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Manchester Pride 2015 - our legal right to walk to business premises and homes


What happened? Here's what we live blogged during the weekend.


From M: "the good news is, unlike last year when no one seemed to know what was going on, a lot of people are talking about the wristband issue and money. I've been telling anyone who will listen that it should be GAY Pride again. Very important word missing. During the vigil an angry man shouted 'where's our money going?' during a speech on stage about the amount of money the 'community fund' raised. We had no issues entering at 8pm by Chorlton St gate, but security did ask if we were going to the 'Vidual'. No wristbands were asked for unlike last year when I was refused entry to the Molly House by the doorman."


Sunday 15:00 following reports of people being refused entry without a wristband to go to premises we understand that a representative of Manchester City Council (SD) called Manchester Pride and told them their guards must allow access. We're told that quite a large number of people are in the gay village without a band, having made their way to the bars they usually attend.

If security guards try to prevent you from entering the gay village, remember you have a legal right to walk to premises that can't be reached by an alternative route outside the fences. So be sure to say to the guards that you know you have that right and that going to a home or business is what you are there to do.

As for getting into a particular bar or club once you reach the door, that is entirely up to the owner as they are private premises. There are bars that won't admit you without a wristband and others that will. After Pride is over you can decide whether you want to give custom to those businesses that refused you!

When it comes to the "event areas" which are on private property such as car parks, you can't expect to get into those and our campaign isn't about that. But remember you CAN go to the HIV/AIDS Vigil on Monday night in Sackville Park without a wristband as usual.


Saturday 23:55 MA says: "we didn't get in. They said it is a ticketed event, I had been misled. The police ignored me and walked off."


Saturday 23:50 from Facebook:

No day tickets


Saturday 21:20 F writes to say that "two pals of mine just walked into the building and there was no problem." This being the premises of the LGBT Foundation on Richmond Street. Back in July on Facebook the LGBT Foundation stated that a wristband would be required to access its NHS-funded building. And despite them having known for 11 months that the public had a legal right to access premises in the fenced area without a wristband. The CEO of the LGBT Foundation didn't reply to an email about this, sent on 7 July.

wristband required to access the LGBT Foundation premises

Jonathan and Paul reveal the Manchester Pride Wristband Secret and walk right in on Saturday afternoon. In 2014 Manchester Pride had almost £300,000 more income than the previous year (a total £1,336,314). Yet the amount given from that to good causes went up by just over £20,000 to £54,021. The weekend was started to raise money for good causes! In 2000, £105,716 went to charity from the free GayFest weekend.


Saturday 16:45 Jonathan tells us: "I've walked in and out twice with a short sleeved shirt on just waved through both times. Gates 3 at about 15:40 and gate 8 at 15:50."


Saturday 15:40 Fred reports: "Successfully just entered the Sackville Street entrance without a wristband." He says he was challenged by security guards. "But I just asked if I HAD to pay to enter the area and was fairly insistent."


Friday 23:45 Deirdrie (not his real name) writes: "We went to gate 6. Friend asked FGH Security. He said needed a ticket. I wanted to try to get in but he didn't want to. I didn't push it. There was 4 police there and a van. Wasn't prepared to do anything on my own."

So there we have someone intimidated into not going to premises.


Friday 21:15 from Paul J who is now in the gay village: "They asked me for my wristband and I said 'no' and just kept walking and they didn't come after me."

Factsheet for 2015 from Facts About Manchester Pride

Our 2015 Factsheet is here to download as a pdf document:

PDF version (good for printing)

Or as two medium-size images: page 1 | page 2

It's official: you have a legal right to access premises (homes or businesses) during Manchester Pride 2015. Without a wristband, accreditation or a resident and visitor pass. Providing they can't be reached by an alternative route.

On 22 April 2015, the Local Government Ombudsman ruled (PDF) that Manchester City Council's wording of its Traffic Regulation Order for Manchester Pride 2014 was "unlawful."

Here's this year's Temporary Traffic Restriction Order (PDF) which we received from Manchester City Council on 28 August:


Please send us details of your experiences of accessing premises during Manchester Pride 2015:

Contact form.

Videos that show what happened are particularly useful.


A year ago: we've assembled video evidence with some notes at this link.

And you can see our update page from 2014 here.

FACTS! Our 2022 factsheet is available to download. As a PDF here. Or as images (handy for sharing on Facebook & Twitter!): page 1 | page 2

There won't be a new factsheet for 2023. Older factsheets can be found on this page.

You can see our Live Blog pages from 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2021, 2022.

Factsheet 2022/23

2022 factsheet Our 2022 Factsheet (PDF) about Manchester Pride is available (there won't be a new factsheet for 2023). 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. See our factsheets page for other years.

Useful reading

The ruling by the Local Government Ombudsman in April 2015 (PDF). The Ombudsman decided that Manchester City Council had exceeded its powers by mentioning wristbands in a traffic order and that it was unlawful to restrict access to premises (businesses and homes).

Minutes of a meeting at Marketing Manchester in November 2002. These show that those present were told they couldn't charge people to enter public streets. However some of them went ahead and did so from 2003 onwards for a decade.

At the meeting were: Manchester City Council, GHT, the LGF (now known as the LGBT Foundation), Marketing Manchester, the organisers of Europride 2003. The advice seems to have come from the police. Yet the police apparently then turned a blind eye...

This document was unearthed at the Library Archives quite recently by a FactsMCR campaigner.

The media

Since the ruling by the Local Government Ombudsman in 2015 the media — both LGBT and mainstream — have stayed silent about the decade-long wristband fiddle and your rights. So some people continue to pay unnecessarily.

All your favourites know: GayStarNews, Pink News, Manchester Evening News, The Guardian, BBC and many more. In a letter to us, the BBC defended its journalist right not to report this. The same BBC that championed consumer rights at one time now prefers to cosy up to the civil-rights-infringing Manchester Pride, as a "sponsor" (the BBC says it doesn't give money).

These organisations don't need to lie. They simply ignore an issue completely. Or, they report some of the facts; perhaps popping in just one or two bits they don't like, to add a fake impression of balance. That's how they manipulate opinion in the direction they think it should go.

The veteran ITV reporter John Pilger says that "not reporting" is the most powerful form of censorship.

What else aren't they telling us?