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Where is the charity money? And what is Manchester Pride about now?

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.

It seems that Manchester Pride hasn't given out any money to good causes for two years. Isn't some of the charity money ringfenced? Why not distribute it when so many small LGBT organisations are in distress due to Covid?

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).

Is this something you want to support? What is this all about now?

It's your choice and your money...


Factsheet 2019

2019 factsheetIt'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 five years people have walked in without a band and have been served by some bars.

Here's our factsheet for 2019 so you know your rights and can walk in with confidence and pride! Facts and gossip. Four pages this year with two special articles.

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 2018 can still be downloaded as a PDF here.



Our Live Blog was active all Pride weekend. Here's what happened. We have a Facebook group I Love My Right to Access Premises At Manchester Pride 2019.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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 has refused to tweet a correction to ensure the public knows 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.


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.


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


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...


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. 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.


Pride staff earnings increase of 56.27% per head since 2014

In an earlier version of our 2018 factsheet we stated that staff at the Manchester Pride charity had a 40% increase in earnings in 2016. This was wrong. The confusion arose because in 2016 Pride moved its end of year accounting date from 30 September to 31 December.

Between 2015 and 2017 the staff of the charity had an increase of earnings of about 18%. Still a substantial amount. But there's more...

Our financial whizz has taken a closer 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.


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.


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 2015!


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...


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 LGBT. 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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