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The email form is here. If you have video we have a page where you can upload it to us. Ask for details. Our Facebook group is open during August and we are on Twitter.


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 Facts About Manchester Pride campaigning 2011-21

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

We, other campaigners and alternative events over the years don't get a mention in official "LGBT history" timelines.

Historical facts are selected and distorted for current marketing and political purposes. Lazy journalists tell the public every event was a "pride." It isn't true. Since the inconvenient ruling about Manchester Pride wristbands by the Local Government Ombudsman in 2015, the mainstream and LGBT media are silent about that.

The public are being deceived about both our past and present. But we'll continue to speak the truth. By now it should be apparent we aren't going away. Our websites welcome more than 200,000 visitors each year.

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.


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.


Factsheet 2021

2021 factsheet Our 2021 Factsheet about Manchester Pride has been published. Read about your right to access the Gay Village without buying a wristband, gossip, history & opinion about the current fundraising controversy.

For the last seven years people have walked in without a band and have been served by some bars. Obstructing people from pavements during Pride was unlawful. Some years (such as 2013) nothing from that year's wristband sales went to charity.

Download the PDF version.

And here it is as four images (handy for sharing on social media): page 1 | page 2 | page 3 | page 4

Our factsheet from 2019 is still well-worth a look. It has quotes and an article about police involvement. Download it as a PDF here.


Guardian corection

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

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.


What happened?

Manchester canal Street jumble sale 1991 Sometime in the mid 1980s an annual jumble sale started in what would become known as Manchester's gay village. The aim was to raise money to help with HIV & AIDS and have a little fun. By the late 1990s it had turned into a huge free event called Mardi Gras.

By then the gay village had grown to include dozens of bars and clubs and other businesses. Historic buildings had been converted into private housing. During Mardi Gras stages were put up in the public park and on the car-parks.

In 1998 wristbands were introduced for entry at the doors of bars and clubs. Then, in 1999, the entire gay village area was fenced off for the first time with a promise that 50% of the profit from the "pledgeband" would go to good causes.

But despite income of £384,000 and 45,000 bands sold things ended in scandal when it was revealed there was no money left after costs. The event reverted to being free for three years; as GayFest in 2002 and 2001, organised by Julia Grant and her team, and then as Mardi Gras in 2002.

Manchester Mardi Gras parade, Sackville Street, 1998

In November 2002 the organisers, police, City Council and gay charities attended a meeting. They were told the streets could be closed using one of two methods but neither allowed a charge to be made to enter. Campaigners discovered minutes of this meeting in the Library Archives in 2016.

In August 2003 the streets were again fenced off and closed to pedestrians. A paid wristband or resident's pass was required to enter during Manchester Europride, as it was known that year. It isn't clear why the City Council and others did this when they had been told they couldn't, the previous November. Nor is it clear why Greater Manchester Police allowed this unlawful closure of pavements and charging to go ahead.

From 2003-2006 the wristband scheme ("Operation Fundraiser") was run by the Lesbian & Gay Foundation (now known as the LGBT Foundation) and George House Trust. Both profited from it and both had been at the November 2002 meeting.

In 2007 and 2008 our undercover filming confirmed that members of the public were being told they must buy a wristband to attend the Monday HIV/AIDS Vigil. An event that supposedly was free entry for all. We showed how those without bands, some who had lost relatives to AIDS, were made to queue on the street outside the fenced area for a long period. Leaving them feeling disrespected.

In spring 2011 we launched our campaign Facts About Manchester Pride, founded by Wynnie and Geoff. We had concerns about exclusion, fundraising and the event not being put out to tender. There hadn't been a public meeting for more than a decade. We held one in summer of that year. Our Facebook group had more than 1,000 members. We organised protests and received considerable media coverage — in the mainstream and gay press.

A protest outside Manchester Pride headquarters by the campaign group Facts About Manchester Pride in 2013

Manchester Pride's letter to residents in 2011 A resident sent us a copy of the letter Manchester Pride sent out in 2011, claiming to have the power to "grant" or deny access to their homes during the four-day event.

In 2013 our campaigners were tipped off that in previous years several bars had demanded that customers should be able to walk to their premises without buying a wristband and this had been facilitated. In an email reply to us the Head of Events at Manchester City Council admitted that the public had a right to walk across the event site. But it was too late for us to do anything about that year's Pride. By this time, people who couldn't afford a wristband had been locked out from the gay village every Pride weekend for more than a decade. Prevented from having even a walk around.

After more than two years of running the large and lively Facebook group we decided to scale back that and focus our time on publishing.

With Julia Grant we drew up a business plan for a replacement event. A major bank was willing to sponsor it and funds raised would pay for a new community centre. However it seems not enough of the Gay Village businesses supported the plan.

We'd always been willing to engage with Manchester Pride. We'd met with the CEO and other representatives many times. In late 2013 we were promised there would be change and that one controversial person would stand down. But it turned out to be a red herring and not for the first time. We decided that discussions were pointless — just a strategy to manipulate and waste our time.

Manchester Pride made a loss in 2013 but this was hidden from the public and the CEO stood down. Pride used money from the bank account to create a charity amount of £34,000 it could announce. It became clear that Manchester Pride sometimes held back or topped up money. It could be said to manipulate public opinion and fend off criticism. So the announced amount for causes was not necessarily a reflection of the actual fundraising in a particular year.

letter from the Department For Transport Before the event in 2014 the Department For Transport spelt out the situation in letters to us. The DFT made clear that pedestrians couldn't be stopped from walking to homes and business premises when no other access route existed. There was widespread publicity about this: on BBC radio, in the Manchester Evening News and gay media outlets. However during the event, campaigners were illegally blocked at the gates by Pride's security guards, assisted by paid officers from Greater Manchester Police.

A gay man who had a wristband and was on a public pavement was assaulted by Manchester Pride's security guards. They dragged him out of the fenced area while police officers watched and did nothing. The incident was recorded on video. During the weeked it became clear that some bars and clubs would allow people in without a wristband.

In December 2014 staff from Greater Manchester Police and members of the shady group "Police With Pride" showed clear bias against campaigners at a Manchester Pride "Listening Group. The CEO of Pride misled the meeting about street closures and despite the DFT having sent copies of correspondence to Manchester Pride the previous August.

In April 2015 the Local Government Ombudsman ruled that Manchester City Council had acted "unlawfully" when it mentioned wristbands in a road traffic order. This being the mechanism that had been used to restrict pedestrians from the pavements and force permits on residents and their guests.

A news blackout began, across all mainstream and gay media. In August 2015 the Manchester Evening News told its readers that a wristband was required for the event "as usual." A lie. In this letter to us in December 2020 the BBC explains that not reporting the story is an editorial judgement that best serves you the BBC viewer...

Because of this lack of publicity, people continued to be misled in a subtle way and many paid unnecessarily. However we got the word out to more people each year through our annual factsheets, website (with 45,000 unique visitors a year) and by word of mouth.

Before the event in 2015, the chair of Pride's Community Collective, a bar manager, tried to organise a boycott of takeaway businesses within the fenced area, because none of them had "donated" to Manchester Pride. Not only were law-abiding businesses seeing customers who didn't buy a wristband blocked from reaching their premises, but now they faced a boycott by those who did buy a band.

The police began to do the right thing from 2015 onwards. But in letters Greater Manchester Police refused to investigate what had taken place since 2003. In 2015 a former Police Federation expert told the BBC that the professional standards department of Greater Manchester Police was "corrupt." In 2020 GMP was placed into special measures by the government.

In late 2017 Manchester City Council announced that the NCP car-park where much of Manchester Pride took place would be redeveloped. Was this a face-saving exercise? We don't know. Four years later no development has taken place.

August 2018 saw the last Manchester Pride on the car-park area. No valid road traffic order was in place for some or all of the four-day event. The City Council didn't submit the Order to the Secretary of State until the day Pride began and it was never approved. So the closure of roads to vehicles was unlawful. An "unprecedented" situation for an event on this scale, according to one expert we talked with.

In 2019 the Gay Village Party took place with the streets open but a wristband required for private areas and venues. We recorded a worrying number of incidents of people being misled and charged, in our live blog.

The main Pride event moved to Mayfield Station. Some people believe tragedy was narrowly avoided due to overcrowding and lack of water.

A journalist from The Independent reported that, despite paying £80 for a ticket for the "shambolic" Mayfield event, she had to urinate in a plastic cup due to lack of toilets. "Unenjoyable at best and downright dangerous at worst," she concluded. Manchester City Council promised an investigation and up popped Councillor Pat Karney who was Chair of the fundraising failure back in 1999...

In July 2021, in response to a Freedom of Information (FOI) request, the City Council told us it had no minutes or paperwork for any of the meetings concerning what had happened at Mayfield, because the meetings had taken place at Manchester Pride.

Manchester Pride was cancelled in 2020 due to the Covid virus and the organisers receiving a government handout. Questions began to be asked about the fundraising.

30 April 2021: In year ending 31 December 2018 Manchester Pride had income of £2.34 million and after everything had been spent there was a reserve in the bank of £263,019. Staff costs for the year were £191,033.

We started this event in the 1980s to raise funds to help with HIV and AIDS. It wasn't a "pride" and that word didn't appear in the name until 2003 when Marketing Manchester (the tourist board) renamed it without asking the community.

Back in 2013 we began to sense that the people behind the event were trying to manipulate so that Manchester Pride itself was the "good cause."

Now, in the era of Covid, is the "good cause" keeping the staff in jobs? In 2018 we reported that the staff of Manchester Pride had enjoyed an earnings increase of 56.27% per head in the four-year period since 2014 (see our 2018 factsheet).

The late Julia Grant said that Manchester gets the pride it deserves. In the end each of us has to decide whether this organisation and event in its current form is something we approve of and want to support with our money.

Certainly it is an inefficient way to fund needy charity organisations, with just a few percent of the income going them even in a good year. It is far more effective to give money to them directly.


You DON'T need a wristband to enter the gay village during Manchester Pride

We began Manchester's gay August event as a fundraiser for HIV/AIDS with a bit of fun along the way. It wasn't a pride. Somehow it became about locking out from public streets all of us who couldn't or wouldn't pay, generating huge profits for businesses and creating a lucrative career path for charity and event professionals. Meanwhile the charity fundraising was sidelined.

It has been a con. The Local Government Ombudsman ruled (PDF) on the matter in 2015 saying that since 2003 Manchester City Council had "exceeded its powers" by mentioning wristbands in a traffic order and that this was "unlawful."

We now know that restricting pedestrian access to premises (businesses and private homes) when no other route is available was illegal all along. Minutes from a meeting in 2002 seem to show that those who did it knew from the start. For some reason Greater Manchester Police went along with it and didn't uphold the law. At the end of 2020 GMP was put into special measures by the government and back in 2015 the force's Professional Standards unit was said to be "corrupt."

What happens if you don't pay? Every year since at least 2012 some bars have allowed people in without a band. You won't get into event areas on private property or Sackville Park (and that's fine). However the Monday HIV Vigil in the park has always been free to attend (despite attempts to mislead about that too).

The city benefits to the tune of up to £22 million of trade due to Pride according to Marketing Manchester. Businesses can afford to fund fences, security, litter-picking and the wonderful Pride CEO Mark Fletcher! Find a good charity (the LGBT Foundation and GHT have been involved in this) and give to it direct.

Pride is supposed to be about freedom and civil rights. Enjoy yours. We have been proud to fight for them over the last ten years XXX.


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.


Erasing us since at least 2007...

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.


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.


Julia Grant on bullying & intimidation in Manchester

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.


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 versions.

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. 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 1991.

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.

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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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

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.

This six-minute video was shown at the Get Bent! festival in 2007.

The former Festival Manager denied this ever happened. Despite there being evidence on video. Reality is whatever they want it to be at Manchester Pride.

Having seen Pride's behaviour at the gates since the ruling by the Local Government Ombudsman in 2015 we now suspect there was a deliberate policy of misleading people about the Vigil whenever possible. In its publicity Manchester Pride rarely mentioned that the Vigil was free to attend. In the same way as it doesn't publicise that you can walk into the gay village without a purchase now.

No decent and honest organisation behaves in this way, let alone a charity.


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.

No wristband darling

Live Blog 2019

Once again we documented what happened during the Manchester Pride weekend on our live blog as many people walked in and told the organisers and City Council "no wristband, darling!".


Live Blog 2018

Here's what we recorded throughout the weekend on our live blog as people walked into the gay village area without a purchase. We said you shouldn't feel guilty about not buying a band. Our 2018 factsheet (see below) has some interesting information on how effective a "fundraiser" this is and has been. Plus details about the 40% earnings increase the four Pride staff enjoyed in 2016! If you walked in without a band, and haven't done so already, you may like to donate a couple of pounds to a charity that gives more of its income to good causes.


Live blog 2017

Here's what we live blogged during Manchester Pride in 2017. In terms of problems we felt it was the worst since 2014. That's completely unacceptable when it was the third event since the ruling by the Local Government Ombudsman. It isn't credible that security don't know what they are allowed to do. In previous years they were briefed on it by the police. Manchester Pride is playing games...


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 2014!


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...


Important news about Manchester Pride tickets and wristbands 2018

Following a ruling by the Local Government Ombudsman (PDF) (or see it direct on the LGO website) 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.

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.

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...


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 have doubled or tripled compared to just a few years ago. The marketing propaganda is that this is a "safe area" for LGBT people. "Safe haven" is the new bullshit buzzphrase. It obviously isn't. It's a very dangerous place. 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. How many incidents go unreported? When does the real action begin, to improve this, instead of silly schemes and PR stunts? Sure the police march along in the "pride" parade with a rainbow painted police car these days. Meanwhile 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 LGBT 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 Council? An effective way to destroy the gay village.

See the crime map here at


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. This includes the BBC, Guardian, Independent, ITV, Telegraph and many others.

The parade route was from Portland Place almost to the Embankment.

The route of the London Pride parade

Measured on a map the route is approximately 1,700 metres long. Fitting a reasonable 20 spectators into each one metre strip of road and pavement across the street, along the entire route, we reach a total crowd of just 34,000 people. A rough calculation, but you get the picture... Even if the same number were in ajoining streets and not on the parade route it is still only 68,000 not 1,500,000.

"Up to 1.5 million people have been on the streets of London for the Pride parade," is the first paragraph in a BBC article. Further down the journalist states "it is hard to say whether that estimate is accurate". But on the contrary, using just Google Maps and a ruler, it's easy to show that the 1.5m number is both physically impossible and beyond belief.

In what sense is someone "on the streets of London for the Pride parade" if they don't actually see the parade?

This is a subtle way for the mainstream media to publish false information ("fake news") about politically correct causes they favour, without taking journalistic responsibility for it.

The Guardian told FactsMCR "the 1.5m figure was clearly stated as a prediction from the organisers on each occasion it was mentioned. It was also made clear that at the time of writing this live blog 'attendance numbers were still to be confirmed'. I don't therefore think any correction is needed."

But when will the attendance numbers "be confirmed"? Now the event is over here is our "prediction": never. Leaving the false information in articles to mislead readers for many years to come...

Press release propaganda from organisers who often have every reason to exaggerate isn't "news" and publishing it isn't "journalism".

Most of us campaigning as FactsMCR are L, G, B or T. That doesn't mean we want to see misinformation published about gay events. It makes us look corrupt and dishonest. Meanwhile dodgy politicians may divert funding from elsewhere to support these supposedly huge events and justify doing so based on a falsehood.


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.


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".


Media watch

A look at the media and LGBT organisations in Manchester.


The LGBT Foundation's publication "Unlocking A Hidden History — A Researchers' 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 and we think this error led to Crisp being included in the mural on the side of the Molly House in Manchester's gay village. 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).


In an article dated 2 May 2016, the Manchester Evening News claims 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 actually 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 told us 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.

In 2017, Manchester Pride 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.


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 were 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 had 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.


In 2013 the MEN told us that Manchester Pride had raised £34,000 "this year". That 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.


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 Evening News knew about the campaigning surrounding this and that the Department For Transport had made clear the situation in a letter the previous August, because it had written articles about it then.

Is it that they that like a bit of "to and fro" in the run up to Pride and some plucky protestors whom the MEN believes have no prospect of bringing change? But then when they succeed, shock horror, we must have a media blackout.

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


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

What the MEN didn't 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. This is the sort of subterfuge that proper journalists uncover.

15 May 2017: "Fighting 'fake news': Why you should trust The Manchester Evening News as the general election nears." No, don't laugh. 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 checks.

Have they learnt their lesson? No...

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.

1 July 2018: Here's another journalistic fail by the Manchester Evening News. The MEN writes that the incident happened outside AXM bar. But AXM ceased to exist about 11 months earlier and the premises (which were once Hollywood Showbar) are called Club Bloom. In fact the closure was a "news" story for the MEN at the time. Riveting stuff... In another fail, their photo shows the opposite end of Bloom Street at the side of the bus station when the incident happened yards from the Princess Street end. What a great help this is in reaching witnesses.


Video evidence 2014

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


Further website upgrades

We've made a few more tweaks to the website. You can choose to have it reformat to fit your screen (phone or tablet for example) or you can always view the desktop version if you prefer that. Find these options at the bottom of every page and at top left of the front page.



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.



Our campaign group started off as Facts About Manchester Pride in 2011. We were concerned about a range of issues such as exclusion and low fundraising. As FactsMCR we still investigate and campaign about Pride. However we also cover other issues which affect LGBT people and Manchester, crime being one example.


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