by Terry Gee
For 25 years Brighton has held an annual Pride event; starting with a huge parade through the streets and along the sea front all the way to Preston Park where the party continues throughout the day and well into the night.
Brighton Pride is a huge celebration with people pouring in from all across the UK – we even met some guys who had flown in from Barcelona especially for the event. We took the extremely crowded train (standing room only) from London and made our way to the coast. The atmosphere hit us as soon as we stepped off the train and into the street. The parade was just finishing and a huge street party was forming, replacing where floats and processions had been an hour before. Men and women of all sexual persuasions were there revelling in the spirit of carnival.
We flowed with the rest of the crowd all the way to the park and arrived relatively early giving us a good hour to explore before the main crowds descended. After two decades, Brighton really knows how to put on an event. There was so much on offer from food and bars to dance tents tailored to all walks of life and most importantly, toilets – and lots of them! Beers in hand, we surveyed our home for the day. The main stage was already a hive of activity with hundreds of people setting up camp.
The sun was blazing and the weather only improved as the day went on and it didn’t take long for the park to fill up. The vibrant colours and rainbow flags dazzled in the sunshine, enveloping the revellers and seemed to put a smile on everyone’s face. Fair ground rides for the young and the daring twisted and soared through the landscape, appearing to move with the beat of the music coming for the dance tent. Inside, go-go boys gyrated on stage as vocal house music fuelled the dancing masses.
Brighton Pride is so successful because the main event is held in Preston Park. It’s safe, secure and has everything you could want for a great day out. We saw live acts, met new people, chatted with friends, ate and drank our fill and danced our little socks off. The sun was just the icing on the cake making it a really special and memorable day. London used to have something similar but seems to have lost its way in recent years.
As we left, there were huge queues of people outside trying to enter and enjoy the final few hours of fun. This was one of the best Brighton Pride events we have been to and we can’t wait for next year!