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Manchester Pride 2017 - our legal right to walk to business premises and homes


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


It's official: you have a legal right to reach premises (homes or businesses) during Manchester Pride. Without a wristband, accreditation or a resident and visitor pass.

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


Let us know your experience of getting into the gay village without a wristband and being served. Our mail form can be found here.


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

An experience posted on the Facebook group in 2017. Added here in August 2018

Monday 28 August 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday 27 August 2017

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday 26 August 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday 25 August 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Richmond Tearooms

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

Our 2017 factsheet about access during Manchester Pride

Our 2017 Factsheet is here to download as a pdf document:

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

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

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