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LIVE BLOG: Manchester Pride 2022 - 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 during the Manchester Pride weekend. Our email form is here. Also we have a link where you can upload video directly to us (ask for it).

We have a pop-up Facebook group during the month of August.

This year we have our own voicemail number for details of incidents. Leave us a message on: 0161 820 2269.

 

Tuesday 30 August 2022

15:20 That's it for our live blog for this year. Thanks to everyone who provided information one way or another.

Things certainly seem to have moved on as far as access without a wristband is concerned. All concerned seem to have acknowledged the reality finally. It only took seven years since the ruling by the Local Government Ombudsman!

In the run up to the event it was claimed that all bars and clubs had agreed not to serve those who didn't have a wristband. But, as always, that wasn't the case.

This year there was no "Live" music event, just the gay village — as in the distant past. Will the various criticisms this year lead to calls for the event to move elsewhere?

There have been these issues with the capacity of the gay village since the 1990s. One solution is for the organisers to control the number of people who turn up. They can do that by reducing marketing and publicity and making the event less appealing to the mainstream population. It's what Julia Grant did in 2000 and 2001 with GayFest.

In some respects Manchester Pride is already doing that with its focus on intersectional and niche themes. But do these appeal to such a small audience (even within the LGBT community) that they won't sustain the event and organisation? Does Manchester Pride still have eleven full-time employees (see the 2020 accounts)? It's hard to see how the current business model and economic situation can support that, going forward.

13:00 Once again there has been criticism that last night's HIV/AIDS Vigil was used for political purposes, with not enough focus on the people we lost due to the virus.

Litter

08:15 Some residents are very unhappy about the amount of litter that has been left around the area. Despite complaints and a meeting with Manchester Pride in 2019 and a reminder last week the situation has happened again. And there is "outrage" about the amount of plastic cups left everywhere, in the Manchester Evening News.


Monday 29 August 2022

18:00 The transgender memorial tree in Sackville Park was set on fire yesterday. Not the first time it has been vandalised. Also it has "been used as a urinal by dozens of people" according to one report. There have been complaints about lack of sufficient toilets. But this was an issue at Mayfield Station a couple of years ago too, which suggests it's poor planning and organisation by Manchester Pride.

A complaint from a business afetr Mardi Gras 1999

One of the documents we found in a box in the Library Archives is a letter from a local business complaining about similar issues following Mardi Gras 1999 (the first with the village fenced entirely with wristband entry).


Sunday 28 August 2022

22:00 a large number of people who wanted to see Spice Girl Mel C have been turned away from Sackville Park because it was full to capacity.

10:30 drinks prices have come in for criticism. "£5.85 small can of Morretti."

Drinks prices

Drinks prices


Saturday 27 August 2022

21:30 According to Ryan a 12-year-old child was refused access to a toilet near the main stage area today because she didn't have a wristband.

Entering the gay village on Saturday

13:35 Matthew recorded video as he walked into the gay village at the Princess Street and Chorlton Street gates. He had no issues walking in but says one steward "got upset with me taking pictures". However the stewards have no power to prevent people from taking photos in a public place. Even the police can't do that.


Friday 26 August 2022

22:30 Jones writes on Facebook "Something I observed today those worrying about not having bands. Pretty much every bar had an outside hut serving beers, no doubt they won’t be checking for bands."

20:00 This year even the Pride-brown-nosing Manchester Evening News has an article about "The bars and restaurants where you can celebrate Manchester Pride without a wristband."

19:42 Welcome to the live blog.

 

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

Older factsheets can be found on this page.

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


Factsheet 2022

2022 factsheet Our 2022 Factsheet (PDF) about Manchester Pride has been published. 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?

 

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