Countdown is on to Liverpool Pride with Marcus Collins & Livin’ Joy joining the lineup
Liverpool Pride Festival returns for its eighth consecutive year in July with an exciting star-studded line-up to make the 2017 free event a colourful celebration of all things LGBT+.
The team behind Liverpool Pride officially launched the festival last night (Thursday 22 June) at Signature Living’s Shankly Hotel on Victoria Street, announcing the full programme to invited VIP guests including sponsors, partners and Press.
Organisers were excited to reveal that joining headline act Liverpool’s very own Atomic Kitten for Liverpool Pride Festival 2017 are Kym Mazelle, Livin’ Joy, Marcus Collins, Austin Armacost, and band 5 to 5 from TV series Let It Shine.
Liverpool Pride 2017 takes place across two days – Saturday 29 July and Sunday 30 July – and is returning to the stunning St George’s Quarter for a second year.
The region’s annual festival celebrates all things LGBT+ – and is now one of the major events in the city’s Summer events programme, attracting more than 25,000 people.
The theme of this year’s festival is International Love, complementing the city’s wider 50 Summers of Love festival, which celebrates 50 years since the decriminalisation of homosexuality.
As in previous years, the two-day free spectacular officially begins on Saturday 29 July at 12pm with the empowering Liverpool Pride March, which is open to everyone to participate.
The march will leave from St George’s Plateau, outside the city’s iconic St George’s Hall Liverpool, making its way through the city before returning to Lime Street.
Special guests taking part in the Liverpool Pride March include Matt Rood Mr Gay England and Ben Brown Mr Gay Wales, who will be attending to show their support and meet fans.
Festivalgoers on the Saturday can look forward to three stages, with the headline acts appearing on the Barclays Main Stage – including Atomic Kitten, Kym Mazelle, Livin’ Joy and Austin Armacost.
Atomic Kitten perform in their hometown as the original chart-topping trio – Natasha Hamilton, Kerry Katona and Liz McClarnon – who stormed the charts with a string of top hits in the Noughties, including Whole Again, The Tide Is High, and Ladies Night.
They will be joined by the ‘First Lady of House Music’ Kym Mazelle, who pioneered the musical genres introduction to Europe from the US in the late 80s and early 90s. Her hits include a cover of the classic Young Hearts Run Free, which features in Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet movie.
Nineties dance sensation Livin’ Joy will entertain the crowds with their smash hits Don’t Stop Moving and Dreamer.
American television personality Austin Armacost, who was recently seen on Celebrity Big Brother, will make a special appearance. Austin is widely known for appearing in reality TV series The A-List: New York, which followed the lives of six gay and bisexual men in New York City.
Manchester Airport sponsors The World On One Stage, which will feature cultural organisations from across the city showcasing international music and culture, including Batala Mersey, Liverpool Irish Festival, Reham Al-Hakimi of Liverpool Arabic Arts Festival, Pagoda Arts Orchestra, DaDa Fest, Louis Jay and the Soul Collective, Threshold Festival, and Africa Oyé.
There will also be a chance to win a holiday for two to San Francisco, courtesy of Manchester Airport.
The focus on Sunday 30 July is family with a day dedicated to fun for all ages. After a successful addition to the Liverpool Pride programme in 2016, We Are Family, returns with entertainment and activities throughout the day, alongside a full programme and performances taking place on the steps of St George’s Hall.
Barclays sponsor the We Are Family programme on the Sunday, which will include a headline performance from Liverpool singer Marcus Collins. Returning to perform in his home city, Marcus shot to fame in 2011 when he appeared in X Factor, getting through to the final stages and finishing second only to girl band Little Mix. He has since gone on to have hit singles and is a regular in musicals including Hairspray and Kinky Boots.
Take That front man Gary Barlow’s reality television show Let It Shine searched the nation to find five performers to create a five-piece group to star in new musical The Band, featuring the music of the biggest boy band of all time, Take That. Winners 5 To 5 make their Liverpool debut ahead of The Band musical coming to the Liverpool Empire Theatre this Autumn. They will give an exclusive performance with a medley of songs from the show.
The Sunday line-up also includes and singer and vocal expert Jennifer John, who will return with choirs from across Merseyside to perform number themed International Love.
Liverpool Pride Festival Chair Lucy Day commented: “With just over a month to go until the Liverpool Pride Festival 2017 – it’s safe to say we are extremely excited. We’re delighted that we can now reveal the full festival programme, which I strongly believe is one of our best yet.
“I’d also encourage festivalgoers to register to join us and be part of the Liverpool Pride March, which really does kick-start the LGBT+ celebration. So take a look through the programme, plan your Liverpool Pride weekend countdown – the countdown is well and truly on.”
The Liverpool Pride Festival began as a community response to the death of murdered gay teenager Michael Causer, who tragically lost his life on 2 August 2008.
The festival was specifically created in 2010 in Michael’s memory as a way to celebrate his life and to empower the LGBT communities. The festival continues to remind the community to stand up for LGBT culture and equality through a city-wide celebration where everyone is welcome.
A number of projects are also running alongside the Liverpool Pride Festival which also support the LGBT+ community and aim to challenge hate crime.
Coming Out of The Shadows proved such a success in 2016 that it returns for a second year between 20 July and 30 July, when many regional buildings will be lit up in rainbow colours.
Liverpool Football Club is also backing the initiative once again after successfully lighting up the Kop in 2016. And in the wider City Region, the Atkinson at Southport, Crosby Library, New Brighton’s Floral Pavilion, and the Steve Prescot Bridge in St Helens are among locations taking part.
Liverpool ONE hosts an LGBT+ exhibition with a bright and prominent display of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans + and Straight Ally information, photos and imagery, supported by Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner, the High Sheriff’s Fund and Stop Hate UK.
Art and creativity play a big part in spreading the Liverpool Pride message. The festival will also feature written word, photography and artworks supported by Arts Council England at various venues across the city, as well as at the festival itself. These include the Marc Almond Exhibition at The Gallery; Coming Out: Sexuality, Gender and Identity at Walker Art Gallery; and Writing on the Wall: What’s Your Pride Story on the Garden Stage on Saturday 29 July.
Liverpool Pride Film Festival also runs along the main theme of International Love, featuring works from Austria, Brazil, France, Iraq and USA. Screenings will take place at venues across the city including FACT, Old Edge Hill Library and Unity Theatre.
The film programme features Gypsy Queen by Rob Ward, the unconventional love story between two fighters who discover their greatest challenge lies outside the ring. Screenings are on Friday 28 July and Saturday 29 July at the Unity Theatre.
Guests attending the official launch were given the first glimpse of the festival brochure – available to download here http://bit.ly/2sTXIIT. Free copies are available to pick up at stockists across the city.
Liverpool Pride 2017 is supported by headline sponsor Barclays, who are embarking upon a 12-month community partnership which will provide access to employment and financial services, as well as access to training for digital and financial awareness supported by the many Barclays colleagues across its branch network and contact centres in Kirkby and Wavertree Technology Park.
Further support for the Liverpool Pride Festival 2017 also comes from Manchester Airport as the official Airport Sponsor; Homes For Everyone;and Signature Living as the official Hotel Partner.
Keep up to date with Liverpool Pride announcements at www.liverpoolpride.co.uk