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Thousands set for Tees Pride festival

12 September 2013 @TeesUniNews


Organisers of the Tees Valley’s biggest festival celebrating lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender life are inviting the local community to join them for a vibrant schedule of events in Middlesbrough next week.

Middlesbrough Community Pride 2013 is a three-day festival running from September 12-14 and culminating in a free concert, market and celebratory parade on Saturday, September 14.

In addition to the usual shopping crowd, up to 5,000 people are expected to converge on Middlesbrough town centre for the five-hour outdoor concert and a Pride parade on Saturday.

Although a planned evening concert has been cancelled, Saturday afternoon shoppers can join music-lovers and the LGBT community to enjoy a free daytime concert on an outdoor stage in the Newport Road shopping precinct close to House of Fraser and Debenhams.

Former X-Factor singer Jade Ellis will be supported by local live talents including a Katy Perry tribute act, Katy Kerry.

The concert will be opened at 11.30am by a performance from local singer Heather Storey, while other acts will include Northern Proud Voices, a 30-strong LGBT choir who sing a variety of fun pop songs.

Along with some of the best Tees Valley drag acts, there will also be performances from North-East soul singer Sam Dickinson, pop trio R3action, local street dance trio Triple Threat and Billingham-based performance group Fracture Theatre.

Middlesbrough singer Kerry Chantelle is looking forward to performing as Katy Kerry, a Katy Perry tribute act that is sure to prove a big hit with the superstar’s local fans.

The 20-minute performance will include five of the singer’s biggest hits including ‘I Kissed a Girl’, ‘Firework’ and new song ‘Roar’.

After performing at a gay pride festival in Warrington on Saturday (September 7), Kerry says she’s looking forward to her appearance at a second LGBT festival.

“Katy Perry is a bit of a gay icon and I’ll be performing ‘I Kissed a Girl’, which seems appropriate for the occasion,” said the singer, who has been performing as her more famous namesake for two years.

“I’ve got lots of gay friends who are coming along to support me on the day but I’m excited about performing on such a big stage in my hometown.

“It’s fantastic that Middlesbrough Pride is bringing communities together like this. I’m sure there’ll be a party atmosphere, which hopefully I can add to.”

Colourful characters will feature in a celebratory Pride Parade, starting at mima at 12 noon and taking in a route around Middlesbrough Town Hall and Cleveland Centre before finishing at the outdoor stage.

Organisers also promise 'a bustling bazaar of rainbow-inspired delights' at a Pride market place between 11am and 4pm.

A wide range of events kicks off with a Pride life drawing session for beginners, taking place at mima at 5.30pm on Thursday.

The drawing event, priced £3.50, promises to celebrate the human form in all its diversity, giving artists of all levels opportunity to practice their skills with a clothed transgender model.

It will be followed at 7pm by Black Light Engine Room, a free entry performance night and open mic event in Middlesbrough Central Library with featured performances by AJ McKenna and Mandy Maxwell.

Friday’s events start at 7pm with That Gay Play!, a workshop by Less is MORE that looks to ask the local LGBT community what love means to them via a series of interviews in Teesside University’s Centuria Building. Entry is £2.

At 8.15pm, the Centuria Building will then host a free showing of the film ‘Billy’s Hollywood Screen Kiss’, a 90-minute, gay-themed romantic comedy film.

Danni Gibson, chair of Middlesbrough Community Pride, said: “The festival is for LGBT people of all ages, together with their families and friends, but we really want everyone to come along and join in.

“We’re expecting 4,000-5,000 people to join the regular Saturday afternoon shoppers to enjoy the parade, market and outdoor concert. No doubt there’ll be a few surprises for those out shopping but we hope they’ll enjoy the fun.

“Although the daytime concert is alcohol-free, all the local gay venues will be open throughout the day for refreshments and I am sure there will be parties till the early hours!

“We’re seeking to celebrate diversity, reduce social exclusion, challenge negative perceptions and create a safer, more cohesive place to live.”

Middlesbrough Community Pride is being supported by Teesside University, Middlesbrough Council, Middlesbrough College, Middlesbrough and Teesside Philanthropic Foundation, Erimus Housing, Tees Positive Action and Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner’s Office.

Anyone interested in being part of the celebration can contact the organising team at or call Matthew C Gray on 07738 730037.

Pride Programme in full:

Thursday, September 12 5.30pm Pride life drawing mima £3.50

7.00pm-9.30pm Black Light Engine Room: Pride Special Middlesbrough Central Library Free entry

Friday, September 13 7.00pm That Gay Play! (workshop) Centuria Building, Teesside University £2

8.15pm Billy’s Hollywood Screen Kiss (film) Centuria Building, Teesside University Free entry

Festival Day Saturday, September 14 11.00am-4.00pm Pride Market Place

12 noon Pride Parade

Outdoor Stage 11.30am-4.30pm Hosted by Miss Tickle and friends Tees drag acts and live performances from: Jade Ellis Sam Dickinson Northern Proud Voices Katy Kerry R3action Triple Threat Tay Cousins Fracture Theatre

More information on the Middlesbrough Community Pride festival

In the News

Festival's a source of Pride for community
Evening Gazette (Teesside), 12/09/2013
Teesside University is this year sponsoring the Middlesbrough Community Pride Festival, with a weekend of events taking place on campus and around the town.