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Our campaign group started off as Facts About Manchester Pride in 2011. At that time we were concerned about a range of issues such as exclusion and low fundraising figures.

In 2013 we discovered that, for nine years, during the Pride weekend, the City Council had unlawfully closed public pavements to pedestrians and an entry charge imposed. Foot access to the homes of residents had even been denied in some cases.

The local police, some gay businesses and charities, such as Manchester Pride, seem to have know all along that doing this was against the law. In 2015 the Local Government Ombudsman ruled that the actions had indeed been unlawful.

As FactsMCR we still investigate and campaign about ManchesterPride, though many of us think it is now completely beyond saving and doesn't represent us. We cover other issues which affect the declining gay district in Manchester too, crime being one example.

Pride 2023

We had a live blog during the weekend, as usual, to record any issues with access or anything else people would like to highlight. Our pop-up Facebook group was open for the month of August.


Things have changed very much since we began our campaign back in 2011. Facts About Manchester Pride always brought together people who had different views and political opinions. While some still believe that Manchester Pride and the gay village can be reformed for the better, many now think both are completely beyond saving and are horrified by what they see today. For that reason in recent years our focus has been mainly on raising awareness.

Contact Us & Social Media

The email form is here.

Factsheet 2022

2022 factsheet Our 2022 Factsheet about Manchester Pride has been published. Read about your right to access the Gay Village without buying a wristband, history & opinion.

Download the PDF version.

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

Our factsheet from 2021 is still well-worth a look. It has four pages of facts, gossip and fun. Download it as a PDF here.

A brief history

Manchester canal Street jumble sale 1991 Get up to speed with our brief history. Find out how Manchester City Council took control of our free community event in 1999. And how, from 2003 onwards, it drew up an unlawful road traffic order every year for a decade so Manchester Pride could charge people to walk on public streets.

The 30th anniversary of the 1991 Christmas Costume Ball

A new digital transfer has been done of two hours of footage from the original master tapes. Read more.

The Christmas Costume Ball 1991

Ten years of "unlawful" charging

It's one of the biggest scandals in British LGBT history, but the mainstream media aren't telling you. In April 2015 the Local Government Ombudsman ruled (PDF) that Manchester City Council had acted "unlawfully."

For ten years the Council used road traffic orders to block from pavements pedestrians who didn't buy a Manchester Pride wristband. In reality those people had a legal right to walk to reach premises within the fenced-off gay village. Many of those involved in the event seem to have known that all along.

Minutes of a meeting in November 2002 show that those present were told they couldn't charge for entry to a road that was closed. However they went ahead.

Although some members of the public were happy to pay, many tens of thousands probably paid for a wristband unnecessarily over a period of a decade. Residents were bullied by Manchester Pride which, incredibly, claimed to have the power to grant or deny pedestrian access to their homes!

Live Blog 2021

See what we recorded during Pride weekend. Despite the City Council's assurance to the Department For Transparent, there seem to have been some unpleasant incidents.

Considering the Council doesn't publicise the numbers, didn't provide the numbers until the day before the event, and the limited reach and resources we have, it's reasonable to assume the incidents we (and the Council) recorded are the tip of the iceberg.

Live blogs from earlier years.

Falsely told to buy a wristband for the HIV/AIDS Vigil in 2007 & 2008 (VIDEO)

A six-minute video.

When wristbands were reintroduced in 2003 the commmunity was assured that the Monday HIV/AIDS Vigil would always be free to attend.

In reality, Pride's guards and the ticket office often told people that they must buy a costly band just to attend the Vigil.

In 2007 and 2008 we fitted our reporter with a microphone and caught them doing this on video.

Erasing us since at least 2007 (VIDEO)

In 2007 Manchester Pride claimed there wasn't space on the poster for the words lesbian, gay, bi and trans. We went down to the gay village to ask people whether they believed it. Watch the video here.

Quotes about access during Manchester Pride's Big Weekend

Grab and share these images with quotes from Greater Manchester Police, Manchester City Council and the Local Government Ombudsman.

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, somehow they went ahead. Read more.

Pride staff earnings increase of 56.27% per head in the period 2014-2017

Our financial whizz has taken a close look. Manchester Pride is two companies: Manchester Pride (the charity) and Manchester Pride Events Limited. The accounts list the staff costs for the charity and also for the "group" which is the charity plus the Events company.

Looking at the group, he says the earnings increase since 2014 is 56.27% per head. As follows: 2014-2015 was a 32.95% increase, 2015-2016 another 12.02%, then 2016-2017 another 4.93%.

You can see the last four sets of annual accounts for Manchester Pride on the Charity Commission website.

The mystery of the "missing" traffic order for Pride 2018

Did Manchester Pride go ahead and close roads to vehicles without a valid Traffic Order in place for part of the four-day event? The answer is yes. Yet more illegal behaviour by this event.

Carnival of Fun weekend, 1991 (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 and we are in the process of swapping clips for new improved versions.

The "street market" on Monday 26 August 1991. The stalls moved into Sackville Park for the firt time instead of being on the road outside the Rembrandt Hotel. The original audio has a selection classic tunes played by DJ Mike Coppock ("Big Bird" from Rockies) in the Park but that has had to be replaced here for copyright reasons.

Revealing cycling shorts were the thing to wear in 1991. Seen here at the "It's A Knockout" event. It happened on the Bloom Street car-park on Saturday 24 August 1991 at 3.45pm.

The propaganda is that we were scurrying around darkened streets in terror in those days. But this shows we were very out, proud and loud. The gay area in Manchester was hardly a secret. The large pink neon sign showing a limp-wristed Statue of Liberty had been on the side of the New York New York pub on Bloom Street for at least four years by then.

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 in fireworks. That's what it was about in those days: caring and fundraising. It wasn't a pride, festival, pop concert, tourist event, corporate money maker or smoke and mirrors trick charity to get people spending.

If you want to link, the page for this video is here.

Guardian correction

The Guardian has corrected an article that told readers there was a charge to enter the Gay Village. Well done them. Now how about an article about how wristbands were imposed in the first place?

A correction by The Guardian

Fake news from the mainstream media about 1.5 million at London Pride 2019

Mainstream news outlets that regularly point the finger and condemn others for "fake news" have given credibility to a ludicrous claimed attendance figure of 1.5m people at London Pride 2019. Read more.

Documents discovered

Some years ago we asked Manchester City Council whether it still held financial documents relating to Manchester Mardi Gras 1999. That year it was run from the town hall, headed up by councillors, and raised nothing for good causes. It was always rumoured that it made a loss which the Council quietly paid off.

The City Council told us that, as so many years had passed, it had disposed of the documents, as it is entitled to do. Separately, Julia Grant, who was also involved in running Mardi Gras that year, asked the Council the same question and received the same response.

A few of the documents we discovered in the library archives

Imagine our surprise then, when one of our campaigners went rummaging in the Library Archives and came across a large box. In it were more than 400 sheets of paper relating to Mardi Gras and the subsequent GayFest. Including financial information. He photographed some on his phone.

Julia Grant on bullying & intimidation in Manchester (VIDEO)

In a clip from a video interview in 2011 famous Manchester Trans business woman Julia Grant talks about the bullying and intimidation which she says drove her out of Manchester in 2002. How, when she turned to them, the LGBT Foundation (formerly the LGF) was more concerned about its funding. And we detail how that organisation failed to speak up to defend Julia when a campaign of lies was started in her absence.

Ten years of Facts About Manchester Pride campaigning 2011-21

Exclusion, discrimination and erasure are alive and well when it suits...

You'll hear constantly the suggestion that there's one LGBT community. How inclusive it is and so on. This is BS. The reality is that division is growing by the day.

For many years you have only been included and mentioned if you sign up 100% to the ideology, to whatever is the current thinking (and who decides that?). And being welcome hinges on you saying nothing about any wrong doing.

Since the ruling by the Local Government Ombudsman that Manchester City Council had acted "unlawfully" there has been a mainstream media news blackout about the ruling and our campaign. In a reply to us, the BBC implied that it was not in the public interest to tell you.

But this is nothing new. In 2011 we organised the first public meeting about Manchester Pride for a decade. The LGBT Foundation didn't report the fact in its "news" magazine "OutNorthWest." Despite the mag being funded by local authority and health sector money, in more than two years it never mentioned our campaign once...

These days historical facts are selected and distorted for current marketing and political purposes. Despite hundreds of thousands of pounds of Heritage Lottery funding being spent on LGBT history projects in Manchester, lazy journalists tell the public every event was a "pride", that there were just a couple of gay bars in the 80s and so on. It isn't true.

The public are being deceived about both our past and present.

By now it should be apparent we aren't going away. The good news is that our websites welcome more than 200,000 visitors each year. We are getting the message out and in 2021 more of you were talking about the reality of Manchester Pride — the roads, the wristbands, staff earnings and poor fundraising — than ever before.

Be sceptical about what you read in the press, what Manchester Pride, the big corporate charities and politicians tell you. Always seek out a variety of sources.

Manchester Metrolink misleads public about wristband purchase and refuses to publish a correction

Misled about Manchester Pride wristbands by Metrolink

On 13 August 2018 Manchester Metrolink told its 65,000 Twitter followers wrongly that a "pledgeband" purchase was necessary to enter the gay village during Manchester Pride. Shamefully Metrolink refused to tweet a correction to ensure the public knew the truth.

Misled about Manchester Pride wristbands by Metrolink

Metrolink deleted the original tweet and then lied to the public again in another saying "we have at no point advised anyone on access to this area". Unluckily for them a screengrab had been made. Campaigners received a letter of apology from Mayor Andy Burnham. But no public apology was made or correction tweeted by Metrolink to inform the 65,000 who were misled.

This is how Manchester Pride has been able to screw over the public for so long with its wristband scam, under the guise of charity fundraising. Helped by a network of cronies.

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).

Manchester Metrolink

What is the procedure for suspicious packages on Manchester's trams? Read more.

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...

Nearly 30 years later the Evening (fake) News continues to stitch up the gay community: it called campaigners "trespassers" in 2014, falsely stated that a wristband was needed in 2015 after the Local Government Ombudsman had ruled and has stayed silent about our rights. The veteran ITV journalist John Pilger says that "not reporting" is one of the most powerful forms of censorship.

Crime map shows 80 reported violent & sexual crimes in the gay village in May 2018

80 reported violent & sexual crimes in the gay village in May 2018

Reported violent and sexual crimes in Manchester's gay village are at a frightening level. How many go unreported?

"Safe haven" is the new bullshit buzzphrase when the area is obviously far from it. How can anyone continue encouraging young people to go when they are in such danger? In the 1980s ONE such crime would have caused an outcry.

Think how many victims this is a year. When does the real action begin, to improve this, instead of silly schemes and PR stunts?

Is it time to exclude the police from the Pride parade until something is done? While they engage in PR stunts, such as rainbow painted police cars, we're having our heads kicked in — even in the gay village. Such progress!

Not long ago Bloom Street was named in the press as the joint 15th most crime-ridden street in England and Wales. Why would anyone allow a gay area to be like this for years on end?

Is leaving gay people to their fate — to be beaten and assaulted — a covert form of homophobia on the part of certain officers of Greater Manchester Police and the City Council? Perhaps an effective way to destroy the gay village.

Or is it simply all about profit? If so, why is that a main concern for the police?

Since the middle of 2019 the crime map hasn't been updated properly at police.uk. Greater Manchester Police has been placed into special measures by the government.

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 newspaper, which celebrated its 150th birthday in 2018, allows itself to be a conduit for promotional propaganda.

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

Quote from the spoof press release

There was a serious journalistic purpose to doing this. It had been planned and discussed for more than a year. 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".

Our Media Watch page has some examples of reporting.

Video shows Manchester Pride's security guards assault a gay man on a public street while police officers watch and do nothing in 2014

A gay man who we understand is partially-sighted was dragged along the street by Pride's security guards. He had a wristband but his "crime" was to tell someone about the right to walk on the pavements without a band. Speaking up about civil rights at a "pride". This assault was a criminal offence committed by security who had no powers. Watched by police officers who did nothing. At a Pride that isn't about decency, fairness, equality, inclusion or rights.

Video evidence 2014

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


Manchester Pride staff caught on live video misleading the public in 2017

Pride staff caught on live video misleading the public in 2017

The third annual event since the ruling by the Local Government Ombudsman. Since 2015 Greater Manchester Police has briefed Pride's security staff about what their responsibilities and "powers" are. Yet they continue to mislead the public at the gates. Hands up anyone who still believes this is accidental...

On this page you can watch two videos.

Further website upgrades (Dec 2021)

We've redesigned the website. Going forward it will be better organised and we plan to publish more information, both past and current.


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.