happened and see links to examples of the MEN's "reporting."

 

Media watch

A look at the media and LGBT organisations in Manchester.

LGBT FOUNDATION REFUSES TO CORRECT SERIOUS ERROR ABOUT QUENTIN CRISP

The LGBT Foundation's publication "Unlocking A Hidden History Ė A Researchersí Guide To Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans Historical Sources In Manchester" falsely claims that Quentin Crisp called Manchester "home". It even mentions Crisp ahead of Alan Turing. Heritage Lottery Funding is being spent on inaccurate projects like this "guide" which misleads people about LGBT history and pretends to be a source for researchers. Read more (external page).

PRIDE AND THE MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS CONTINUE TO MISREPRESENT MANCHESTER'S LGBT HISTORY

In an article dated 2 May 2016, the Manchester Evening News claimed that 2015 was the "25th anniversary of LGBT celebrations in the city." This is untrue.

There was a Gay Pub and Club Olympics event in Manchester in August 1985 and Northern Pride in June 1986. There was the Section 28 March in 1988 and an event called Love Rights '89 in 1989 which was billed as a "celebration of Lesbian and Gay Sexuality."

In the article, Mark Fletcher the CEO of Manchester Pride, is quoted saying "twenty five years of LGBT events in the city goes to show what an open city we live in." Fletcher claims he has been only partially quoted by the Manchester Evening News. But, despite that and emails from other people, the article hasn't been corrected.

This year, Manchester Pride has received almost £60,000 of Heritage Lottery cash for a project charting our LGBT history. It seems rather pointless when they are party to "news" articles which misrepresent the history and facts to hundreds of thousands of people.

"FASHION DESIGNER" QUENTIN CRISP BURIED IN MANCHESTER SAYS THE MEN -- WRONGLY

In this article the Manchester Evening News states incorrectly that Quentin Crisp is buried in Southern Cemetery. In fact he was cremated and his ashes flown to New York. In another article the MEN describes Crisp as a "fashion designer" and one of Manchester's "most famous gay people." Crisp never lived in Manchester, doesn't seem to have any connection with the city except for dying in Chorlton Cum Hardy while on a flying visit, and doesn't seem to have been a fashion designer.

FAKE NEWS ABOUT THE 2013 CHARITY FIGURE

In 2013 the MEN told us that Manchester Pride had raised £34,000 "this year." This was untrue. In fact Pride had made a loss of more than £16,000 that financial year and the £34,000 for good causes came from reserves in the bank account.

GAY VILLAGE CLOSED "AS USUAL" -- MEN

On 25 August 2015, the Manchester Evening News wrote: "as usual the gay village will be closed to people who do not have wristbands."

This was a lie as the previous April the Local Government Ombudsman had ruled that members of the public and residents had a legal right to access premises without a wristband. What had happened in previous years had been unlawful. Yet the MEN didn't think that fact was newsworthy!

The Manchester Evening News didn't reply to several emails and the article remains online misleading the public.

RECORD AMOUNT RAISED SAYS MEN. BUT HERE'S WHAT IT DIDN'T TELL YOU

"Manchester Pride raises record amount for charity in 2016," wrote the Manchester Evening News on 25 November 2016.

What the MEN didnít tell readers was that Manchester Pride had changed its end of year accounting date from 30 September 2016 to 31 December 2016, giving it a 15 month accounting year in 2015/16 and an extra six to seven weeks of income before the announcement of the charity total.

15 May 2017: "Fighting 'fake news': Why you should trust The Manchester Evening News as the general election nears." From the newspaper that told you 600,000 people had viewed the Mardi Gras parade in 1999, that you needed a wristband to get into the gay village in 2015 when the Department For Transport and Local Government Ombudsman had said you didn't and which published our spoof "naked streak" press release without the most basic check.

Have they learnt their lesson? We can only hope so...

19 May 2017: The Manchester Evening News has had to publish a public apology after printing an untrue story about a dead mouse being found in a protein shake. The company concerned describes the article as "fake news" and the Northwich Guardian reports they plan to take "appropriate legal action" against all parties involved.

 

Archives reveal "regular, ranting bigotry about gays" in the pages of the Manchester Evening News

In 1989 the MEN called for an "awful" floral display in Piccadilly Gardens commemorating Stonewall to be "destroyed."

Scene Out, August 1989
"MEN poisons your mind" states one banner at the protest outside the paper's HQ on Deansgate

Read all about it...