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LIVE BLOG: Manchester Pride 2019 - our legal right to walk into the Gay Village


What's happening? Live updates throughout the bank holiday weekend


Let us know your experience of getting into the gay village and being served. Our mail form is here. We're on Twitter and Facebook.

The City Council will have a member of staff on duty all weekend to record any incidents and help you. Contact: Veronica Wong from the Council on 07771607341 between 12:00 & 22:00. At other times the Pride Control Room is available on: 0793 9878041 but we would recommend you find a police officer instead, ask for the incident to be recorded and note down details yourself.


Monday 26 August 2019

13:25 Dom posts "G-A-Y wouldn't serve us until they saw our wristbands. Only bar all weekend been asked in."

12:05 "V" (who knows his stuff) writes "Anyone who bought a wristband based on such a misrepresentation is entitled to a refund in my view. It's a stupid risk for the organisers to take legally because now ANYONE who bought a wristband can demand a refund pointing to these misreps (And the apparent lockout at the second venue) and it's near impossible for them to verify whether or not that particular purchaser was mis sold. They risk it becoming like the PPI scandal, having to refund everyone who complains because they systematically mis sold."

10:05 Maurice says "Walked in about 3.30am at the small gate near Minshull Street. I was with a group of about 7 guys, at least 4 of us didn't have bracelets. The staff were fine and just said 'some of the bars might not serve you', which is absolutely fine to say. Why they can't get all the security staff to tow the same line I really don't know."

10:00 Susan had a better experience "I got in for free and I dident have a pass just be confident tell them you know your rights and walk in x."

09:30 Suzie had a shocking experience "I tried to get access to village via minshull street on Saturday around 11am ~ stating right of access/public road and denied. Was told specifically that there were 'free wristbands' but I would have to go to gate 2 to get them. So wander to gate 2 which was essentially ticket exchange. So again, asked at the ticket boxes - and they don't know anything about it.

"At this point; day pass village tickets have sold out they say. I ask again about entering without a wrist band and ticket person gets her manager and says again need a free pass to enter - but they don't have any 'free passes' and they don't know when they are coming! They also add this is just to walk straight through and you can't stop and have to just walk to exit and leave.

"My only choice to enter village is to buy 'rainbow pass' which allows me to go to mayfield and village - I pay £45 for this just to be able to walk around the village for day. So much misinformation being given out. Saw lots of people - being turned away as not wanting to pay this money. Incidentally I didn't go to mayfield so can't comment on that venue."

We've advised Suzie that in our opinion she is probably entitled to a full refund because they misrepresented the product and her need for it. She bought three wristbands at a cost of around £140. "Section 75" applies to credit card transactions on single items over £100. For purchases under £100 "chargeback" should still be available. Don't be put off claiming. The card issuer is jointly and severally liable for any misrep or breach of contract when the amount is more than £100 and they tend to look favourably on such cases when under £100. Details at MoneySavingExpert.

09:15 "N" tells us "I had two Mayfield passes for the weekend but my daughter's anxiety was through the roof last night with how packed it got so we left at 8pm and went to sackville gardens for a little down time. I won't be wasting money on those tickets next year, we'll just get the canal st ones."

09:00 Sarah writes "I went on saturday and walked straight in with my wife and wasnt even asked about a wrist band. I've only bought one over the last few years if it's been raining so I can access the bars. This year I went in many bars without even being asked. On sunday my daughter went with her wife and did the same and she also commented that many people didn't have wrist bands. So, it does look like things are changing for the better x."

00:15 Mat tells us "We just walked in. Weren't even challenged by anyone in the end. Result. Think loads must of been doing it and they just gave up."

Sunday 25 August 2019

23:10 M writes "Just helped 3 young adults in, without a band. He said they need free 'walking bands', but they have run out of them. Anybody else heard of these new "walking bands? I don't know the gate number, but it is just near churchills, where the market used to be. The security guy was having none of it, he said 'stop undermining me', the 3 young adults weren't going 2 a bar, just wanting to have a look round. So again i said it was lies, over needing a band. He showed me his boss, i then asked him regarding the access, he agreed that they didnt need a band, so the young adults could go through. Honestly they looked like deers caught in the headlights, so easily manipulated. But the security guy said he was only doing what he was told. But not a happy chappy.

21:10 Paul says "Greater Manchester Polce raided a private members only gay/bi fetish night on Friday night, next to the gay village. As an organisation, GMP are increasingly less tolerant of the private consensual activities of gay/bi men, even on a Pride weekend in the gay village."

20:05 as well as angry posts from Manchester Pride Live at Mayfield Station we're seeing some worrying ones.

13:25 Mark tells us "they also charged 2 of my mates for village passes on top of their mayfield ones as they said it didn't give access to the village... whole thing seems to have been mismanaged this year."

Manchester Pride has being playing tricks for years. Getting people to pay for a more expensive ticket by claiming that other options aren't available. See this article about 2016.

12:55 The set up with Mayfield and the Village has led to a whole new level of manipulation. This man's partner was forced to buy a £40 Mayfield ticket after 7pm because he wanted "entry to the village and bars" with his other half. And even though entry to Mayfield had by then been closed (after 7pm). It isn't clear whether he knew he could walk into the Village without a band and go to some venues without. Looking at Ticketmaster today we see that weekend tickets for the Village are still available! They love their "ticket allocation" games.

Disabled view

09:30 Mike E tweets "We entered yesterday afternoon around 13:00 via Gate 4. We weren't challenged or stopped by staff. Got drinks at an outside bar and also Rem."

02:00 We now have evidence that no re-entry to Manchester Pride Live after 7pm WAS shown in the Terms and Conditions on the Pride website as long ago as 29 June. We don't know about before that date. However it does say "re-entry" and there seem to be people who never got in at all. As someone said to us "instructions said to get there 1 hour or 2 hours (they said different things in different places) before the stage time of the act you want to see. So how can you turn up an hour before Years & Years at 22:30 and see them if it closed at 07:00? Also an accessibility issue. Not everyone can be in there for 4 hours. People need things bags and things to be changed and some just aren't well enough."

01:30 A video posted on Twitter at 23:53 hours on Saturday shows people going from Mayfield into the Village. Pride staff are shouting for them to show a wristband. But no band is needed to enter the Village. Police officers stand, watch and apparently do nothing to stop it.

Saturday 24 August 2019

Two complaints

23:30 A video published on Twitter at 22:37 shows a small crowd outside Mayfield shouting "£80". One man is wrapped in a rainbow flag. There is fury about people being locked out after 19:30 hours with many asking where this information was as they've been caught out: video 1 | video 2.

22:45 "M" posted saying "Just entered at the Whitworth Locke (next to New Union) gate, got grabbed on the arm and told I needed a wristband - he kept a firm grip on my wrist for about 2 mins and told me 'not to make a fuss' and made it clear he would involve the police. I persisted and stated it was a public right of way, a nice lady in a yellow top backed me up but it was very intimidating. The guy also refused to give me his name.

"Eventually of his own volition he let go of my arm and I walked off into the crowd. I didn't look back and consequently lost the friends I was with. He was black, late 20s, about 5'8. How do I report this to the council?"

The incident was reported to Veronica Wong from Manchester City Council by "M".

21:15 We've received this from "T": "Security at Thompson's gate trying to stop people. If they engage they are told that they "Need a wristband". Nobody has refused to buy one and go back. Interesting that this year signs say "pledgeband."

17:10 Bev says "Walked into the village after the parade, via bloom street entrance. Nobody asked for wristband."

16:30 Mayfield not very busy at 16:30 as these two exclusive photos show.

16:00 Twitter user @Leigh_mann tweeted "1.5 hours since Mayfield was meant to be open," he writes. "We're now being ushered through to security to cheers from everyone who patiently waited." He calls for ManchesterPride to "sort this out for the rest of the weekend.

"This is not the new exciting progressive venue we were promised when we parted with £70."

The Manchester Evening News reports that Mayfield was 3 hours late opening.

Unfortunately not a big surprise to anyone who knows the history...

15:50 A disabled person has tweeted about their experience at the parade.

Disabled view

15:45 Protesters invaded the parade this afternoon. Banners included "Lesbian not queer", "Gender ideology harms lesbians" and "Women not sex objects. No to the sex trade, surrogacy and transgenderism." No sign of the rumoured environmental protest. YouTube video.

Protesters invaded the Manchester Pride parade 2019

Friday 23 August 2019

Three complaints

23:45 Late evening Friday, Cody tested various entrances in the Village and livestreamed as he did so. At one he was asked if he had a wristband. He just said "no" and didn't stop. There were no issues at other entrances.

21:15 Our first video clip. This woman was on her way to pick up her wristband but decided to test out the situation at the gate and she did brilliantly! Note the intimidating behaviour of the member of staff in the hi-vis jacket.

21:02 It seems Manchester Pride gave the City Council the wrong number for the Pride Control Room. As a result it's in our factsheet! We have changed it. The correct number is: 0793 9878041.

20:30 By 19:00 tonight the City Council monitoring person had already received three complaints from members of the public who'd had their rights infringed by Manchester Pride's security people. This prompted her to email Pride.

The Council seems to take these complaints seriously and told us, in writing, that in 2017 it forwarded several to the police. This is the sixth annual event since 2014 when the Department For Transport issued advice. It isn't credible to suggest that Pride's security people don't know.

Manchester Pride is being foolish. If there continue to be problems this weekend it may be that responsibility for security should be taken away from them? It could be organised/commissioned by the Council with a bill sent to Pride?

00:15 Welcome to our 2019 live blog. We'll be updating this throughout the bank holiday weekend. This is a year of change. How will it go? Join us as events unfold. We expect to get going on Friday afternoon.



As people arrive at the gay village from Mayfield, Pride staff ask to see wristbands. Why?

A woman tackles a member of staff and says she will report the incident to the City Council person who is recording those.


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?